Kitchen Design

When we bought our house we didn’t intend on staying as long as we have. Over the years we have renovated and rebuilt parts of the house; the kitchen was one of the first projects we tackled. Unfortunately, the structural consequences of opening our kitchen up to be more contemporary, sharing the living spaces, was significant. When we renovated the kitchen I knew I had to maximize the available space because I wasn’t going to create any additional space.

We have what is called a Pullman kitchen. The term Pullman describes a long narrow space in a structure, named after the Pullman Company known for building sleeping cars for trains in the 19th and 20th century. This style of kitchen was popular in the 1950’s and 60’s and is also referred to as a galley kitchen.

After over 10 years of cooking and living in this kitchen, I would have to say that the design actually works really well. We’re due for a refresh but I like the layout and appliances enough to keep things the way they are. Maybe we’ll put in new cabinets and call it done.

The welcome aspect of a small kitchen is that you don’t do a lot of walking and it’s easier to manage multiple operations at one time. Counter space is at a premium and this typically takes a toll when I am plating a dinner party with multiple courses.

The other compromise I made when selecting appliances is that I went with a Thermador integrated microwave, warming drawer, and oven. A single oven in an active kitchen can be a serious constraint. To solve this I would replace the 6 burner DCS cooktop I use with a full range to give me 6 burners plus an additional oven. I’ll lose a small amount of critical storage under the cooktop but I can make that up.

What features would I love to have? Easy, a prep sink adjacent to my main work space would be first on my list. I would also like a bigger refrigerator, 48″ up from the current 40″ model I have now. Built-in refrigerators are sleek and efficient but they are not as deep as free-standing models and a busy kitchen also needs refrigerator space. And of course, I would like to have a bar countertop that people could sit at while I’m working.

I put together a neat little explainer video walking you through my kitchen along with some reflections on what works and what I would change.