Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Questions for the Multi-Family industry


The multi-unit housing industry is suffering from Bad Kitchen Design Disease.

In older multi-unit residential developments especially. For those, I can understand small kitchens with tons of corners, dead-ends,  and appliance & cabinet doors bashing into each other. 30 years ago, most folks in a condo or apartment ordered in or went out to eat. The kitchen was just a place to keep the beer cool & the pizza hot.

So if the kitchen is supposed to be the heart & social hub of the home, then

  • Why is it a design afterthought?
  • Why is the one place where people spend most of their waking hours such a design headache?
  • Why is better cabinet functionality ignored for the sake of granite countertops (which are highly overrated)?
  • Why are there still formal dining rooms?

It’s 2012, people.

There is no excuse – particularly in new multi-unit design – for kitchens like these:

bad kitchen planbad kitchen planbad kitchen plan

These are [somewhat] better plans because they are straight runs and have open circulation as well as being open to the living area:

better kitchen planbetter kitchen plan

Repeat after me: Corner cabinets are bad design.

You can neither reach nor see their contents. Therefore, you don’t utilize them. And they cost more to manufacture. Why pay for something that you can’t use?

The cure

Planwise, the cure for BKDD is simple: make the kitchen & living area one space. Forget the dining room. Even in single family homes, people want to merge the space. We routinely knock out plenty of walls between them.

If you want a formal dining event, go to a restaurant that provides it, & leave the linen washing & silver polishing for someone else.

What I want to know, is where are the condo & apartment developers that embrace the open plan concept?

We’re looking for collaboration project partners that get it. And if they get the open plan idea, they’ll also get our modular cabinet system with swappable doors.

We want to talk to you, space & design savvy developers.

2 Responses to “Questions for the Multi-Family industry”

  1. Oh boy. Soooo true. And amazes me that I still get plans from reputable architects for single family homes that have the same issues!!! What IS going on??

  2. I’m guessing it’s one of those lingering “it’s always been done that way” things.

    Or maybe that pervasive mindset that cabinets & circulation don’t matter & leaving the kitchen for last in the design queue.

    Or some combination of the two.

    Either way, it’s maddening!

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