Single Sided Kitchens – Review

It’s Thursday, September 23, 2010 and for those of you who were unable to join us LIVE for our broadcast this morning, click on the player below to watch John and Matthew’s review of your design ideas of how to improve “single sided kitchens”.

We really appreciated everyone’s efforts to come up with solutions to Han’s question about he could improve the design quality of his apartment/ loft kitchen in Vancouver without breaking the bank!

We thought that two Slow Homers deserved special attention this week. The first is Katrin, who emailed John and said that in her single sided kitchen, she used a combination of low bookshelves and a butcher block top to create a division and edge to her single sided kitchen, while greatly improving storage and functionality.

The second person who deserves special recognition is Terri. She posted an image of a shallow wooden screen that would act to provide separation from the kitchen work space to the rest of the unit while still allowing light and views through it. She took her idea one step further and submitted a beautiful drawing of how this screen could be realized. Well done!

Click on the images below to see the examples from today’s broadcast in more detail.

Make sure to visit the site tomorrow to watch part two of our interview with Mike from Toronto as he tells John and Matthew what he is hoping to achieve in the design of the second floor of his Toronto inner city house. We will need you to come up with some floor plan ideas prior and post them to the site prior to our LIVE workshop on Saturday morning at 8am Pacific/ 9am Mountain/ 11am Eastern!

  • Terri

    John & Matthew,

    I finally watched your morning studio “show” and thought I’d add another two cents into the discussion today. Katrin’s idea reminded me of something I did once to save money and have more counter in a kitchen. I used a two foot by two foot solid maple countertop which had previously been on a portable dishwasher. I made legs out of four-inch-diameter turned posts (bought at a specialty wood store) and a wide apron was created with 5-inch floor molding–both were painted off-white. I had to attach these legs with brackets, which made it not exactly solid but it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t use it as a baking counter. Later I cut the legs down and used it as an end table! I had a screen behind part of it (hiding a fridge).

    Last night my hubby the mason informed me my glass block wall divider would need some kind of “pinning” at the top to keep it stable. He suggested those little spring-loaded steel shower rods at the ends and the middle. I’m not sure how that would look though.

    Anyway, thanks again for your recognition this week. I liked all the ideas everyone submitted, and that website of M.A.M.’s led me to ideas on fixing the dated kitchen I now live with, so thanks, M.A.M.!

  • Mid America Mom

    You are welcome.

    Congrats to our winners.
    Mid America Mom

  • BradW

    How about turning your single-sided kitchen into a home theater? – install a retractable cinema screen in front of the kitchen, add a projector and you are done – possible issue when you want a drink and popcorn during the movie…:)

  • Terri

    Make the popcorn first, and have a cooler next to the sofa. :)

  • Steve in Van


    A primary obstacle to a fully integrated and open kitchen/living design is that the appliances and utilities are too conspicuous. Hiding the kitcen in a closet or behind a screem may help, but are there other techniques for making kitchens look less kitchen-y?

    Ken Pursely said, “Conceal everything that lets you know it’s a kitchen as much as possible.” Refrigerators, dishwashers, oven hoods, and stove tops are now being made that literally fade into the woodwork or countertop. The oven, sink, and faucet seem less amenable to disappearing, but I think these examples from Logos point in the right direction.

    A second technique is to bring other functions into the kitchen. Perhaps the kitchen can take on aspects of an office, library, or formal dining room.

    Logos calls these Cooking&Living spaces, including the orange door kitchen in today’s exercise:

  • Terri

    Steve in Van,

    Great website link there! I like what they say about the “living” that takes place in the kitchen; indeed, many of our best memories revolve around the activities and conversations we do or have while preparing or eating food. So if we can make the kitchen a good workspace as well as a comfortable gathering place, we might not need any other room. Yet, all too often the kitchen can become crammed with various tools, appliances, etc. and look much more cluttered than these clean designs allow.

    BTW, in the second image you posted I’m wondering where the refrigerator is hiding. That appliance in particular is often used as the family bulletin board–not something you’d ever see in a stylish kitchen like these ones here.