Re: Unit Kitchens
From: S. Hamer (
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 1999 06:54:47 -0600
I have been told the theory is that in cohousing you don't need as big a
unit kitchen as in a regular house because you are eating 3-5 dinners a week
in the common house. Don't forget, you still have 23-25 other meals you
still eat in your unit! And you still will have holiday meals, dinner
guests, parties, etc. in  your unit.

If you think about it, you still need the cabinets and counter space of a
full kitchen. Just because you are eating some few meals together doesn't
mean you need fewer provisions (flour, sugar, cereal, paper towels, canned
goods, spices, etc.) or groceries. It seems to me that what you would be
doing less with are perishable items, that you would keep in a
refridgerator. So perhaps a fridge would be the only thing you could

At Cambridge Coho, many of the unit kitchens are smaller than average apt.
kitchens. I believe, I have the worst kitchen. A 3 bdrm townhouse with a
family of 4 and we have only 2 full wall cabinets, 2 half cabinets and only
1 under the counter cabinet (about 10 inches wide) and only 1 drawer (about
8 inches wide).  The kitchen is about 7Ft. X 9 feet, with an entry, a
window,  and a pass through. It looks great, until you really think about
living with it. To complicate things, I am really short (and so are my 2
young children) and I literally could not reach anything except for half of
the bottom shelves on the 2 full cabinets. I dream daily of how to redesign
it! There are 3 built in cabinets in the dining room, but they are in the
dining room, not the kitchen. We decided to turn our hall closet into a food
pantry, and we bought a free-standing pantry closet to put in the kitchen so
3 out of 4 of us could reach the dishes and glasses. It is very difficult to
have 2 people in our kitchen at once, especially if one is cooking. 

If I sound like I'm whining, it wouldn't be the first time. I do always
remember, however, that it is the people that make cohousing what it is, not
the sticks and bricks.

Sharon Hamer
Hopkinton Middle/High School LibraryMedia Center
88 Hayden Rowe St.
Hopkinton, Massachusetts 01748
508-497-9820  (Fax) 508-497-9829

Get your free, private email at

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.