Smaller unit kitchens
From: Joani Blank (
Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 02:10:02 -0600
I never heard it as cohousing wisdom that cohousing unit kitchens in
particular should be smaller.  Rather that most people moving into
cohousing would probably be able to manage with fewer square feet than they
had imagined  they would have in a brand new home or condo that they might
otherwise have been "moving up" to. That is, smaller and otherwise more
modest houses than if they purchasing non-cohousing residences.

I know that someone designing a big single family house might well want a
big kitchen not only to cook meals for large frequent dinner parties, but
for family members to hang out in. In cohousing, by contrast, the large
dinner parties can be held in the common house. And in unit dwellings In
many cohousing communities the kitchen is somewhat or completely open to
the living (family) and dining areas. Together they make up what I
understand Chuck Durrett calls an "all room,"  (is this a literal
translation of a Danish word? Or is it a term architects use? Or did Chuck
invent it?)

When the person who asked about this originally mentioned that these
dwellings might have as many as four residents, he or she didn't specify
whether this meant a family of four or four single adult housemates, or
some other combo?  When  four single adults (with different tastes,
different schedules.different needs for storage of food and kitchen
equipment and different  standards of cleanliness or tidiness) share a
kitchen, things can get pretty gamey--no matter how big or fancy the
kitchen is and whether or not the house is in a cohousing community.

Joani Blank
Doyle St. Cohousing/Old Oakland Cohousing/The Cohousing Network 

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