RE: kitchen design
From: Jenny Williams (
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 09:30:33 -0800 (PST)
Thanks for your suggestions!  Our floorplan will be pretty tight, so I
don't know that we'll be able to afford (square footage wise) a closet
pantry, but we'll have an appliance garage, pull out can pantries, etc.
Plenty of storage.  I, too, don't want to have upper cabinets on the
outside wall.  I want lots of windows.  We won't have our kitchen on the
east, though.  That would be my preference, but the reality of our lot
is that we'll have more privacy and functionality having it on the west
side.  It's a requirement in the community to have the kitchen facing
the pedestrian street, so we'll have that.  Mostly I'm just afraid I'm
going to design the kitchen poorly and it'd cost too much to fix later.
Do I have the table and chairs, or an island in the middle?  Do I have a
penninsula, or an island?  How much storage do we really need?  Those
are the questions I keep asking myself.

take care

-----Original Message-----
From: heidinys [at] [mailto:heidinys [at]] 
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:56 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ kitchen design

Dear Jenny et al,

Our kitchen streams with light every morning, and it is glorious.  It 
faces East;  even if your kitchen won't, face East, I'd agree with Ken 
on windowing the kitchen.

We were able to manage to have only lower cabinets,   allowing for 
maximum 'windowage' [windowization?].  We did this thanks to the 
brilliance of a friend who recommended a pantry.
Pantry is essentially a windowless [in our case] closet with floor to 
ceiling shelves. The pantry  is on interior side of kitchen, allowing 
exterior to have windows.  We love the pantry, as does everyone who 
peeks in.  I recommend it.  Ours holds everything, almost.  In pantry: 
un-refrigerated foodstuffs,  platters, some pots, most small appliances 
[eg, waffle iron]
Stuff we use daily is stored either in a wonderful olde Hoosier or in 
Kitchen cabinets all of them made up of wide drawers, as rec'd by SV.

BTW, while it is a co-ho norm to have kitchen face public area, in our 
earlier home [I married, and built another house within our CoHousing 
community]  in our initial home, I had my desk face out toward public 
area.  I loved to sit at desk and see the kids run.  And I don't much 
like desk work, so it was an inducement to my spending time at desk.  I 
hope I don't stir up a nest o' bees with this unorthodoxy!

Anything else you want to throw 'round, let me know,
all best,
Ruth J. Hirsch

> Steve Faber wrote:
>>I think in an urban cohousing community the kitchens on the "active 
>>side"  might mean something different if you are trying to be a
> little
>>village in a bigger village of a neighborhood.  One of the  issues we 
>>had with our Michigan, medium density design, was the  compromise of 
>>kitchen orientation and getting light into the units.  If your kitchen

>>is on the south side of your home.  Typically, much  of your wall
> space
>>is taken up by cabinets and you can't put in the  larger windows to 
>>maximize passive solar.
>>On Feb 24, 2006, at 1:39 PM, Chris ScottHanson wrote:
>>>My view is the green sustainable community must include, but not be 
>>>limited to the following:

>>>All private kitchens and the "active side" of the private dwelling 
>>>units on the entry (community) side, toward the pedestrian  walkway. 
>>>This allows for "eyes on the street" (pedestrian street,  of course) 
>>>and "ownership" of that street.  Safety and a sense of  belonging
> result.

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