Re: kitchen design
From: Lenore (
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 2006 11:28:26 -0800 (PST)
I am on the elist, watching carefully and getting very interested in co-housing. When I redid my kitchen two years ago, I could not afford to move walls and had to make the most of what space existed. I did include a "pantry" pull out type. It is amazing how much one of these units can hold. I found that the cost of a "pullout" was substantial and I visualized myself using this panty unit. What I realized is that (1) the unit was expensive because of the hardward and (2) I didn't want to pull out everything for a can of tuna. Insted of a door with all the shelves attached that got pulled out together, I designed a door that opened with 5 sliding shelves and just pull out one shelf when I need something.

Holds as much as a pull out, same size, less bicep work to reach one it. I hope this is helpful for you.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Jenny Williams" <jlgw [at]>
To: "'Cohousing-L'" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2006 9:39 AM
Subject: RE: [C-L]_ kitchen design

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
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
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

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