Re: How are your great room and kitchen connected?
From: Kay Argyle (
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2008 17:21:01 -0700 (PDT)
> Does your kitchen completely open to the great room/dining room? 
> What works or doesn't work about this?

Not completely open.  There is a large pass-through (six ft long by four
high?), with a lower counter and sink on the kitchen side.  A hallway
opening from the dining room runs along one side of the kitchen.

> Are you able to completely close off the kitchen from the great
> room? What works and doesn't work about this?

It cannot be closed off.

Cleanup noise (dishwasher etc.) from the kitchen is a problem when we have
an after-dinner meeting or program - to the point that cleanup cannot be
done until after the meeting.  One cook likes to serve extended multi-course
dinners, for which plates must be washed between courses, so the already
high noise level in the dining room is increased (unbearably for some) as
people talk louder over the dishwasher noise. 

The noise transmission wouldn't be such a problem if the dining room
acoustics weren't so poor - hard floor, lots of windows, and high
multi-angle ceiling, so noise bounces unpredictably.  When those of us who
are distressed by noise asked if we could install shutters or something in
the pass-through, other residents objected that they would be ugly.

The pass-through gets almost no use as a pass-through.  It's too long a
stretch over the sink counter to pass hot pans across safely.  Rarely
someone will fill a pitcher at the sink and put it on the pass-through
counter with glasses.

The layout of the dining room makes the area in front of the pass-through
the most convenient place to put the large table we use as a buffet (with
serving lines on both sides), which causes traffic snarls when people are
trying to access items on the pass-through counter.  Usually beverages (just
ice water at most meals) and/or desserts at larger potlucks or parties are
put on an additional table at the side of the dining room - the traffic flow
works better.

In summary - the pass-through has a major drawback, noise, with no redeeming

Something that I have really wished the architect had done would be for all
the dish cupboards to be on the shared wall, with doors on the dining room
side.  Put dishes away on the kitchen side after washing; get them out on
the dining room side for meals.

> I'll admit that I have a preference for an open relationship (it feels
> homely to me) ...

... assuming that an opening actually makes the rooms feel related.  I've
been in buildings where a kitchen/dining room pass-through did that.  Ours

I'm splitting my response regarding the workshop off into a separate thread.

Wasatch Common

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