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Residential kitchens - Kitchen architect in La Jolla  January 18, 2013 – 00:00

Residential kitchens Commercial and residential kitchens are very different, each with their own architectural complexities and unique requirements. Photo Credit: Jupiter Images, Photos.com

By Paul Benton

I recently had a friendly discussion with another architect about whether commercial kitchens are more complex than residential kitchens. I offered that a residential kitchen has a lot more going on in every part than a commercial kitchen, if only because of the great variety of tasks that occur there throughout each day. Needless to say, we didn’t agree on this; but our debate did help to illustrate some interesting architectural and design differences between commercial and residential kitchens – differences that may help those planning a kitchen remodel to make the right choices to suit their needs.

Forms and functions: how commercial and home kitchens differ

In last month’s column, we discussed the key elements of kitchen organization: the refrigerator and food storage, the range and the sink, each surrounded by countertops.

An architect must proportion these countertops for the different kinds of preparation that will be executed in each area. In a commercial kitchen, this decision is easy: we know the menu, and each food prep take will take place in a well-defined area of the space. In a home, though, this is much more complicated: the menu changes on a daily basis, and the areas are used in different ways throughout the day.

It is interesting to compare these functions of a home kitchen to those of a commercial kitchen. In larger restaurants or dining facilities, it is likely that each section of the menu (pastry, meats, salads, sauces) will be assigned its own preparation area, with some form of separation between stations for health and safety. There will be a table fronting the various cooking equipment and a separate area for finishing these items. The description I like for this location is the “plating area, ” which aptly describes the space where the different components of a meal come together on the clean plate at just the right moment to be whisked away to the diner.

This brings us to another unique quality of commercial kitchens: the fact that most serving happens outside of the kitchen. In a restaurant, linens are already at the table, and serving utensils and water are provided at outer stations on the serving floor. This alone makes a home kitchen more complex in a smaller space, because all of the utensils and plates are probably in drawers and cabinets right next to a preparation area. Therefore, when designing a home kitchen, we have to make sure that these items are not in a place where getting them will interfere with something else during the cooking process (and more importantly, so that your aunt from out of town can be helpful and find something without turning the kitchen upside-down).

Source: www.lajollalight.com

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I would definately recommend a hotel that offers rooms with full kitchens. It's much easier and turns out cheaper. My buddy Gene is a travel agent and I know he sends a lot of families to Hawaii because of the convenience. You can call him 1-888-828-3893 or visit his website . Please let me know how it goes because I too was thinking about doing the same thing with my kids. I just heard it's good because you get the full experience of staying in a nice hotel and at the same time you feel right at home

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  • Avatar moe520_71104 Any ideas where I can find cute decorative wall decor for a fruit &wine themed kitchen?
    Mar 17, 2008 by moe520_71104 | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    I have wood panel walls and hard wood flooring and I currently have a Tuscany and fruit type theme. Do you think some of those nice ceramic fruit plaques would look good or is that too outdated?

    • Depends on the plates. If you use the right plate hanger (maybe a vertical one that holds three or so plates) you should do ok. Just be sure the plates aren't cheap looking.
      Potpourri Emporium

  • Avatar moe520_71104 Do you think those 3D ceramic fruit kitchen wall plaques would look nice on wood panel walls or?
    Mar 22, 2008 by moe520_71104 | Posted in Decorating & Remodeling

    Is this type of decor "outdated" or old fashioned? I have a fruits & wine themed kitchen and think some of these would add a nice touch.

    • Those wall plaques have been popular for years, and in my opinion, a classic never goes out of style.

      Have you thought about hanging a stained glass window with grapes on it? Stained glass will really light up a room, and you can find a pretty peice for under a hundred dollars.

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