I have an HGTV addiction. If you visit Mt. Oly even once in a while, you know that already. You also know that I don’t like to cook. But even though I don’t like to cook, I have a list of what my ideal kitchen, the best looking and best functioning kitchen, needs to have. I mention HGTV because, as much as I love that channel and those shows, they get the kitchens wrong a lot of the time. At least, they get my kitchen wrong.
Double ovens. And here’s where they get it wrong most times—I want the oven to be out of the traffic flow of the kitchen so that no one accidentally runs into the open hot door, and there MUST be counter space next to the oven to put the scalding hot, heavy turkey/chicken/ham on. I do not want to carry that dripping, greasy pan for more than 6 inches.
A regular gas stove top, non-commercial/restaurant grade. I am not running a restaurant. I do not have a catering business. I am, at most, boiling water for pasta and stirring spaghetti sauce on two separate burners at the same time. I don’t need 8 burners. And I really don’t want to clean 8 burners. And I really, really don’t want to pay for a costly restaurant stove just to impress the one neighbor who brings me my wrongly delivered mail once a decade.
A place for the deep freeze. If I’m paying to have a totally new kitchen (HGTV, are you listening?) I want the freezer to be in or adjacent to the kitchen! I don’t want it in the garage or the basement. This is where I store lots of food. I want it handy.
Unobtrusive lighting. I don’t want cutesy pendant lights over my island or over my sink. I don’t want to bang my head into the darling, expensive, artsy light fixture, and I don’t want to have to clean the grease and grime off of it. This is a kitchen, not a coffee bar. (On one recent HGTV show, a light fixture of glass links was shown actually touching the top of the table—another inventive way to ignore annoying dinner guests.)
A place to plug/store the electronics. There’s no use pretending that the kitchen isn’t the heart of the home, and HGTV is very big on acknowledging this, but they seem to routinely ignore the ugly reality that, since this is the room with the fridge, this is going to be the room with the cords for the cell phone, computer, digital camera, iPod, etc. Just give me a dedicated zone for the electronic technology in my life, someplace away from the toaster.
A broom closet. An old-fashioned broom closet. That tiny closet in the kitchen where the broom, the Swiffer floor mop, the vacuum cleaner and the dust pan is stored. Whatever happened to the lowly broom closet? Pantries, the HGTV world is awash in pantries. I love pantries, but I also love broom closets. Without a broom closet, the hall closet gets taken over by the vacuum cleaner.
I could go on and on, but now it’s your turn. What do you need for a kitchen to be great?