KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Apr 05 2011

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Global kitchen design

When I was first a young kitchen design sprout, some kitchen manuals had entire sections on kosher kitchens—how to design them, what was needed and the reasoning why.

Except for one challenge—our region of the West Coast simply didn’t have a contingent where anyone asked for a kosher kitchen. In fact, I’ve never even come close to designing one in my life, although the training proved somewhat helpful for Muslim cooking and kitchens where dietary concerns enforced rigid dish separation.

I’m far more familiar with other specialized cooking as mentioned above, or high-heat Asian, or Indian. If I was starting from scratch in this industry, I’d be focusing on international and specialized cooking. If I was planning the kitchen manuals, at least one chapter would be devoted to more than simply kosher.

The reason is this: The next generations of homeowners are travelers. They’ve been brought up with more styles of food and cooking than I ever saw in my early years. Even if they aren’t, the internet, Food Network and even travel shows have done more to bring world flavors into their lives than anything else.

We’re already starting to see how “standard” kitchen design is starting to fray at the edges—low-high kitchens designed for couples with separate areas where the shorter one bakes and the taller one grills, or kitchens that hide away when not in use, or even kitchens that are more living room and entertainment area than kitchen.

I believe the kitchen designer of tomorrow, especially if they’re going to specialize in mid-to-high end design, will need to be both cook and designer.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear where you think the next decade of kitchen design is going.

Until next time,


This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Inspiration, Kitchen Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1.  Siobhan |

    No doubt that the cook and designer will need to find balance!

  2.  Criss H |

    I totally agree: ” We’re already starting to see how “standard” kitchen design is starting to fray at the edges—”

    Finally, I believe, we are witnessing a transition from societal group roles to more individualized perspectives/expectations. Through these tough economic times, people needed to become savvy. They needed to find alternative solutions to their problems to survive and by doing so they discovered new aspects of themselves and what truly makes them individuals. Now, they want to celebrate that individuality; even through their kitchens.

    I believe the next decade will include an understanding of the “standards”, but also an understanding of how to break out of the standard so they can truly enjoy their space. Those in the real estate industry may cringe at all of the individuality when it come to re-sale. But, maybe as designers, our next challenge can be to find new ways for clients to take their kitchens to their next home and continue to enjoy them in a new environment.

    Designers always love a new challenge!

  3.  Kelly M. |

    Criss, I believe you’re right regarding those in the real estate world. They have gone with the usual for the past few generations that the majority may be unprepared for this next set of homeowners who are already rebelling.

    While there’s always a fine line during this transitional period, at least we can’t claim it’s going to be boring!