Houzz.com has an interesting take on Kitchen design and the reality is that you get one time to do it.
I designed Commercial Kitchens and one of my last projects was the old Liberty Bar on Josephine Street. That balloon built structure was tilted from the Olmos flood in the 1890’s and unique in many ways. Originally built by the Brewmaster for Pearl Brewery, Meister Boehler, it was a bar on the left side, a General Store on the right, and they family lived above.
That old wood was Cypress and was hard as steel. Quite a challenge to modify. But, we did. the kitchen walls were opened up and it was still an insanely tight space and I must have “Shadow Cooked” in that space hours as the vision came together. There was not an inch wasted.
The same with the Bar…a long tradional Back Bar with history to it as the first beers Post Prohibition were served here. One day, I had to see the Equipment to haggle prices and the Plumbers… well, they went rogue.
All the equipment had been mock placed and shifted and solved and placement of the plumbing marked exactly. I came back to find it was all 3 inches shifted. THREE INCHES… Dan… why are you being so nuts-(-I had asked them to remove the relevant parts and redo it)
you see… Three inches is a mile when you are in a tight space. It could mean a Dolly can’t get through to load beer. It could mean everyone will hit their hips countless times. It could mean the register or sink will just be out of ergonomic reach. In this case, it meant there would not be room for a trash can. A bar can’t operate like that. So, it had to be redone.
In a home, the traffic patterns can make it a challenge : what looks good on paper doesn’t work when the space is being used. That’s what Shadow Coooking with imaginary equipment does for me. That tiny kitchen was a powerhouse. It could crank out 100 a al Carte meals with 2 cooks in no time. And, the desserts were in house, the bread was made in the morning….it was a True Scratch Kitchen.