On television and in movies, restaurant kitchens tend to be more glamorous than they are in real life. Series such as Top Chef, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and others provide an inside look into the life restaurateurs and their kitchens. In fact, the showcasing of professional kitchen areas has led to the open kitchen format found in many restaurants today where patrons can watch chefs in action and create the impression that diners are eating at a chef’s table.
What are the lessons to learn from professional kitchens? Rule 1 is that function is more important than form. Professional kitchens must be practical, durable and comfortable. These same benefits should carry over to your home kitchen. Most commercial kitchens feature a kitchen worktable. In the home, the worktable space may be an island, peninsula, long countertop, or other area that makes food prep easy and enjoyable. The popularity of open shelving concepts may have its roots in commercial kitchens. Open shelves not only allow you to showcase decorative items such as vases, ceramic pieces or eclectic items you have picked up in your travels, they also make it easy to access plates and other items that you use daily.
When you walk into a professional kitchen, chances are you will be inundated with the amount of stainless steel surfaces that you see. Why stainless? Because you can place hot pots and pans on it without causing harm, stainless is called stainless because it doesn’t stain and it is extremely hygienic. Plus stainless offers a clean, professional aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye and touch.
Many professional kitchens have a marble surface that is used by pastry chefs and those who are responsible for desserts. For our clients who have a passion for baking, we will specify a marble-top for an island or a cart depending on the size of the kitchen.
Other utilitarian features that we have borrowed from commercial kitchens are specifying pot and pan and utensil racks that not only allows you to grab what you need at a moment’s notice, but also to showcase the tools you use to cook with.
If you are a serious cook, you need a serious place to clean up. That’s why we often specify a commercial grade sink with separate compartments, space permitting, that makes clean up easier and capable of accommodating any size pot or pan. Today, many of the sink manufacturers providing commercial grade sinks for residential applications can custom make sinks in any size, length or depth to accommodate specific client requirements. The Galley Workstation is an excellent example of how the right sink can revolutionize the entire kitchen. Watch the video here.
Our serious cooking clients also fall in love with commercial grade refrigerators and freezers that have glass doors to enable our clients and their guests to see what’s inside without having to open the door.
Commercial grade faucetry also is available for residential applications. We feature in our showroom the large goose-necked commercial faucets with spray nozzles that help make cleanup easier.
White subway tile has been trending for the past 10 years in both commercial and residential applications. We have found that when we specify floor-to-ceiling white subway tile, we create an aura of romance that our clients enjoy for many years.
Another restaurant feature that is a cool addition to a home is to employ a service door with a porthole window to bisect the space between a pantry and the kitchen or the kitchen and a dining room. Stainless steel front commercial sized refrigerators are another popular option with our clients.
An oversized vent hood can make a unique and differentiating design statement for homeowners that are drawn to the industrial look that is trending now. Oversized vent hoods can integrate seamlessly into a design, especially for an open floor plan motif.
Next time you watch HGTV, Food Network, the Cooking Channel, PBS or other media that showcases commercial grade kitchens, remember the design features, components, functionality and look can be part of your home. Want to discuss the possibilities? Give us a call at 610 262 7235 or visit us on line at www.directkitchen.com.