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"Dirty Kitchen" Design Trend

Well it's 2021 and not much has changed... yet. We are still navigating life the best we can while living through a pandemic with lots of hope for an improved year. Covid has certainly had a big impact on many aspects of kitchen design but none more than the spotlight of how our kitchens function for us on a daily basis. Serving many households with multi-generational family members, large open concept kitchens are in high demand with storage and organization a top priority.


One of the biggest challenges that come with an open concept kitchen is keeping it clean! Being out in the open dirty dishes and clutter are more exposed than ever creating a new design trend called the "dirty kitchen". Let me explain...


For anyone remodeling or building a new home and thinking about kitchen design, YOU HAVE to consider adding a dirty kitchen aka butler pantry or scullery. These well designed spaces serve as an extension to your main kitchen and can include additional sinks, dishwashers, refrigerators and small appliances. A scullery is a complete mini version of a kitchen including a cooktop with ovens and/or a range. Sculleries are all the rage in Australia!


Amazing Scullery by Clark & Co Homes

Whichever route you choose to go, a new and improved dirty kitchen should of course include storage for all of the usual pantry items but can also serve as a command central for a busy household. Consider including extra countertop space for receiving daily packages from Amazon, room for a family air printer, electronic charging stations and maybe even a coffee bar. This reminds me of a concierge space you would find at a hotel for guests. The goal is to free up the countertops in the main kitchen, keeping the daily grind in the dirty kitchen.


So now what? What are you to do with your amazing, clean and somewhat empty main kitchen? Decorate it with items you that you normally wouldn't find in the kitchen of course! I'm seeing large lamps, artwork, rugs and accessories that before one might be nervous to put in a kitchen.

Less upper wall cabinets, more open shelving and high end accessories create more of a boutique kitchen experience. I think we are all craving beautiful living spaces that are comfortable, clean and serve us now that we are home more than ever.


Main Kitchen with Scullery above by Clark & Co Homes

Many of the new kitchens I'm designing today include a dirty kitchen. I can't wait to get a recent project photographed in the next few weeks to share with you. If you have a dirty kitchen I'd love to see your photos and what you've done with it. You can share them in my private facebook group: Kitchen, Baths & Mudrooms by Design. We'd love to have you!


If you are planning a kitchen remodel or designing a kitchen for a new home, YOU HAVE to join me for one of my upcoming webinars next week. Register here! "How to Plan for a Kitchen Remodel" covers:


  • How much a new kitchen costs today

  • How long a remodel project takes

  • Expensive mistakes to avoid

  • Contractor tips

  • When you should design your kitchen


Have a great weekend!








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