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Talk » Renovation » Discussing 'Value of kitchen pass-thru'

Value of kitchen pass-thru


I am debating about cutting a pass-through for the kitchen.
I know some people like closed kitchen so the smell from cooking is contained... some like it open to create the visual openess.

Personally I am kind of neutral, so I want to know what the general conception. Does a pass-through increases sellability?


it depends on the building and the apartment. in a prewar it may detract from the "character". in the post war it will add. if you're talking about a 1 Br it will definitely appeal to almost all. in a 2+ bedroom it will appeal to less.

It does seem to be a very individual decision. Some people love the look of an open kitchen while others want the appearance of a separate room even if the kitchen is right next to a living room/dining room space. I've seen a few apartments where part of the wall separating the kitchen from the dining area has been removed so you have sort of a partial opening up of the kitchen into the dining area. As ab_11218 notes, it does depend on what type of apartment you have (prewar vs. postwar) and with a one bedroom, opening up the kitchen usually makes the space look larger.

I've had it both ways, TOTALLY open kitchen and then a nice big kitchen with corner windows, but only a doorway to the living room.

I prefer at least some element of open. I think the kitchen has become more of an "entertainment" piece, especially in smaller apartments (not just size, but its age). I think true cooks are more likely to appreciate the separation, but the younger crowd is moving away from that.

Now total open has its downsides, but sounds like you'd be somewhere in the middle.

And, remember, if you lose counter or cabinet space, and end up with not enough, then it can be a considerable negative.

Good point about losing counter or cabinet space. And separate kitchens do look better if they have at least a small window in them.

I didn't fully commit to an open kitchen in our place. I'm a fairly messy cook but I also need to keep an eye on the kids while cooking. Yes, yes, I know back in the day, one didn't. Anyway, our kitchen has a corner open to the LR. Easy enough to seal up if it should ever become an issue.

no for completely open; yes for semi-open/pass-through. i love ours, it opens to our lr/dr so, like 10023, i can keep an eye on kiddos while cooking.

If you mean a passthrough in what would otherwise be a backsplash area (below wall cabinets, above countertop), they're good for giving puppet shows, but nothing else.

If you want open but not totally open, have a floor-to-ceiling wall across part of the wall, and fully open from counter to ceiling for the rest of the wall. That gives you room to hide cooking mess, while also providing social opportunity, a feeling of a larger combined room, and more light.

Cooking odors shouldn't be an issue, because either way you should properly vent to the outside.

Thanks Alan, now the next time that I see an apartment with that cut-out pass through space in the backsplash area above the counter, I'm going to picture a puppet show there. LOL!!!

just passing thru

we have what alan describes - it doesn't hide the mess :)

Comment removed.

> Good point about losing counter or cabinet space

Yeah, thats key.

And I like puppet shows!

Seriously, though, even if its just for the "look" some folks like it. Usually you have counter and then SHORTER cabinets up top, so you can actually talk across it. Or, more importantly, people in the living room can grab drinks or whatever off the counter.

Also, don't forget what the "open" kitchen or pass through can do.... if you have room for counter heigh stools on the other side, its also a breakfast bar. Depending on the sie of the apartment, this can be big.

Who actually eats at these breakfast bars? I always see them but nobody ever sits there and eats breakfast. I prefer a closed kitchen and as somewhereelse said - I'm a serious cook. I don't like people around me when I'm cooking

nobody eats breakfast at 'em, but they get used a lot.

when I had the open kitchen, the island was a HUGE social center. I had 4 stools, and it was so easy for drinks and snacks and whatever.

Another friend is a culinary school grad, and she loves socalizing with folks sitting at it, and her prepping or cooking.

And especially when you have a party... it becomes the food/drinks area, saving you a lot of space somewhere else.... and closed kitchens (which I now have!) are awful when you have a lot of folks over for drinks.

Something that wasn't mentioned yet is that such an opening will most likely provide natural light, which is really nice if the kitchen doesn't already have a window. Ours is also open above the wall cabinets, which maximizes the amount of light. On the other hand, I wouldn't sacrifice the wall cabinets to have it fully open.

How 'bout feng shui considerations. I seem to recall it's bad to have your stove in position where your back is towards the kitchen entrance.
In fact I think your stove placement is one of the most crucial elements if your into that sort of thing.

I had both and really just prefer the closed. Feels like an extra room. I do have a table in mine though -it's small eat in. I always served drinks in the living room. I have a bar area with all the glasses etc

Well, I think thats a big difference. If you have a lot of room, especially if you can fit a table, separate is good. if you don't, having it open gives you a lot more possibility.

In terms of feng shui, I believe its up there with shag carpeting and mirrors on the ceiling. I remember they did a piece on TV where 5 feng shui "experts" came in a fendg shui-d a room, one after another. And they all kept undoing what the others did. Its a load of crap.

" I also need to keep an eye on the kids while cooking."

Helicopter Mom?

I don't believe there is inherently a value that can be ascribed to a pass through or opening a kitchen in anyway. It is all about the overall design impact. One-size answer won't fit all here. It's the aesthetic/practical impact.

Those puppet show cut-throughs are generally silly, I think. Most look rather pedestrian to me. I like the idea of a one or two stool "breakfast bar" about 8" above the counter and open nearly to the ceiling. Ideally, an L-shaped bar the sort of cuts off the upper 1/2 of wall at a corner of the kitchen. You end up with a semi-open space that still is distinct and that can mask a reasonable amount of chaos from diners. This type of design works well in jr-fours and smaller type apartments with relatively small, typically galley type kitchens.

The reason I like the bar is that I'm always the one cooking and I get lonely. I like when someone sits at the bar with a drink and keeps me company but also stays out of my kitchen. Then semi-open design lets me watch/hear the TV from the livingroom while I do the prep work, chat with guests while I cook, and stay part of things. But that 100% open kitchen I am not a fan of and think will be a turn-of-the-century design that becomes dated. You lose tons of precious cabinet space and I don't know what is so great about exposing your sink full of dirty pots to the entire apartment.

In an apt with a larger kitchen or more classic style such as a prewar classic 6, I'd be very careful about how I'd alter the design--completely open would be silly and a little slit into the dining room could make no sense.

Bottom line: careful design on this can yield nice results, but be careful to avoid a boring pedestrian look when it is over.

Hardly a helicopter mom. Very much the opposite. But there is a 6-month window for some kids when they are truly fearless and can reach, chew, and get themselves in trouble. I wouldn't change the entire design of the place based on the 6-month window but semi-open (corner is open is sufficient for me).


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