There is probably no more all-consuming home design trend in the last 35 years than the “great room,” a giant open plan room that combines family room and dining room with kitchen. This has resulted most recently in Brooklyn in flippers who rip all the walls out of 19th century houses and the building of so-called luxury apartments with tiny strip kitchens in the living room.
Now, according to The New York Times, renters and home buyers both are demanding separate kitchens and dining rooms, and builders are building them. The story details home hunters who purchased a one-bedroom Art Deco apartment in Kensington with a traditional kitchen and a townhouse in Ditmas Park with a separate kitchen and formal oak-paneled dining room. Above, the separate dining room and kitchen at Jessica and Doug Warren’s house in Clinton Hill. Reasons given include:
*Better for entertaining.
*Don’t have to see dirty dishes.
*Hides the prep work.
“So much new construction features open floor plans that there’s a pent-up desire for apartments with separate dining rooms and kitchen,” said one real estate agent. “For a certain demographic, they’re a definite selling point.”
The Times cited many new buildings with traditional floor plans, including one with pocket doors that let the inhabitants decide whether to open or close off the kitchen. All of them, tellingly, are in Manhattan where new construction is focused on the very high end of the market, except for one, the rental building at 250 North 10th in Williamsburg. A third of the studios there feature “single-opening galley kitchens separate from the living area.” They are priced at about $2,500 a month.
“People say, I’ve been looking for this,” said the developer. “Not a majority, but you hear it from people who like to cook. Nevertheless, they don’t want to cook in the middle of their living room.”
Which do you prefer?