The isolated kitchen, separate from the family and considered as an efficient but unpleasant factory of food is a hangover from the days of servants; and from the more recent days when women willingly took over the servants’ role.


Make the kitchen bigger than usual, big enough to include the “family room” space, and place it near the center of the commons, not so far back in the house as an ordinary kitchen. Make it large enough to hold a good big table and chairs, some soft and some hard, with counters and stove and sink around the edge of the room; and make it a bright and comfortable room.

… you have laid out, or already have, some kind of common area at the center of the building. In many cases, especially in houses, the heart of this common area is a kitchen or an eating area since shared food has more capacity than almost anything to be the basis for communal feelings - Common Areas at the Heart (129), Communal Eating (147). This pattern defines an ancient kind of kitchen where the cooking and the eating and the living are all in a single place.

Give the kitchen Light on Two Sides of Every Room (159). When you place the kitchen counters later, make them really long and generous and toward the south to get the light - Cooking Layout (184), Sunny Counter (199); leave room for an alcove or two around the kitchen - Alcoves (179); make the table in the middle big, and hang a nice big warm single light right in the middle to draw the family around it - Eating Atmosphere (182); surround the walls, when you detail them, with plenty of open shelves for pots, and mugs, and bottles, and jars of jam - Open Shelves (200), Waist-High Shelf (201). Put in a comfortable chair somewhere - Sequence of Sitting Spaces (142). And for the room shape and construction, start with The Shape of Indoor Space (191)

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 660high-confidence