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Sneak On In and Grab a Bite! The Together Family Kitchen

Every Thanksgiving, I have my routine.  As the heavenly smells start coming from the kitchen, it's only natural for me to sneak in and grab a quick bite of whatever tasty dish my wife is cooking up.  She doesn't mind, and even kinda encourages it.  A little sip here, a bite there and she makes me feel like I've contributed in some way to the process.  But growing up, My Mom didn't allow this type of collaboration (which is probably why I enjoy it so much now).  She would say, "When it's Finished!" That's what I heard, over and again.  What helped her cause was that my childhood home only had an 80 to 90 square foot kitchen , so it's not like I could make my way in there without being noticed.  If only it was slightly larger, maybe towards the middle of the floor plan and not locked away in the corner of the house.  THEN I would have been more welcome, and what chef wouldn't like a little bit of company as they experiment on different flavors or cooking techniques!?

For research purposes, I saw the movie "Julie & Julia" last week, which got me especially amp'd for Thanksgiving this year.  So much great food and images of mouth watering dishes (and so much butter!), so I started connecting the dots on great food and how it's so much better to savor it with others.  Close friends and family, they all make fantastic flavors even more alive when met with "ooohs" and "ahhhs" of this shared experience.  So while my wife is busy planning this meal to perfection, I feel like I should do something productive.  Like making up a list of "must-haves" for the perfect place to gather... The 'Together Family' Kitchen!

[I'm writing this ahead of T-day, just in time for plenty of input from anyone who happens to read this.  So please tuck this list away in the back of your head as you experience a great Thanksgiving feast, and we can refine this list together!]

1.  Kitchen Work Flow and Layout

The standard for kitchen layout has always been the "work triangle", shown below.

But this was designed around one person preparing a meal.  So with multiple chefs, we need multiple work areas.  Double sinks, double fridges and double ovens!

2.  Separate Cooktops

Multiple cooktop options don't have to be as expensive as the deluxe XL cooktop pictured below.  Hot plates used to be scary things that left many of us with scars and burn marks, but with induction technology all of this has changed.  You can place your bare hand and not feel a thing... Pretty crazy!   Put them wherever you need to do some extra cooking, then put up when not needed. .

3.  Wine!  

It gets even better when enjoyed with good company, so don't forget to take a break to toast these amazing dishes in progress.  Let's add a white wine chiller and plenty of storage for red wine to the list.  Oh, and don't forget the under cabinet racks for hanging the wine glasses!

4. Storage, Storage, Everywhere!

Better storage means more counter top space for multiple chefs to collaborate.  A large walk-in pantry would solve this, but there are so many options and places in your kitchen that can become great storage spots.  The idea of converting traditional cabinets into pantry space makes so much sense!  Giving you easier access than the usual closet-style pantry and adds a really cool feature to show off to family and friends. Also add areas in the kitchen to hide small appliances, and plan special areas for fruit and vegetable storage and use.  

5. Spectators and Food Tasters

Close but not in-the-way, these seating options make your kitchen perfect for hanging out and having fun.  Peel potatoes for the chef and enjoy their company from very comfortable seating!

A Few Honorable Mentions:

  • Extra USB outlets for everyone to charge up while they let loose.
  • Add a TV mounted on an extendable arm that can be hidden inside a cabinet when not in use.
  • Large prep area with color coded cutting boards to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Butler's Pantry for your finest dishes and tableware, and use that separate counter top to showcase your pies, cakes and other sweet treats.  Mmmmm!
  • Coffee bar for marathon cooking or baking sessions.

So now that you have seen all these beautiful kitchen additions, you may want to create your own Custom Perfect kitchen.  Easy enough, that's what we do!  Design, build or REbuild your next home to include spaces that are crafted with YOU in mind.

Learn more HERE, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. For me, the kitchen triangle is stove-sink-chopping area. I'm usually moving fast so it all needs to be in close proximity. Next, I love to have all my chopping helpers in there with me so plenty of island space with good traffic is important. Your right about needing a place for phone chargers that way my designated DJ has plenty of power to do her job.

  2. I like your style! Let's add Music as a much needed ingredient!


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