Two-Cook Kitchens Have Smart Space Chops

Whether you live in an apartment with a 25-square-foot kitchen or have a spacious home with hundreds of feet to cook in, odds are you’ve experienced the complications that come with too many cooks at once. Cramped counter space, a single sink and trying to cook and clean at the same time can wear patience thin.

We asked Houzzers what their single kitchen/multicook solutions are — and these seven kitchens are full of creative ideas to make cooking with more than one person a breeze.

Houzz user Anne Marsden lives in a 1940s bungalow near Atlanta, Georgia. The original kitchen was a tiny galley style typical of homes like hers. She and her boyfriend love to cook — though admittedly, she does more cleaning — and often bring in food from their garden, so they wanted to design a kitchen that would make cooking together easy and efficient.

The long central island was key to organizing this work area. The butcher block top provides plenty of space for two and creates an easy pass-through from one side of the kitchen to the other. Each person gets a side with its own sink to call his or her own — Marsden works on the dishwasher side, and her boyfriend gets the stove side.

Jbroten’s recently renovated kitchen shifted from a one-person U-shape layout to a space that can handle two or more cooks with ease. Multiple counter work stations were musts, so two islands anchor the space: one for prep and one that facilitates cleanup. The dishwasher on the sink island also faces the cutlery and plate drawers, making cleanup easier.



Ione Victoria of Paradise Interior Design designed this Aptos, California, house for two retired professionals. He likes to cook and she’s more of a baker, so Victoria decided to separate the cooking and baking areas by putting the main refrigeration and cleaning equipment in the middle for shared use.

The kitchen has two dishwashers and three sinks, which makes crossing paths almost impossible. Space planning was complicated by the fact that the wife is less than 5 feet tall, while the husband is about 6 feet tall. Victoria had the island lowered toward the baking end so the wife could use it more comfortably.

Jamie Walsh’s 150-square-foot kitchen in Washington needed something simple to make it a space where she and her husband could hang out and cook. A chair and a cart found at a local garage sale proved to be just the solution.

Now, when the two are in the kitchen together, one person perches in the chair while the other cooks, switching off from time to time. Walsh also had a metal fabrication shop make a stainless steel top for the cart so that it’s easy to clean and stays in great shape

traditional kitchen by Sawhill - Custom Kitchens & Design, Inc.

by Sawhill – Custom Kitchens & Design, Inc. »

Sarah Michalowski from Sawhill Kitchens worked with a family of five to design this multiperson Minnesota kitchen. Because they have three active, young children, this couple wanted a space that would allow for five people to sit at the island, do homework and cook — all without interrupting each other.

The unique island design allows for easy cooking, cleaning and eating. A prep sink in the middle divides the island into two areas, allowing people to do separate things while still having access to the sink. An appliance garage near the refrigerator allows kids to make smoothies without disrupting the workflow, and the desk stays out of the traffic route but in plain view.

When Houzz user Sue Hausmann remodeled her Ohio kitchen, she wanted it to be an open and easy-to-use space for her and her husband. The sink, with three bowls and two faucets, was a simple and straightforward solution. It allows two people to prepare food or clean up at the same time. Plenty of counter space, an open layout, a full-size refrigerator and freezer, and a double-drawer dishwasher help too.

Neal Nesbit of Shoreline Cabinet Company also designed this Wilmington, North Carolina, kitchen with two islands intended as separate work and entertaining spaces. One island has a prep sink and easy access to the refrigerator, range and main sink. The other island faces the dining area and has a beverage center, making it suitable for hosting guests away from the workflow.

Separate cooktops allow two people to cook at once, and a clear path between the island to the sink from the range makes for smooth traffic flow.

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