Everything's Going To Hell But At Least We Are Moving Away From Open Kitchens In Our Homes

Photo by Leone Design Studio

You guys, don’t you hate it when you have a dinner party and everyone in the loft is hanging around your open-plan kitchen? The Times has great news!

[T]he pendulum has started to swing back toward enclosed kitchens. Several new residential buildings in Manhattan have offered separated kitchens — a nod to prewar apartment design, but also to the growing demand from potential buyers looking for separate cooking and entertaining spaces.

I know whenever I’m entertaining I wish my space were more reflective of the elegance we all associate with prewar construction. It makes me feel like a failure when I see a group of people congregating in my postwar apartment’s food prep area. Plus, we all know how awkward it is when we have the hired help getting things together in there and the friends and colleagues we’ve invited into our homes have to look at them. “You don’t want your dinner party guests to walk through the kitchen and see what’s being served,” says some real estate guy, and boy is he ever right. Just last weekend some of the people I was entertaining wandered through my open-plan kitchen and my private chef made eye contact with them. He even asked how they were doing and told them to “have a good one” as they backed away. I’ll tell you, I wanted to die.

Look, I don’t want to overstate the importance of this, but I also feel like we need to take time out in our lives to acknowledge the bright moments. I think we can all agree that while the world is still a crazy, chaotic place and danger is never far away, the comeback of the closed kitchen can give us a little hope that things are finally starting to make sense again. Even something as simple as the renewed appeal of pocket doors — “a design accent that seems to be gaining popularity” — makes you feel a little better about the world and your place in it. And that is the kind of happiness money can’t buy. Unlike an enclosed kitchen, which it certainly can.