Twin Kitchen Design

Why settle for a home with one culinary zone when you can have two?

Written by Alexandria Abramian | Photography Courtesy of Rayni Romito and Eric Figge Photos

Call it the ultimate architectural solution for messy-kitchen syndrome: a house with a pair of culinary centers—a pristine, photo-ready area located in plain sight and a far-from-view kitchen designed to handle the heavy culinary lifting. Architects and designers have been joining the dual-kitchen craze, their involvement most often seen in luxury homes where the two spaces are referred to as “show” and “chef’s” kitchens.

“The heart of the house has always been the kitchen, and now entertaining is on a whole new level, so there has to be a real expansive living room off of the kitchen to fulfill this need, as well as a prep kitchen and butlers’ pantry,” says real estate agent Rayni Romito Williams of Williams & Williams, whose listings include a striking $48,500,000 home where designer Paul McClean has created a modern-age mansion. Perfect for entertaining on a grand scale, the house has a pair of kitchens—one a showcase area, the other a lessseen room big enough for a professional crew—that continue its focus on super clean lines, minimalism and striking use of materials.

Another nearby listing in Beverly Hills features no shortage of luxurious amenities, including an infinity-edge pool, ocean views and more than an acre of land. Designed by architect Bob Ray Offenhauser, the $19,950,000 estate includes dual kitchens. Both by Bulthaup, one seriously sleek show kitchen looks onto the great room, while a much larger chef’s kitchen is hidden out of sight nearby. But the trend isn’t isolated to eight-figure compounds. At La Vita at Orchard Hills in Irvine, where homes start at $2 million, many feature show kitchens that are incorporated into open-plan great rooms. “For entertaining on a high level these spaces can be dramatic and beautiful: The spotlight is on the chef and guests.

And the scene flows smoothly to the adjacent indoor/outdoor spaces,” says Brookfield Residential Vice President of Marketing Mercedes Meserve. And who will be the wiser when professional chefs have a culinary center all their own, away from the action? Adds Meserve, “Meanwhile, a catering team can be creating more magic backstage.”

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