Years ago, my husband and I shocked the contractors who were renovating our kitchen. They couldn’t believe that we were discussing elements that we each wanted to see in the kitchen. When I asked why that was so surprising, one of the tradespeople told me that, in his experience, it was the wife who decided what the kitchen was going to be like.
C’mon, I said. It’s the 21st century. Men cook at least as much as women. Why shouldn’t my husband have as much say in what our future kitchen might look like? He’ll be working in there as much as me.
So, in thinking about that role change, I wondered about what changes in kitchen design would need to happen for men to feel comfortable there. As it is, I often think kitchens in many homes are simply after-thoughts. Given a choice, there’s a lot about the way kitchens are designed that I would change. First is the fact that cabinets are placed so high up on the wall. Most people aren’t six feet tall. I’m about half that!
So, do you think there are differences in what men want in a kitchen vs what women want in a kitchen? Let’s see. A few months ago, The Wall Street Journal interviewed some interior designers to find out what elements of kitchen design their male clients preferred. Here’s the list:
- Deep colors. Men seem to prefer dark colors that are then contrasted with black or white.
- Stand-out hardware. Forget about classic chrome cupboard pulls. Men want brass and burnished bronze.
- Room for gadgets. Have you ever met a man who didn’t love gadgets? Truth be told, I do, too! Men need room in a kitchen to house all the kitchen equipment they collect.
- Tall counters. The counters we all see in practically every kitchen we’ve ever been in are typically built to a 36-inch standard size. Men tend to prefer countertops that sit at least two inches higher than the standard height.
- Accessible sound system. Music and cooking kind of go hand-in-hand, don’t they. This is certainly true in my house. Apparently, men in general like to have their playlists in close reach while they cook.
- High-set range hood. I’m not tall, but I totally understand this one. If you’re tall, you may find that your head and the edge of the range hood come into frequent contact. Vent hood manufacturers typically offer a range at which the hood can be hung. Go for the higher suggestion.
Over to you: what amenities would you really like to see in your kitchen?