Dirty Kitchen Design for Cooking Show


Of all places, who thought I would see a cool kitchen at Husker Corn Harvest Days in Nebraska? The US midwest event showcases the latest farm products in agriculture. For a farmwife tagging along, it was fun to see novel model homes and shouses (shop + house) ideas.

Heritage Homes of Nebraska was one of the vendors at the 2022 show. Heritage Homes is a custom modular home builder. I was very impressed with the gallery on their website, especially the exteriors. It certainly expanded the possibilities of a modular house in my mind!

If you're looking for a way to hide a kitchen sink and make it invisible, this kitchen pass through is done well. There's no better hidden kitchen design idea than walking behind an unsuspecting wall to find the entire dirty dish zone (the "working kitchen") just a few steps away.

If "messy kitchen design" - a separate space to wash dishes - is new to you, find out more. I have an entire article and loads of design plans, don't miss Introducing Messy Kitchen Design.

Kitchen for a Youtube cooking show

My husband and I had a chance to tour one of Heritage Homes' more unusual client projects. The Heritage Homes rep explained that the home was built for a woman who had very specific needs for a cooking show.

I apologize in advance (and can kick myself) that I didn't take a picture of the actual kitchen. The kitchen itself was ordinary, but oriented for a cooking show - I am assuming YouTube. There was a bank of cabinets behind the cook, who faced a u-shaped cooking center. There was a spot for the large stove that would eventually be placed in the "u". 

The pictures below should provide a fairly good idea of the layout.

Kitchen pass through (AKA a place to hide dirty dishes)

The Heritage Homes rep explained that the owner wanted to "pass through" the dirty dishes through the cabinets to the dishwashing area behind her. My heart skipped a beat. I've been all about the comeback of the scullery, and hiding the dirty dishes (and keeping the beautiful trophy kitchen clean!).

There seems to be interest in how to trim around a kitchen pass through. As you can see from the photo, a kitchen pass through would be trimmed the same manner as a door would be. 

If it was a kitchen pass through window, a more unique and separate trim could be chosen to distinguish the space. In this scenario, trimming the shelving in the same complimentary wood trim blends the open shelving nicely with the kitchen cabinets.

Hidden kitchen pass through via cabinets to kitchen sink area.

Hidden kitchen pass through via cabinets to kitchen sink area.

I think what is really happening here, is that the dishes are washed on the messy kitchen or scullery side and then set into the clean kitchen cabinets. It is a good idea, though. Just think of how easy it would be to set your kitchen table. Just a few steps away are cabinets full of clean dishes.

I often thought about a similar scenario. I've seen kitchen pass throughs with a window - a neat way to clear the dirty dishes off a table fast. Otherwise, you might have to add a kitchen cart to your kitchen plan to truck those dishes back and forth!

Kitchen pass through windows can create a shorter path from cooking or dish stations to the dining table. This is especially efficient when kitchen working space is not immediately adjacent to the kitchen table.

A kitchen pass through window to a dining room is the most common scenario for using a pass through. A small kitchen with pass through is often needed if the dining room is not nearby. This model home uses kitchen cabinets with pass through to access the dish room.

Here's another view. Beyond, you can see the u-shaped island where the kitchen stove will fit in. Beyond that would be a small table for eating. Behind the person cooking at the stove would be normal kitchen upper and base cabinets with countertop.

Idea for kitchen pass through.

Novel idea for kitchen pass through without window: disguise behind kitchen cabinets.

This kitchen is designed to be simple and attractive for the camera - and provide a clean kitchen to viewers. In addition, it's best to keep the background from being too distracting - the focus is on the cooking. Again, sorry I did not get the forward-facing kitchen picture!

I think you get the idea of the layout. Feel free to check if the Heritage Homes site updated their image gallery. Hopefully, you have new ideas for your kitchen pass through plan, whether it has a window or not!

About the author 

Renee Matt

Renee is a former kitchen designer, home remodeling enthusiast (having lived through several DIY projects), and an Iowa farmwife. Renee is passionate about preparedness, garden skills, and knowing where her food comes from. Years of being a stay-at-home mom and supporting the family farm with hearty meals has been key to Renee's pantry readiness. She uses her professional IT background and expertise to bring the Everything Pantry website to life.

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