The dirty kitchen: it’s a phrase you think you never want to hear, but you know it well. The truth is we are not talking about a traditional dirty kitchen as in stacked up filthy dishes, messy countertops and muddy floors. We are actually referring to a design technique that is popping up in homes old and new. Remember traditional butler’s pantries? You might have seen them in older historic homes or looked at them as more modern wet bars in newer homes. But what if you took that narrow corridor-like space and made that your work kitchen and used the larger space of the main kitchen as the place to show off your pretty things, like clean appliances, shiny pots and pans and granite or marble countertops? After all, isn’t that where your guests and family tend to migrate? Use the main kitchen for storage and the side or dirty kitchen for work.


The phrase “dirty kitchen” is often used in other countries as a space separate at times even from the main house, not just the main kitchen. The purpose is to keep smoke and the smell of gas or fuel outside of the living quarters. Many commercial establishments do this as well for smoking foods or grilling. But “dirty kitchen” can also refer to a wood burning stove or oven that actually creates dirt, so be specific when consulting with a designer!

Now if you thought you were going to learn about how to get that “dirty” as in grimy kitchen clean, here are a five tips:

-Use Bar Keepers Friend spray or powder to make stainless steel pots and pans sparkle.

-Soak oven racks in the bathtubs in a cleaning solution of your choice for an all over clean. (Don’t forget to clean your bathtub afterward!)

-Run dishwasher cleaner through the sanitation cycle of your dishwasher once a month or every 20 washes.

-Wipe down countertops after every kitchen visit!

-Don’t let clutter accumulate.