What is a Prep Kitchen? And Why You Should Have One in Your Stylish Home.


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Prep kitchens have frequently been found in high-end, luxurious homes, and they’re now becoming a desired feature for the mainstream home buyer or remodeler.

While the term “prep kitchen” is catching on, the space might also go by names such as  “mess kitchen”, “butler’s pantry”, “caterer’s kitchen”, or even “secondary kitchen”.

Essentially, a prep kitchen is an extra space that is accessible from the main kitchen that provides an additional kitchen work zone and is potentially hidden from sight from the main kitchen. Typically, a prep kitchen features a sink and extra counterspace, but ultimately it can be configured and designed to meet the specific needs of the homeowner.

If you’re considering adding a prep kitchen to your home, here are 5 design ideas to help you optimize your space:


1. Make sure you have plenty of light

If you want a big open kitchen with lots of windows and very few wall cabinets, a prep kitchen may be just what you need. This is because you can construct all the extra storage you need in the prep kitchen while keeping the main kitchen open and airy.

That said, you do want to make sure you will still have plenty of light in your prep kitchen. If it feels like a dark, cramped enclosure, you’re not going to want to spend the necessary time there for your kitchen tasks. Plus, it could be dangerous to wield a knife in a dark room! 

One brilliant solution is to design your home with a wall of windows and a divider in the room that includes panes of glass. Your prep kitchen can be located on the side with the windows so that it is fully lit. Simultaneously, all the light can continue to stream through the divider and brighten up your overall space.  


2. Prioritize your most frequent kitchen tasks 

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When deciding what to include and how to layout your prep kitchen, be sure to prioritize your most frequent kitchen activities.

For example, if you’re someone who loves to bake, you’ll probably want to create easy access to your stand-mixer and plenty of storage for all your baking dishes. Or, if breakfast is the most rushed meal for your family, you might want to feature a coffee / tea / juice blender bar with grab-n-go fruit and nut snacks. 


3. Create a good flow

Ideally, you want it to be easy to move in and out of your prep kitchen so there’s easy access to your main kitchen. One of the most effective ways to create flow and accommodate foot traffic is to plan for two entrances/exits for your prep kitchen. This design will also make the prep kitchen feel more integrated with the main kitchen.

If your floor layout can’t accommodate a double opening, try to at least have the prep kitchen lead into another room, like a mudroom or pantry. Also, be sure to try to give yourself a window or two. You don’t want your prep kitchen to feel like a closet.


4. Incorporate a utility sink and garden center area

If you want to maximize the use of your prep kitchen, you can have it do double duty as an indoor support for your outdoor projects.

For example, you can incorporate a utility sink in your prep kitchen that can help you both with kitchen tasks (like washing extra dirty, extra-large dishes) and outdoor tasks (like preparing plants for your garden). In fact, the prep kitchen could serve as a garden center that connects the inside of your home with the beauty of nature right outside your doors.


5. Optimize your storage capacity RTA Wood Cabinets

A prep kitchen can be an ideal way to make sure you have optimal storage for all your kitchen needs.

If you store a lot of food, you might want to combine your prep kitchen with a pantry, ideally with a mix of open shelving and closed cabinets so you can simultaneously create a welcoming display while containing any clutter. 

Or, if you own lots of kitchen gadgets, utensils, dishes, or other small appliances, your prep kitchen can be your primary storage area leaving your main kitchen looking open and minimalist.

Want more ideas on how to add a prep kitchen to your existing home design? If you’d like some expert kitchen design advice, you can get a FREE customized kitchen layout from our kitchen design experts here at RTA Wood Cabinets. Schedule to get yours by calling us today at: 1-800-788-7575.