The back kitchen is becoming an increasingly popular feature in new construction and in existing home remodels as homeowners look for new ways to keep clutter out of open concept living spaces. Because it’s hidden out of sight, the messy kitchen functions as a prep area for cooking and cleaning, making the primary kitchen space the focal point for eating and entertaining.
The kitchen pantry has evolved for over a decade as kitchen design also took a more modern and functional route, but the introduction of the back kitchen was kickstarted in large part by the COVID-19 pandemic, The New York Times reports. Homeowners in quarantine turned to cooking to pass the time, and with an increased focus on health and wellness, many also prioritized cleanliness and organization in messy parts of the home like kitchens and baths.
Amanda Lantz, an interior designer in Indiana, said that every one of her new construction projects included a back kitchen, a marked change from 2019 when none had one. She sees the coronavirus pandemic as a catalyst. “People were stocking up more. You were cooking more, you were using your kitchen more,” she said, referring to the height of the pandemic. “So then, when they’ve gone to build the next house, they’ve felt that they don’t have enough space.”