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Tweaking the Practical Magic Kitchen

6 years ago

I am building a new house and would like to incorporate elements of the Practical Magic kitchen into my design. There are a few old threads about the downsides of this movie set kitchen, detailing the obvious (without the ceiling the kitchen looses its unique feel) to the not so obvious (sink and range are about 100 miles from each other, and no fridge in sight). One of the old threads is here.

I understand that my kitchen will not be the same as this inspiration kitchen. However I would like to try to incorporate several components from cabinet style to general layout. Would you help me?

Someone else has already copied this kitchen:

I don't really want to go this direction. It seems to me that part of the charm of the original movie kitchen is the "unfitted" nature of the cabinets. So for example, this imitation kitchen did a lot of wall cabinets around the stove, etc., and also a corner pantry. I would like to try to imitate the unfitted look as much as possible. I am friends with a local Mennonite cabinet maker, and I am confident he can build something pretty close.

My kitchen in my new house will be about 15 feet wide by 24 feet long. I have already planned out the hopper or transom windows on the range wall, and my tile contractor is able to do the tile and built in shelves, etc on the range wall. I already have my stove- which is a 1920s wedgwood. It will not be the same look as the aga but I think it will be nice in the tiled alcove.

Here is a rough version of my space in my new house. I am not committed to having doors across from the range wall. My builder says we can turn the doors into a window if we want.

My sink is an antique farm sink that is too tall in back to fit under the windows on the exterior wall, so I have it on the interior wall. I would like two dishwashers somewhere in this plan, and I also would like to have the fridge in the pantry hall. Right now I am considering recessing it right next to the powder room sink.


If I can get the main fridge in the pantry area, should I have one or two fridge drawers in the kitchen on the external wall?

Can I pull off the nook/eating area in the movie kitchen across from the range wall, or something close to it? How much space would be necessary (depth in particular) for that eating nook?

About me and my family:

My husband and I live in the Gold Country in California. We are building on 5 acres close to town, and the kitchen windows will face northeast and the entire kitchen area/two covered porches part of the house will be on grade, and will have a large garden and entertaining area outside.

We have four kids, and hope to have more in the future. We are in our early 30s. We have extensively renovated three houses in the past, including complete kitchen guts, but this is our first new build. We entertain a lot- at least once or twice a week. Usually lots of families with lots of kids. One of the reasons I love the Practical Magic kitchen is because I could see the adults eating at the farm table in the middle and all the kids eating in the nook area.

I like older house styles, and dislike the open concept look. I would like to be separate from the rest of the house when I cook. We have farm animals and lots of produce/vegetables to wash and process in the summer, so either the pantry/back hall or one of the covered porches will have an additional sink/prep area.

My husband and I both cook, and I would really like some separation from his cooking, lol. He is a "mad scientist" type and the entire kitchen is destroyed whenever he cooks. However, I love that he and the kids really get into it when they cook together. I just don't want to be in the middle of it. I really like to have things clean and orderly before I start cooking. Our current kitchen is a 12x10 galley kitchen, and I am always so uncomfortable in it because I trip over kids and because there is no clean space for me to work in if my husband is also cooking at the same time.

I was thinking maybe a sink on the exterior wall with the baking area would be good? Then I could have one wall and my husband could work at the other one when we are in there at the same time.

Please help me out! I so appreciate your expertise.

Here is a picture of the entire house plan and site map/exterior for reference:

Ignore all the double doors and fridge/sink placement in the larger floorpan. It's from a previous draft.

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