Guide to Wet and Dry Kitchen Design

December 5, 2023

Have you ever heard the term wet and dry kitchen and wondered what it meant? Logically, it would seem that all kitchens are wet and dry kitchens. However, a wet and dry kitchen refers to a very specific layout. Here’s a guide to wet and dry kitchen design:

What is a Wet and Dry Kitchen?

A wet and dry kitchen is a layout that is perfect for a more serious or intense home cook. These kitchens offer more space for food prep and cooking, perfect for those who tend to host a lot of events or just enjoy a lot of cooking. In essence, a wet and dry kitchen offers two kitchens – one for heavy cooking and the other for light cooking and entertaining.

This kitchen trend originated in parts of Asia. Its purpose was to keep food smells out of the rest of the home. Reserving a smaller space of a kitchen (also called a chef’s kitchen) allows dedicated home cooks or those with hired chefs to have a dedicated food prep and cooking area.

The wet and dry kitchen can be separated by a bifold or sliding wall. This gives cooks privacy but offers the option to open up the entire space if desired or needed. Open concept floor plans are nice, but a folding wall can offer some separation if you need it. However, wet and dry kitchens can be in the same room, but with designated zones for wet and dry.

The wet kitchen houses major cooking appliances and tools, like ovens, cooktops, refrigerators, and mixers. Dry kitchens usually are used for entertaining and may house small appliances like espresso machines and toasters. Light food prep may be done here as well.

3 Wet and Dry Kitchen Design Tips

If you’re considering a wet and dry kitchen for your custom home, here are a few wet and dry kitchen design tips:

kitchen1. Create Separate Zones

The whole idea behind wet and dry kitchens is to separate serious cooking from lighter prep and entertaining. You don’t necessarily need two different rooms in order to achieve this separation. Of course, if you do want two rooms, include that in your design plan.

Start by deciding where you’d like to do the majority of your cooking and where you’d like to entertain. Once you decide on these areas, start planning out the layout of these areas. This is also a helpful tip if you want to design your kitchen for entertaining.

2. Use an Island as a Divider

kitchen with island and dining room

A kitchen island works great as a divider for wet and dry kitchens. There are different types of kitchen islands to choose from and you have a few choices of what to do with the island. The island can be the designated “wet zone” with a sink and cooktop.

Of course, there are a few different ways to use a kitchen island. It can be utilized as a prep space or dining space. Add some barstools or tall chairs to achieve this space. Not only does this give you extra prep space, but it can also function as extra seating or breakfast area.

3. Separate Zones with a Pantry

walk-in pantry with sliding barn doorUse the pantry in the same way as the island to create wet and dry zones. Consider a floor-to-ceiling walk-in pantry in between your wet and dry kitchen. Not only does this create truly separate zones, but it also offers plenty of storage. Plenty of storage is just one of the benefits of a walk-in pantry.

Of course, there are some pros and cons to walk-in pantries to keep in mind, but if it’s the right choice for you, it can be part of a wall that separates your wet and dry kitchens. If you desire two truly different kitchen areas, dividing with a pantry makes sense.

However, if you prefer an open layout, make the pantry part of an island. It still creates separate zones, but your whole kitchen will feel bigger and much more open. This can be a useful solution if you’re wondering how to add more storage to your kitchen design.

This is just a basic guide to wet and dry kitchen design. If you think this is the type of kitchen you’d like in your custom home, contact Custom Home Group at 717-284-4090. We can help bring your dream home to life!