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Murder by Kitchen Design!

Our Controversial Take On Kitchen Design Hazards

The daily5REMODEL recently ran an article on a presentation given by Main Line Kitchen Design President Paul McAlary.  The speech, given at the spectacular Fretz Wolf and Subzero showroom in the Philadelphia Navy Yard, and the article are sure to prove controversial.  The title of the presentation: Murder by Kitchen Design!  The talk was meant to be humorous, but not the topic.   Here is an excerpt from the article written by Leah Thayer:


It’s a wonder Paul McAlary can sleep at night, so troubled is he by the high-end “designer kitchens” he sees every day in the media.

It’s not necessarily the builder grade cabinets and sloppy grouting and cheesy light fixtures — e.g., the usual fodder of design criticism — that get to him. Nor is it the DIY budgets and airbrushed timelines so often claimed for TV remodels.  Instead, it’s some of the kitchens that are designed by award-winning architects, certified kitchen designers and even, as he learned at a NARI chapter event last week, fellow NARI remodelers.

Too often, they incorporate dangerous code violations and other hazards that “inspectors don’t know anything about,” said the owner of Main Line Kitchen Design, a design firm in the Philadelphia suburb of Narberth. “It’s just not on their radar.” Apparently, it’s not on a great many designers’ radars, either. “Show me almost any kitchen, and I can usually rattle off 10 blatant errors before I even take a close look at the floor plan,” McAlary  said. For a mid-century retro example, take Lucy and Ricky Ricardo’s kitchen, shown below. See if anything strikes you as wrong.

 man pouring coffee in the kitchen

The problem?  The range under the window.  In most jurisdictions, it’s a code violation to place a range less than 12 inches from a window, for a number of reasons. “A fire on the stove can jump to the curtains,” McAlary said. “Or a breeze from an open window can blow out the flame on a gas burner and allow gas to accumulate, potentially causing an explosion.”


Leah Thayer’s article went on to describe many of the other dangers covered in the presentation.


Below are two other beloved TV family’s kitchens.  Can you find the issue that makes them both dangerous?

Mad about You TV show Kitchen couple in the kitchen

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Hoping you don’t have any of these issues.  And of course……

Bon Appetit!


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