They don’t make 'em like they used to.
This adage certainly applies when it comes to the kitchens in many newer condos.
For some reason, it’s now the norm to step into a newer condo and find the kitchen sitting open against one wall. No wrap-around counter top. Not much in the way of cupboard space. And not at all what buyers would've accepted a few years ago.
How did this happen?
Well, it falls in line with the continuing trend towards smaller and smaller spaces. Having the kitchen sit open against one wall allows developers to squeeze “more” into less square footage. And less square footage per unit means more units per building which, in turn, translates into more profit for the developer.
Fair enough, but it’s the residents who are getting the short end of the stick here.
Take a look at the floor plan below and you'll see what I'm talking about.
The kitchen occupies a relatively small stretch of space along the far right wall. There is a small bit of counter space on either side of the sink, but barely enough for a microwave, toaster oven, or coffee maker. Of course you could add a floating breakfast bar, but that's going to eat into some of the floor space needed to pass from the entrance way to the bedroom and/or living/dining room. And then where the heck do you put a dining room table?
Now here's an example of a much better kitchen. This is a classic one-bedroom floor plan. You can see that the kitchen here offers plenty of counter space and there's certainly enough room for a (small) dining table in addition to the living room set-up.
It is interesting to note that both of these floor plans are pretty close to one another in terms of actual square footage. Both sit within that 500 - 525 sq ft range. It's how they use the square footage that makes the difference.
Granted, the first layout has a few disadvantages from the get-go. Most notably the fact that a chunk of space in the upper-left-hand corner is cut-out. This is probably to accommodate the elevator shaft. Or maybe even part of the suite next door.
Regardless, the kitchen in the first layout is very representative of what you'll see in many newer condos. And it's too bad.
It's frustrating for me as a realtor because I get clients who want all the finishes, features, bells, and whistles of a new condo... and a kick-ass kitchen to boot. The reality is that the two don't always go hand-in-hand. Often, getting the "classic" kitchen layout means purchasing a suite that's a bit less than brand-new.
It's a compromise. But then again, when isn't compromise part of the equation in buying a piece of Toronto real estate?
If you’re thinking of making a move and would like to know how I can help, feel free to contact me for more info.