Last Call: Tell us about the weirdest kitchen designs you’ve ever seen

1950s housewife smiling sitting on countertop
Yes! I am having the time of my life with this knotty pine backsplash!
Photo: Debrocke/ClassicStock (Getty Images)

Earlier today, we reported on a dubious list of 2021 kitchen trends published in Southern Living. With suggestions like all-black kitchen accents and textured kitchen walls (???), one might conclude that the magazine’s interior design experts have never cleaned a real-life kitchen.


The list got us thinking about other strange examples of kitchen design that we’ve seen in our many years as renters and Zillow lurkers. Like, I once toured an apartment with a “built-in trash can” that was, no joke, a big hole in the floor. The kitchen was shotgun-style leading to the back door, and right in front of the door was a hole about a foot across and maybe two feet deep. “You can put a plant in it, you can put your trash in it,” the broker told me. “Whatever you want.” Whatever you want!

That got the team talking about weirdo kitchen choices we’ve seen, like this absolutely mystifying kitchen island. (Kitchen pulpit?) Now, we’d like to hear from you. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen in a kitchen? Mysterious tiny drawers, perhaps? Puppet-themed decor? Shag carpet backsplash? Do tell.

Staff writer @ The Takeout, joke writer elsewhere. Wrangling dogs and pork shoulder in Chicago.


My house, when I bought it, had a freaking nightmare of a kitchen. I got my house for about $50k below market value, because the previous home owners had done a lot of their own work.

In theory, it had a long galley kitchen. The walls were textured; and painted a urine yellow. Yes, that was the color. The ceiling, which went through most of the house was that gray a white t-shirt becomes after a dozen or so bleach free washes.

On the left was a partition wall that hid the fridge, then a small counter then a doorway that was 2' wide. When I redid the kitchen, I expanded this to just under 3', as the counter had a huge empty spot next to it.

Again, looking into the kitchen from the dining room was the stove wall. Normal, except for the vented hood. Which zigged right, then up a foot, then left, then up into the attic, then vented into the air for maximum mold growth. Which made no sense, as there was a capped vent through the roof just a few feet away.

The right side was the worst. The upper cabinets went from the back wall to a foot before the sink. You couldn’t get into the back corner because of where the abnormally small door was in relation to the corner. The lowers were not much better, with no real access to the back corner. These cabinets extended to the sink, then stopped. There was almost 6 feet of empty space before you got to the doors that led outside in the dining room area.

There were three electrical circuits in the kitchen, two of which were required to be grounded - and they were. The non grounded one was improperly wired into the same circuit that all of the houses bedrooms were on. And if you plugged an appliance into it, you would trip the breaker.

The grounded circuits were better. One was wired into the same circuit as used by the washing machine in the garage. The other was wired into the same circuit as used by the circuit used by the outlets used outside and the outdoor lighting provided by the builder.

The final touch? They installed a chair rail in the dining room, which was open into the kitchen, that had about a 1/2 degree slant to it. So that 1 side was about 1/2 inch higher than the other by the time it wrapped the room (accounting for the open spaces).