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Second Kitchens

A builder friend has survived the Depression by remodelling higher priced tract homes in the suburbs.

His biggest money maker? Basement kitchens.

Apparently, these clients keep a pristine main kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and furniture-grade cabinetry just for resale value. They reheat and eat in their basement recreation rooms.

Is this a Midwest thing?

by Anonymousreply 2811/11/2013

Smart man.

by Anonymousreply 111/10/2013

No it is an Italian thing...they been doing it for years.

by Anonymousreply 211/10/2013

I have a wet bar downstairs. It's a man cave I built. It took me 9 weeks to create this space and I love it.

I have a bar with a small sink and a microwave and a small 8 bottle wine cooler, a small frig and a small freezer. I have a billiard table and one 1980's Atari coin operated asteroids arcade game console. Took me 5 years to rebuild it. Oh, and a 65 inch plasma tv. I have my eye on a 1982 Defender arcade game.

My husband (yes, we're married) is not permitted in my inner sanctum and has to use the intercom if his hole needs attention or dinner is ready.

by Anonymousreply 311/10/2013

Maybe they're planning to use the basement as an apartment or a separate living quarters for a grandmother or something?

by Anonymousreply 411/10/2013

Actually a basement kitchen is a good investment. You can finish the basement and rent it out.

by Anonymousreply 511/10/2013

It's a Portuguese thing too. Here in Canada any basement with a complete bathroom and kitchen is usually owned by Europeans.

by Anonymousreply 611/10/2013

Is he a fit builder?

by Anonymousreply 711/10/2013

Oy, no, R7. He's lean and ferrel-looking - a very good carpenter.

by Anonymousreply 811/10/2013

In the summer you can use the basement oven and not heat up the main floor.

by Anonymousreply 911/10/2013

R8 - what is ferrel? Do you mean feral?

by Anonymousreply 1011/10/2013

Maybe he looks like Will Ferrell.

by Anonymousreply 1111/10/2013

[quote] I have my eye on a 1982 Defender arcade game.

Oh God. I love that game. I used to play it in college. If I ever find one in working order I am going to buy it for my basement.

by Anonymousreply 1211/10/2013

I have a slightly damaged Frogger, if you're interested.

by Anonymousreply 1311/10/2013

and its a Polish thing too. Always called it the Polish kitchen - as opposed to the Polish walk in, which is when you used your attached unheated enclosed back porch for a refrigerator in the cold months. Its primary purpose I believe was to keep the house cool when you had sauce simmering for hours, or stuffed cabbage in the oven...

by Anonymousreply 1411/10/2013

[quote] I have a billiard table and one 1980's Atari coin operated asteroids arcade game console. Took me 5 years to rebuild it. Oh, and a 65 inch plasma tv. I have my eye on a 1982 Defender arcade game

Do you have to TELL people you're homosexual?

by Anonymousreply 1511/10/2013

Only on Thursdays R15

by Anonymousreply 1611/10/2013

I'd love if my mother built (me) a kitchen in her basement.

by Anonymousreply 1711/10/2013

I live in CA and my house has a basement kitchen (which I don't use). Basements in CA are unusual enough. The house was built in 1939 by someone with the last name "Scott" who used to live in the midwest. I was told that it was primarily for use during the summer and it makes a lot of sense. Valley summers can be brutal and it's about 20 degrees cooler in the basement. There used to be a really cool old fashioned Wedgewood stove (kind of like the one at the link) down there.

by Anonymousreply 1811/10/2013

I thought it was an italian thing too..

by Anonymousreply 1911/10/2013

I remember their being Italian. Maybe in Pittsburgh. Or Phila. Or Queens.

by Anonymousreply 2011/10/2013

[quote]Polish walk in, which is when you used your attached unheated enclosed back porch for a refrigerator in the cold months.

I never heard it called that, but we did use the porch that way when we lived on the east coast & in the midwest -- very convenient.

Now we're on the west coast & the back porch is usually cool enough to hold food temporarily while preparing big meals on Thanksgiving & Christmas, but it never gets cold enough for storage.

by Anonymousreply 2111/10/2013

r14, I have such memories of my Grandmother's Polish Kitchen - remember my grandfather in his undershirt eating tomatoes at the kitchen table in the cellar. My grandma had a fully stocked pantry down there and a complete second kitchen setup. By the way, the reason is not just that it's cooler in summer but also the cooking smells don't permeate the house. Cabbage, bacon, onions are always a'fryin in a Polish home.

Also remember my Italian friend's basement was just the same - her Dad used to hang prosciutto to dry in the basement and make homemade mozzarella!

I'm from Buffalo, NY so lots of European heritage and lots of basement kitchens...

by Anonymousreply 2211/10/2013

The town I grew up in had quite a few basement houses. They were popular during the Great Depression. The idea was that you built the basement and lived in it, and once you had enough money you built a real house on top of it. Of course there was a kitchen in the basement, and most people never removed it when the added the main floor.

Actually, a surprising number of people were quite content to just keep living in their basement house. When I was a kid there was a little street with nothing but basement houses. It looked like something out of The Shire in Lord of the rings.

by Anonymousreply 2311/11/2013

Wow, that's cool, R23.

by Anonymousreply 2411/11/2013

In my day Kitchens were in the cellar or lower ground floor) as well as the scullery, laundry, larder, the servants hall and the room of the housekeeper. There was no Kitchen on the main floor.

A few years ago I finished my basement to include a bar with a microwave and a 2 burner cooktop, a 65" TV, Laundry Room, Pantry and big overstuffed leather furniture. The majority of the basement is just the one big room with narrow french doors on the back wall by the stairs for the Laundry and Pantry. What was a cold room under the porch was made larger by moving the wall beck into the house another 6 feet A hidden door built into bookshelves on that way (the most expensive bit, those shelves) behind is is my playroom that most people never notice is there. Friends who I play with always find it funny when i'm entertaining in the basement with a dungeon a few feet away that they have no clue is there.

by Anonymousreply 2511/11/2013

Cute thread, but where are the grammar nazis when we need them?

by Anonymousreply 2611/11/2013

I never understood the folks who could do anything in a sub-level cave.

Unless the basement has a walk out and full windows on one side, it's a dank pit.

by Anonymousreply 2711/11/2013

My mother told me that Italians built vacation "houses" in an oceanfront town near ours in the 1940s where the whole house was below ground because they didn't have to pay taxes. They had a removable roof and claimed the house was still under construction. .

It was like camping, but with a real kitchen in the days before Airstreams.

by Anonymousreply 2811/11/2013
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