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L.A.’s Latest Real Estate Craze: Homes with Two Kitchens

By Merle Ginsberg -- May 25, 2021 -- - July 19, 2021

While it’s well documented that people got into cooking and baking during the pandemic lockdown (who could forget sourdough Instagram?), the latest must-have item for monied homebuyers might come as a surprise to the, uh, less monied among us.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the number of kitchens in a particular home’s listing is now as important as the number of bedrooms and baths. “On more than 50 percent of our projects, our clients are demanding two kitchens,” says Mauricio Oberfeld of high-end SoCal builder Dugally Oberfeld. “It’s a trend that has taken off in recent years and has only accelerated during the pandemic.”

Why two kitchens? Those who like to entertain at home apparently desire one fully stocked, well-designed “show kitchen” for family and friends, and one “prep kitchen.” THR interviewed a variety of real estate professionals who pointed out various listings being snapped up by hungry potential homeowners. David Kelmenson of Compass describes an 11,600-square-foot, seven-bedroom home for sale in Pacific Palisades that’s perfect for today’s L.A. big time consumer: seven bedrooms and two kitchens for about $12 million. The family kitchen, Kelmenson explains, is “your everyday place to make cereal or toast”—and down a short hallway, a prep kitchen is a “work-horse, if you’re cooking Thanksgiving or have a private chef or caterer come in.” In short: the perfect celebrity-friendly home.

Well-situated Los Angeles houses with two kitchens are running in the $10 million-plus range, since two kitchens generally means there’s a lot square footage involved. For the wealthy, the trend isn’t new, but it’s been kicked up a notch by the pandemic. “People now want more things under one roof,” Kelmenson explains. That also means gyms, swimming pools, and double home office space—which means L.A. contractors and architects are much more in demand as well. Call it trickle-down construction.

The two-kitchen trend piggybacks on the proliferation of open floor plans. With fewer walls, owners suddenly want a kitchen that isn’t exposed to everyone.

Mauricio Oberfeld explains, “We are seeing a tremendous uptick in this trend. The trend of the ‘chef’s kitchen’ has grown.”

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