What Is A Wet Kitchen And Dry Kitchen?

PropertyGuru Editorial Team
What Is A Wet Kitchen And Dry Kitchen?
A kitchen is the heart of a home – many people bond over mealtimes, and the kitchen is where all those delicious meals are prepared.
Here in Malaysia, kitchens are sometimes split into ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ types. The wet kitchen caters to more heavy or intensive cooking, while the dry kitchen is used for simpler preparations.
Both kitchens are usually positioned next to each other to facilitate easy movement between them. Not every home comes equipped with both wet and dry kitchens, though.
However, this isn’t a major issue since most dry kitchens can be improvised to do the job of a wet one. Let’s learn more about both, and what you can find in each of them.

What is a Wet Kitchen?

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The wet kitchen is named as such, because it’s where most of the cooking and ‘messy’ prep work take place.
Butchering and cleaning non-vegetarian items like meats and fish, as well as deep-frying or cooking items that have strong smells usually occur in the wet kitchen.
The sink and dishwasher, as well as cooking appliances such as the stove and oven, are placed in this area.
Due to the nature of the activities here, the wet kitchen requires more effort to clean and maintain than the dry kitchen.
In terms of layout, it’s best to position the cooktops as close to the windows as possible for better ventilation.
Even if there’s a hood and/or ventilating fan, the strategic placement will help to stimulate air circulation in the wet kitchen and minimize odours and mould.

3 Inspiring Wet Kitchen Designs

1) Bright and airy

Image source from Qanvast.
This wet kitchen makes the best of its angle in the house, utilizing precious natural light and ventilation to create a bright and airy space, and the cooktops are just by the window so that odours dissipate quicker.
Finished off with high-gloss floor-to-ceiling kitchen cabinets with hidden handles for ample storage, the smooth, bright surfaces help the space appear bigger and less cluttered.

2) Earthy and modern

Image source from Lazern.
If you prefer a colour palette that’s not too blindingly white, this wet kitchen strikes a good balance between dark and bright colours, emphasising on neutral wood tones and a polished mirror finish for the skirting, edges, and the lower ceiling cabinets.

3) Focus on the bold statement

Image source from 1001homedesign.
This wet kitchen’s statement wall is sure to catch everybody’s attention, because how often do you see a statement wall that blends in perfectly with the kitchen hood AND floor, all while maintaining an effortless look that doesn’t scream high maintenance?
The positioning of the windows and washing-up area is high-key strategic too, as the windowsills provide just enough space for you to begin your herb garden!

What is a Dry Kitchen?

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The dry kitchen, on the other hand, is used for light meal preparations.
This area is used for the ‘drier’ and simpler activities, such as making toast, cutting vegetables and fruit, or microwaving leftovers.
This is where one would generally place appliances such as the fridge, coffee maker, and microwave. It also requires less intensive cleaning than its wet counterpart.

3 Cool Dry Kitchen Designs For Your Inspiration

1) Blackhole meets timber

A swanky and harmonious mix of black and timber, this dry kitchen looks and feels like it belongs in a movie! The bar counter is designed with varying heights so you can stand and prep food, or sit and sip on some wine while dining.
Even though the backsplash comes across as dark and maybe moody, the hidden LED lighting definitely perks it up and blends well with the other elements.
Not forgetting the statement light fixtures, this dry kitchen is every artist’s dream come true!

2) Innovatively simple

Image source from Qanvast.
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of this dry kitchen — every tiny detail has actually been meticulously planned and crafted, all down to the last centimetre.
For instance, the seamless integration of the microwave and oven into the kitchen cabinets, and the unique power extension track that’s just as convenient as it is trendy: that’s one way to make a small kitchen stand out!

3) A splash of colour

Image source from Creativehomex.
For some, a kitchen should be lively and colourful (but not too many colours!) and this is a great example of a kitchen that doesn’t go too overboard with all the colours in the rainbow.
Using 2 primary colours — blue and yellow — to create standout elements, the clean colour of the kitchen cabinets and countertops ties all the colours together, harmoniously.
Of course, you can opt for other colours to make your dry kitchen pop, like pastel hues or bright red!

Why separate the wet kitchen and dry kitchen?

Is it necessary to separate your kitchen into a wet and dry one? It isn’t absolutely necessary, but if it benefits your lifestyle and you have the means to, it’s a good option.
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1) Lifestyle

If you cook meals for your family often, then having a dedicated wet kitchen for this heavy task will benefit you more.
If you’re single, or living with just your partner, then you may not have the need for one. This is especially if most of your meal prep consists of simple, light cooking.
This also applies to busy homeowners. In the end, it boils down to how intensive your cooking needs are.

2) Aesthetic considerations

Having separate kitchens is a great way to add more space to your living and dining areas. A wet kitchen, typically hidden away, can be twice as large as a dry kitchen.
This is due to the presence of a sink, stoves, pots, pans, and other cooking accessories.
On the other hand, basic appliances like a toaster, microwave oven, and coffee machine are enough for a dry kitchen.
By adding furnishings such as a bar counter, a dry kitchen can double up as an additional dining or entertaining spot.
The bar counter can also be used for food prep or a casual workplace space, and its position in the centre of the home will stimulate creativity and freedom!

What should I keep in the wet kitchen and dry kitchen?

Given that the wet kitchen and dry kitchen will be used for different types of meal preparations, what you’ll stock in each will naturally differ as well. Here are some of the things you can equip a wet kitchen and dry kitchen with.
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1) Wet kitchen:

  • Rice cooker
  • Stoves
  • Tap and sink
  • Knives and chopping board
  • Cookware such as pots and pans
  • A variety of seasonings
  • Dinnerware
  • Utensils

2) Dry kitchen:

  • Toaster
  • Coffee machine
  • Electric stoves
  • Tap and sink (optional)
  • Fruit knives and chopping board
  • Serving plates
  • Baking equipment
  • Utensils
  • Basic seasonings like salt and pepper
  • Pop-up power tower (optional)
Ultimately, whether you decide to have both a wet kitchen and dry kitchen will depend on your lifestyle needs. If you dine out often, there’s probably no need for a wet kitchen.
Nonetheless, you could still furnish it as an area to prepare simple meals, and keep a smaller dry kitchen that also doubles as a dining area.
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