Iconic TV Kitchens: The Big Bang Theory


From Mystic Warlords of Ka’a to Dungeons and Dragons to scientific breakthroughs, the iconic kitchen and open floor plan of Sheldon and Leonard’s apartment from The Big Bang Theory has housed many laughs and even more Bazingas. And when you look a bit closer, particularly at the kitchen, it’s clear to see that the design and functionality of this beloved space is thoughtful and well executed. Move over Schrödinger’s Cat, there’s no uncertainty that while the kitchen appears chaotic on the exterior, under a Scion toaster, batman cookie jar, periodic table of element chart, and mathematic equations, that this kitchen has a lot of exciting features that find themselves still trending even in today’s industry. Set phasers to stun and get ready to be stunned by these practical elements of the iconic kitchen. 

Einstein described insanity as doing the same thing over and over without any difference in outcomes. And while the gang of The Big Bang Theory found themselves gravitating towards the kitchen space in similar fashion throughout the series, their interactions were always unique and fresh for the viewer. Starting with the backdrop, the BBT kitchen features honey oak cabinets and copper finish knobs. Honey oak, in addition to the style of cabinet door fronts, gives off a traditional look and feel in what’s otherwise a very modern setting. Although there’s contrasting styles here, honey oak absorbs the hung light fixture as well as the production lights, making the space feel warm and inviting. White marble countertops blend with the cabinetry and are accentuated by a stainless-steel faucet and sink, perfect for defrosting a steak…unless Leonard ruins it. Sea-foam green, vertically stacked backsplash tile provides a very 80s or 90s vibe, perhaps a perfect example of how the guys are slightly out of touch with “in” and the “now”. 

Perhaps one of the most exciting pieces of this kitchen is the butcher’s block island, which has housed anything from French Toast Thursdays (when it’s oatmeal day) and the experiment that rendered the elevator bust. Placed on wheels, butcher’s block islands can come and go as they please and are still staples in kitchen design today. The accessibility and mobility make it a versatile choice while providing practicality and functionality for the novice and experienced chef alike. Storage underneath allows for anything from additional cookware to Sheldon’s plans for world domination. 

Leonard and Sheldon have a combined IQ of 360, and this is the reason they most likely opted for open shelving and hanging stemware. Very western-influenced design choices, both open shelving and hanging stemware allow for anything from pots and pans to hang seamlessly from the wall while open shelving allows you to easily grab and go, a championed choice for functionality. Especially considering the fact that California apartment living restricts your space, getting creative with ways to utilize your space and make a home for every kitchen item is vital.  

While Sheldon finds himself trying to control all aspects of life with organization at the forefront, it’s ironic that the kitchen finds itself in the state of what can best be described as organized chaos. From appliance placement to many other cookware and accessories scattered around the space, perhaps this goes to show that insanity and ingenuity may just go hand in hand. Although the appliances could use an update. 

Throughout the seasons, The Big Bang Theory kitchen became part of a space that the cast members naturally gravitated towards. From breaking up conversations dripped in tensions to various parties, and date nights, there’s something to be said about the power a kitchen has when properly utilized in a sitcom. And I think that translates outside of sitcoms as, while we may not find ourselves in as such heightened experiences as these characters, we can still gravitate towards the comfort of the kitchen with the people we care about. 

 

 





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