Designing a Kitchen for Co-Living: 7 Must-Haves

Read the 7 must-have features when designing a kitchen for co-living

July 13, 2022

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PadSplit’s co-living model is a great option compared to traditional rentals because PadSplit Hosts rarely have a 100% vacant property. Our award-winning rent by the room model means even if one Member moves out, your property still has occupants. That also means you need to consider co-living when renovating and designing your PadSplit property. Not only does this help property owners with upkeep, but it also means they are continuing to collect rent from current residents.

Our average Member tenure is nine months, and many Members stay even longer if their current PadSplit meets all their needs. Here are 7 must-have items when designing your kitchen for co-living.

7 Must-Have Items When Designing a Kitchen for Co-living

Two Refrigerators

Designing a kitchen with only one refrigerator is a common PadSplit renovation mistake. Think about it: residents often share the groceries in a traditional rental property’s kitchen. However, in a PadSplit co-living space, it’s more common for each resident to purchase and use individual groceries. That adds up to a lot of gallons of milk! 

When there are more than seven bedrooms in a property, we strongly recommend adding a second fridge to the PadSplit. The extra refrigerator provides additional space for the residents to store their food, and it will also help minimize complaints and frustrations within the house. We’ve seen PadSplit Hosts label shelves with the room number, so Members have designated storage areas within the fridges.


At PadSplit, we recommend our Members abide by a “no dishes in the sink” policy. While it is one more appliance for maintenance, providing a dishwasher proves to be a valued investment from Members and increases the cleanliness of the heart of the home.

Cleanliness Posters

Don’t underestimate the power of an old-fashioned sign. Hanging posters in PadSplit properties is a cheap, easy, and efficient method to promote cleanliness and protect your property. You can download and laminate posters for durability. PadSplit Hosts can download the recommended posters in PDF format and see where to post them for maximum effectiveness.

Durable Surfaces

There’s a reason kitchens are considered the heart of homes. They’re hard-working and see a lot of use from the residents. You don’t need to splurge on high-end materials like marble, but we recommend thinking about the cost per use when designing your kitchen for co-living. Replacing existing tile countertops with granite countertops will help optimize for ease of cleaning and operational efficiency. Hard surfaces that withstand cleaning chemicals are best. While more expensive upfront, Granite countertops are far more durable than laminate or tile.

Adequate Storage

While some Members choose to store their kitchen supplies or non-perishable goods in their private rooms, it’s still essential to have adequate storage if they choose to store supplies in the kitchen. Ensure you have enough cabinet space for each Member to have a dedicated shelf for storage, and label the shelves with room numbers similar to the refrigerator so everyone knows their dedicated areas. A bonus of designated areas? It will make it easier for “room turns” because Hosts and property managers will know which food should be discarded from fridges and cabinets after a Member moves out.

A Place to Eat

A big part of the PadSplit model is converting underutilized space into additional bedrooms, but it’s essential to make sure you leave room for a place to eat when renovating your PadSplit. Depending on your kitchen’s floorplan, you may opt for barstools at a countertop or a dining table and chairs. The dining set will make it easy for PadMates to mingle during mealtime if desired, but it will also give Members another place to eat instead of their bedrooms, which could help prevent pest control or cleanliness issues.

Cleaning Supplies

PadSplit requires all new property listings to come with cleaning supplies before activation. Though it is not required, we highly recommend PadSplit Hosts continue to re-stock these items as Members move in and out. It removes a barrier to cleaning and will establish a safe and clean home as it encourages Members to maintain the house on their own.

Final Thoughts on Designing a Kitchen for Co-Living

Unlike other short-term rental options such as extended-stay motels, having access to a full kitchen helps PadSplit Members save money on food costs and live a healthier lifestyle. Take some time to incorporate these 7 must-have items when renovating and designing your PadSplit kitchen to provide the optimal Member experience and reduce your maintenances and turnovers. 

Header Photo by Zac Gudakov on Unsplash

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