Retro TV Kitchen – The Golden Girls

“Retro TV Kitchens” was series of blog posts created to introduce the somewhat esoteric subject of Kitchen Design to the average homeowner using a familiar touchpoint, in a light-hearted, and approachable manner.


“Thank you for being a friend.”

Being a retired widow in Miami never seemed to be quite as fun until we met Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia. At least one Golden Girl would always have a story to share that helped another one through whatever kooky situation she’d gotten herself into that week. Occasionally, Sophia would make up some unbelievably outlandish story. Other times, Rose would treat us to one of her gut-busting non sequiturs. Despite the animosity sometimes seen between the characters, the way the old gals always came together to support one another is just one reason the show can still be seen in syndication.

The layout of the Golden Girls’ home and the kitchen could be described as a precursor to what’s known today as “living in place” design. The house only has one floor for ease of mobility as the occupants age. The door to the kitchen seems slightly wider than normal to perhaps accommodate a wheelchair, and the kitchen door swings open both ways to further minimize any obstructions. The kitchen cabinetry and decor could almost be called a caricature of 1980’s tastes and colors! Indeed, many CliqStudios customers are replacing kitchens which they themselves term as “Golden-Girls-looking.”

The next time you catch a Golden Girls rerun, here are some fun facts about their kitchen to keep in mind:

  • The tablecloth on the kitchen table changes for every episode. Sometimes to match what the characters are wearing; sometimes to not clash with it!
  • So that no character would have her back to the camera, the kitchen table only has three chairs! Whenever all four Girls would sit together, a counter stool would be pulled in from the butcher-block kitchen island.
  • Dorothy always sat in the middle at the kitchen table. Not only because she was so tall, but this way the camera would be sure to catch all of Bea Arthur’s famous facial expressions.
  • The Girls were to originally have a flamboyant butler/cook. “Coco” was dropped once it became apparent that a lot of the main action would occur in the kitchen, and the additional character would be a distraction.
  • The entire kitchen set was a hand-me-down from a short-lived series in the early 1980’s called “It Takes Two,” which starred Richard Crenna, Patty Duke Austin, and a very young Helen Hunt.