This client had many "must haves" for her kitchen --
the key one being an eating area with 6 chairs around a standard
height table. Also on the list were a built-in wall oven and
microwave; hidden small appliance storage; a door between the
kitchen and adjoining dining room; and a telephone and message
centre. Further complications were heavily used traffic paths
to the dining room as well as the backyard (for frequent excursions
by the family pooch).
Key to the success of the new layout would be the practical
allocation of work zones for clean-up, prep, and cooking, based
on the family's lifestyle. The previous layout had all of the
work area confined to a U-configuration on one side of the room
-- so tight that one could barely load the dishwasher while standing
at the sink -- while a long wall opposite was devoted almost
entirely to a generous desk space. Storage was pretty good although
inconvenient, but function made no sense at all.
Now, instead of the wasteful desk area, we have a tiny cabinet
housing a phone and message center at the end of a large cooking
zone. At the center of this zone, a cook-top surmounts a series
of wide, deep drawers that efficiently store pots and pans. Conveniently
and logically book-ending the stove are a deep pantry and a cabinet
with built-in wall oven and microwave. The sink remains in its
previous location under the window, but with the peninsula eliminated,
the dishwasher is easily accessible.
Entertaining extended family often involves shared kitchen
duties, so clean-up and cooking zones must be well-separated.
The room's just-over 12' width permitted us a narrow island,
which acts as a buffer between the two areas. It also functions
as a prep zone, baking zone, and buffet; hides small appliances
and pull-out trash bins; and keeps traffic out of an in-use work
area. All this functionality is packed into a 2 1/2' x 4 1/2'
With so much furniture and cabinetry in a relatively small
space, we decided to keep the finishes mainly light and airy.
Pale wood cabinets set against soft blue-green shades create
a restful ambiance. The watery tone of the glass subway tiles
has been carried onto the walls, and is echoed in the frosted
glass used for tabletop and door inserts. Stainless steel mosaic
tiles accent the backsplash and tie in with the stainless steel
appliances. Minimalist modern glass pendants highlight the island.
To keep it all from being too bland, we added some drama with
countertops in bold granite -- deep teal flecked with gold -
and dark frames for the breakfast table and chairs.