Blog Archives

Small kitchen solutions

December 20, 2012

Kitchen/eating área:
Bob and Barbara Murray’s suburban kitchen was small, dark, and cluttered—not exactly an inspiring place to kick off the day. And with five boys (ages 10, 8, 7, 4, and 1), the Murrays did not have home improvements at the top of their to-do list. Space is at a premium in the three-bedroom house, and the 10-by-12-foot kitchen has to serve as the eating área for the children as well as the household command center for the parents. A little clutter-clearing, some white paint, and a few bulletin-board systems make the busiest room in the house a brighter place to start each day.

Kitchen cans

December 13, 2012

Trash Talking:
Kitchen cans for families and budgets of all sizes

In a Household of Sisyphean tasks, taking out the garbage is perhaps the worst of all. You empty the trash can, take the bag outside, and return to the kitchen…where more rubbish has already piled up. It’s no wonder: The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that every American produces 4.46 pounds of solid garbage each day. At the very least, that trash should sit in a respectable receptacle—one that’s large enough and inconspicuous enough to meet your needs, no matter how big your family is. So the next time you roll a boulder-size bag of trash up the hill to the curb, you won’t feel as if it’s rolling back down on top of you.

Reform a mini-kitchen

November 26, 2012

Super Functional.

PROBLEMS
■ In a weekend house, a mini-kitchen, only 3 feet 4 inches by 9 feet 11 inches, needed to be made more functional  and efficient.
■ Homeowners wanted exciting design, lots of storage, a standard-size sink and cooking appliances. They also wanted the view from an adjacent room obscured.

SOLUTIONS.
■ Every inch of space was custom planned for an L-shaped kitchen, including narrow base cabinets to allow more walking-around space, a usable cooktop drawer, rounded cabinetry above the sink that extends all the way to the back wall, and continuous countertops.
■ The sink was installed sideways. A two-burner halogen cooktop can cook or be pressed into service as extra counter space; a large-capacity undercounter refrigerator is sepárate from an undercounter freezer; a microwave serves as the main oven.
■ Light peach-colored cabinetry expands the space visually and blends with the adjacent rooms. Black accents add design interest.
■ Sink is located at the end of the space and cannot be seen from the adjacent room. Microwave is also out of view. Undercounter appliances have panels that match cabinetry to conceal their purpose.

Expand the kitchen

November 16, 2012

PROBLEMS
■ Homeowners are highly social and needed space for their frequent entertaining.
■ The original kitchen had only one small window, which made the room very dark.
■ Owners wish list for the new kitchen included a computer desk, a large bake área, a large informal buffet serving space, room for several cooks and a view of nearby Lake Michigan.
SOLUTIONS
The new kitchen is now open to the dining room. Its large windows allow great views of the lake and it adds space for entertaining.
A large island has a bake área, warming drawer, cooking-wine storage and shelves for a collection of cookbooks on the end, plus a lowered desk área as a computer station.
Architectural columns with centered and raised glass door cabinets hide the activity on the island while providing extra storage and display for glasses and dishes.
An extra oven takes care of the overflow cooking needs.

Kitchen ideas for medium kitchens

November 12, 2012

Travel Influence:

PROBLEMS.
■ Existing kitchen was outdated, cramped and unworkable for two cooks who do extensive traveling in the Pacific Rim región and bring home ideas for entertaining and design.
■ The U-shaped layout had an eating space thar was unused because it was too small to accommodate a table.
■The owners wanted enough room for family and guests to congrégate comfortably in the new kitchen.

SOLUTIONS:
■ The U-shape was changed to an L-shaped design incorporating an island with a snack bar and second sink, which increased storage and work space.
■ A desk and built-in TV were located for easy viewing from the kitchen work área and the seating área.
■ A window wall was added to take advantage of natural daylight and the garden view.
■ Pacific Rim design influences include tile motifs suggesting áreas where owners spend time, custom light fixtures with an Asian motif, a shoji screen door on the desk cabinet, a sushi-style snack counter at the island, asymmetrical cabinet doors with wood grain that changes direction, and dark linear accents on the cabinetry.
■ Indigenous building materials such as cedar ceiling beams and clear vertical grade cabinets, lodgepole pine posts for shelving and locally produced ceramic tile were selected.

Outdoor kitchen appliances reviews

November 9, 2012

Bumping Out

PROBLEMS
■ This two-career family needed more efficiency in their kitchen space for cooking and entertaining.
■ There was no adequate room for dining nearby breakfast nook

SOLUTIONS
■ A bump-out with angled windows and a double sink was added to gain space.
■ The adjacent room became a dining room with a convenient pass-through from the new kitchen.
■ An angled island offers additional prep surface and a place for friends and family to be cióse by but not in the way.
■ The oíd closet-pantry was removed and replaced with sleek, angular, tall cabinets to blend with the rest of the cabinetry and echo the angles in the island and bump-out.

Kitchen refacing

November 7, 2012

Family Activities.

PROBLEMS
■ The existing kitchen was dark and too small to accommodate all the activities of this family of four.
■ The family entertains in the summer months, and guests had to exit through the laundry toom to get to the backyard.
■Thete was no dining área.

SOLUTIONS
■ A small alcove with glass sliding doors was added to the laundry room to provide a breakfast área and direct access to the outdoors.
■ The door to the family room was widened to 6 feet for more light and easier access.
■ All finishes in the room were kept light: A light stain was used on the maple cabinetry, and white walls, ceilings and backsplashes were selected to increase reflected light.
« Recessed lights and undercabinets lights were added.
■ Soffits were removed, cabinet heights were increased and new cabinets were outfitted with specific storage. An island with a second sink for food prep and more countertop space for serving was added.
■ A desk área was placed at the end of the cabinets so children could do homework with supervisión but not interfere with meal preparation.

Porcelain tile tops the counters

October 23, 2012

Porcelain tile tops the counters throughout, including the narrow unit beside the island that
contains bookshelves, pullout drawers for utensils, pots and pans and a niche for the
microwave. Suspended from the angled stainless steel backsplash behind the range is a
condiment rack. In creating this expanded kitchen, the designer not only eliminated built in
spaces but also removed a 30- by 30-inch brick chimney that once housed double ovens.

Kitchen with two cooks

October 21, 2012

An eat-in kitchen with room for two cooks to work independently plus a colorful bistro theme was the goal of this elegant remodeling.
The kitchen of this 60s contemporary in Reno, Nevada, lay between the living and family rooms, so expanding it ftom 250 to 300 squate feet required removing a pantry and an adjacent broom closet. The owners needed more space because of their particular cooking needs. The husband is the principal chef; the wife is his prep help. “We had to set up two work áreas,” says kitchen designer Louise Gilmartin. “In his área is the stove, and he can turn around and have counter space to work at. In her área is the sink, and she, too, can turn around and have working counter space. There is also counter space on either side of the sink and stove.” Extra counter height was another consideration, as both homeowners are tall.
Their house is infused with color, which is more intense—and playful—in the kitchen than elsewhere. “It’s them,” says the designer. “They knew the colors and the excitement they wanted in that kitchen.” For richness and style, the couple chose “Cheshire” cabinets in cherry from Heritage for base cabinets and added still more color with louvered-door wall-hung cabinets in maple, also from Heritage. Existing oak flooring was refinished, stained and, in the appropriated spaces, extended. Natural light comes through skylights tucked beween the ceiling beams and is supported by pendant lights and halogen cable lighting.
The eating section of the curved island is %-inch glass mounted on a cherry base. “Glass block forms the pedestal underneath,” says Gilmartin, “and behind the glass is a revolving color wheel that changes from blue to red, yellow, green and purple. It can also be stopped at whatever color is desired at the moment.”

Corian countertops

October 19, 2012

The smooth surface of the Corian countertops is offset by large 13- by 13-inch ceramic floor tiles fabricated to resemble worn stone. “The floor has some mauve in it, and some grays, greens and other earth tones,” says designer Kinon. The gentle arch that frames the window over the sink is repeated in the divider that separates kitchen and dining area and neatly conceals a downdraft cooktop. See Buying Guide for details.

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