One of my very favorite parts of the design process is space planning and considering all the possible floor plan solutions at the beginning stages of the project. What works for one person as a solution may not be the best solution for the next. What you think you want going into the process, may change once all the space planning options are considered. This was exactly the case for this family. They thought they really wanted an island configuration. Here is the before of the room that shows the island laid out on the floor.
Once we figured out the flow of the work triangle and saw how great a large peninsula would work for the family, we proceeded along those lines. The peninsula not only works great for food prep, it also allows more of a traditional table seating versus an island with everyone lined up in a row — not so great for daily dinner conversation. In addition, the lot is a private setting with views out to a beautiful yard, one of the reasons they purchased the home. Locating the sink on the peninsula allowed for views into the yard which the original concept did not.
In addition to a functional work triangle, another request was to engineer a hidden pantry that looked like cabinets but that actually accesses a small walk in pantry. We accomplished this by engineering a false door to the left of the refrigerator that opens on cabinet hinges. To the right of that is a counter depth fridge and a speed oven which gives some flexibility with cooking and reheating smaller meals instead of having to heat the entire oven. An induction cooktop with its easy to clean surface keeps the space looking clean and tidy. Induction heats very quickly to high temperatures so is also wonderful to cook on.
To the right of cooktop is a long stretch of countertop perfect for prep space. The skylight above, along with undercabinet lighting and recessed cans throughout the space, offers a bright and cheerful spot for cooking family meals.
Storage was very important as the homeowners had a pretty good collection of dishes and other items to be considered. We took our time discussing where spice pull outs and tray dividers would be located, how the corner storage would be addressed and the location of the other items such as trash and recycling cans. We worked as many drawers as possible into the space, as I always recommend drawers over doors and/or roll outs as they offer the most flexibility and ease of use. Customizing these details is time well spent as having a place for everything and everything in its place, just like Mom said, really is the key to a functional and professionally designed kitchen. Open shelving is both functional and gives a nice visual break to the room.
The talls and wall cabinets are white acrylic which combined with the white marble look quartz countertops and full height backsplash keep the room feeling light, bright and airy. The wood toned base cabinets are made of a textured laminate that has the look of wood but is a very easy to maintain product. Brushed gold metal on the hardware, faucet and chandelier add a warm touch and ties into the blond maple flooring. The homeowner originally thought they wanted undercabinet LED lighting that would change colors. We kept the undercabinet lighting, but instead found a hood that came equipped with subtle changing colors which we all agreed was an elegant solution. The neighboring breakfast room was also remodeled as part of the project and houses a small coffee station.