Islands Defined: Multifunctional Service with a Purpose

The kitchen island is a relative of the big farm worktable.  Today’s island is often more than a table: it’s a mini-kitchen with cabinets below, a pot rack above, seating area and an embedded cook-top, or sink, for prep efficiency.  Such designs, make for a delightful conversational experience, for both the cook, and their guests.

Defining Space

This island has a dual purpose: it defines space, separating the kitchen from the adjoining area and provides an adequate serving & storage solution to accommodate daily and entertaining demands.

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Command Central

Although, this island doesn’t accommodate seating, the rich cabinetry provides storage for cookware & serving pieces.  It also serves as a multifunctional prep solution; ideal for dual cook house-holds.

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A Gathering Place

An extra-large island, centered in the middle of the kitchen, provides a wide expanse of serving area and dining space, while also allowing the cook to remain engaged with eager guest.

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Multi-Functional

Butcher block, prep sink, additional storage, and counter space makes this the ultimate multifunctional island.  In the middle of the island, the over-hang maximizes use and minimizes space, by design.  The cook is invited to sit & read a recipe or sip a cup of tea; or an on-looker can enjoy conversation with the cook.

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Pantry Designs

The Pantry adds much needed storage and function to today’s kitchen.  Buying in bulk has breathed new life into the pantry, as well as, housing food staples and on-the-go snack solutions.  Thankfully, a pantry can be designed and placed in most kitchens, whether as a 3-in shelf between studs or as a walk-in version.

Your dream kitchen will take some planning to meet the current needs of your household.  The Pantry is a big part of that overall plan.  Examine your current pantry…What are the strong points? What would you like to change? Is it too small?  Does it lack storage?

Listed below are a few Pantry options to help you along the way.

BackDoorPantry_600Back Door Drop-off

This pantry is strategically positioned at the back door of the home.  This works will as a drop-off spot for groceries, and lightens the load, for putting away dry goods & such.  Shallow adjustable wire shelves, are practical for quick & easy referencing; while wide & deep nooks, handle dishes and larger bulk objects.SSS_TMF_WHT FOOD PTRY-600

Storage for Cooking & Baking Essentials

This pantry is configured and spaced for a wide range of cookware, baking tools and a choice of bulk items. A focal-point from kitchen to dinning room; the sheer panel doors softens this unexpected storage space.

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A Show of Collection

Why hide the dishes when you can show them off?  This eclectic collection is a centerpiece, at a major intersection, between kitchen & living room.  The light sheer panels allow a complementary, hue of color, to peek through; adding beauty and interest to this space.

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A Butler’s Station

The Butler’s Pantry is a traditional concept that has seen a rebirth, even though butlers are largely extinct.  Formally, these pantries act as a transition between the formal area and the home’s working space.  In today’s context, they offer the same transition, as well as, space for storing dishware, prep, beverage refills, and space for additional cooking and/or baking.

WalkINPantry_600The Walk-IN Pantry

The functional Walk-In Pantry is designed with fixed & adjustable shelving, wire baskets for cooking essentials, and planned storage for wine.  Shelving support systems are configured, and spaced differently, for a vast variety of storing needs.  Whether housing cookware, dishes, can goods, baskets, etc. the Walk-In pantry is among the most versatile of pantry design types.

Defining Kitchen Lay-out

Planning a new kitchen is a threefold process:  planning the space, defining a style, and choosing components.

Sit back, close your eyes, and visualize your dream kitchen.  While brainstorming, it helps to have some basic layout schemes in mind.  These floor plans have become classics – practical both for utilizing space and for incorporating an efficient working cooking environment.

One-Wall Kitchen

Small or open kitchens frequently make use of the one-wall design, incorporating a single line of cabinets & appliances.

Advantage:  A One-wall kitchen can be concealed with sliding or folding doors.

Disadvantage:  Most have considered this to be the least efficient of kitchen plans; it has all the work centers placed along a single wall.

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Corridor Kitchen

A kitchen which is open at both ends is a candidate for the corridor or gallery style kitchen.

Advantage:  Efficient for a single cook, as long as, the work centers are grouped close together.

Disadvantage:  Household traffic usually must flow through this space as well.  Crowding can easily occur & make cooking & prep unpleasant for the cook.

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L-Shaped Kitchen

The classic layout utilizes two adjacent walls, spreading the work centers out.  Typically the refrigerator is at one end, while the range or wall oven(s) are present on the other.  Typically the sink is stationed in the middle.

Advantage:  Generous counter space & ease of traffic flow are among the biggest advantages of the L-shaped plan.  This creates a since of elongated workspace & privacy for the cook.

Disadvantage:  It may not be interactive enough for some cooks.  Consider adding a free-standing island, to the L-configuration, for a more interactive/congregational space.   The L-shaped plan is also known to decrease wasted steps and increase storage space.

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U-Shaped Kitchen

Three adjacent walls make-up the U-shaped configuration.

Advantage:  Considered, by many, to be the most efficient of all kitchen plans.  The U-shaped plan saves steps by closely grouping work centers, by design.   The cook is also surrounded by plenty of counter-top and essential storage space.

Disadvantage:  If there is not sufficient distance between opposite walls, the cook will feel closed-in and kitchen efficiency decreases.

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G-Shaped Kitchen

A derivative of the U-shape, the G-shaped plan adds an extra wall of cabinets and counter-top that wrap around to become a peninsula or island.

Advantage:  This configuration creates a space where the cook is surrounded by work centers.

Disadvantage:  The G-shaped design can easily give the kitchen an enclosed feeling.

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