I recently got married and as my lovely wife Marissa’s birthday approached, I wanted to make the occasion perfect. What she wanted was to invite a few couples over and cook a celebratory dinner to share. As our NYC apartment’s galley kitchen might have been too cramped, we decided to go to my family’s week-end house for the festivities!
But here was the problem…and a problem is certainly something you don’t want on your wife’s birthday. Although the kitchen in my family’s week-end house has a footprint more than enough to accommodate the eight of us, the kitchen was designed a few decades ago and the layout is not conducive for friends to gather together, help cook, or just enjoy some appetizers and a glass of wine. We made it work and the evening was a success, but it sure got us thinking about what we want from a kitchen as we begin to think about our first house.
Like many of you, Marissa and I love to entertain in a fun and casual way, getting everyone together in one space to cook, converse, eat good food and drink even better wine. Gone are the days of the “formal” dinner party where the guests only see the living and dining room. The kitchen has morphed from a room to prepare for a party to the space at the heart of the party. Basic kitchen chairs have been replaced by comfy window seats and easy access bar stools. The classic kitchen table has been replaced by multi-functional islands…perfect for chopping AND chatting.
As we begin to house hunt, one thing we know: whatever we have to sacrifice…a dining room, an extra study…our kitchen will have a layout for today’s entertaining!
Posted in Convenience, Cooking, Design, Island, Kitchen, Living, Trends, Wood-Mode
Tagged Brookhaven Cabinetry, custom cabinetry, Kitchen Cabinets, Kitchen Design, Kitchen Entertaining, Kitchen Layout, Living Room Kitchen Combos, Wood-Mode Cabinetry
When it comes to the initial discussions of kitchen design, there are some homeowners who haven’t really thought about what they want and others who definitely have. Jean falls in this second category, having given plenty of thought to exactly what she wanted in her kitchen.
Our designer Amy went on a visit to Kitty Lane to speak with Jean about custom cabinetry. Amy soon learned that Jean wanted white French Vanilla cabinets, a butcher block, soapstone countertops and a height functional dishwasher. In her original kitchen she had a hole, but no dishwasher. Jean made it clear that she didn’t want to bend down and that the kitchen was going to be all about her and comfort. Well Jean, we couldn’t agree more with you there. A kitchen should cater to the homeowner’s needs and wants. Amy planned to raise the dishwasher off of the floor so there was no back-breaking hassle. To this day this feature is one of Jean’s favorite parts of the kitchen.
Another obstacle that needed to be overcome was to have more counter surface for Jean’s work stations. To achieve this we relocated the stove and the refrigerator to allow a prep surface between the range & the sink and also worked in a Booz butcher block that was a must have! By moving the appliances to other locations, we created more nooks for storage. We built in the refrigerator with a turned pantry to store brooms and box food items.
After the range was relocated across the room, the old vent was removed and mid-install Jean cleverly decided to turn this ordinary hole into a focal point in her kitchen. She had a port hole shipped over night for the installer to put in the very next day. This is another part of Jean’s kitchen that is unique to her.
Jean says, “My new Kitchen has changed my life! No more messes on the counters or sink! A place for everything, a bread drawer, cutlery drawer, lazy susans, a broom closet and pantry! Just fantastic! So totally NOT out of the box! Beautiful!”
Thank you Jean! Also, thank you Amy for assisting with the layout and design of this eclectic and beautiful kitchen!
Posted in Appliances, Color, Cook-Top, Countertop, Design, Flooring, Living, Technology, Trends
Tagged Dishwasher, Electic Design, Home Renovation, Home Renovations, Kitchen Appliances, Kitchen Cabinets, Kitchen Design Ideas
When it comes to selecting cabinetry for the kitchen, homeowners should be aware of the different wood options available. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, cherry wood continues to dominate in kitchens. With its rich tones and color, cherry wood sets itself apart from other types of wood. However, since 2010, designers are slowly shifting to other options. Take a look at a few other types of wood that are growing more prevalent in the kitchen.
Coming close to stealing the top spot from cherry, maple wood is an attractive choice for homeowners. The grain patterns in maple are generally tight and uniform giving them a smooth and consistent appearance. The wood contains mineral streaks that may be fine lines or curling waves. These unique grain patterns become more distinct when stained and increase the aesthetic value of the wood. Also maple’s reputation as a tough wood makes it a great material for kitchen cabinets today.
Described as the “American Wood”, oak is the hardest of the hardwoods. Its dense grain makes it relatively heavy and damage resistant. With its distinct appearance, the graining patterns reveal different color grades when stained and can appear striped, wavy, very fine or broad. Today, oak has increased in popularity as homeowners enjoy it’s durability to withstand rough treatment. Oak will even resist dents or scratches better than other wood choices.
One of the more distinct grain patterns is found in hickory wood. Instead of streaks and waves, the grains in a hickory cabinet are flowing and sweeping. They create stark shades within a single piece of wood. Both designers and homeowners love how easy it is to stain hickory wood. Hickory is perfect for a rustic style kitchen.
If you’re looking for a softer or more lush beauty, take a look at birch wood. Like cherry, birch stains extremely well and is smooth to the touch. With its subtle waves and flows within the graining patterns, birch gives a warm and cozy charm to any home’s kitchen.
Posted in Bath, Bathroom, Color, Design, Island, Kitchen, Living, Trends, Wood-Mode
Tagged Birch Wood, cabinetry, Cherry Wood, Hickory Wood, Home Design, Kitchen Cabinets, Kitchen Design, Kitchen Trends, Maple Wood, National Kitchen and Bath Association, Oak Wood, renovations