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Simple Tricks to Make Your Kitchen Work for You

Kitchen design is not a one size fits all agenda.  Sure, you have to consider the major pieces that make a kitchen function (like your sink, dishwasher, and stove), but you also need to consider other factors such as the age of your client, the kitchen tools they cannot live without, their entertaining goals…the list can go on and on.  Over the years we have considered many families, singletons, and empty nesters all with different ideas of what they want from their kitchen.  Here are a few of our favorites.

A New Kind of Eat-In

Loving your eat-in style kitchen is not a bad thing, and rethinking your eat-in kitchen for the 21st Century is the smart thing to do.  Having a dining or expansion space adjacent to your kitchen may help you reconfigure your space to a workspace delight.  This twelve foot island/table acts as a buffer zone between the cook’s workspace and the serving space.  It also allows for a family style eating experience, farmhouse style.

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The original kitchen was closed off from the dining room. By opening up the wall between the two rooms in this Morristown, NJ home, our client was able to keep the eat-in kitchen feel, have proximity to her dining room table, and accommodate her growing extended family in one space.

The “Pantry”

The pantry is always top on my client’s wish lists, but not all kitchens can afford the space for a large closet within an open concept kitchen.  Creating a built-in pantry is a wonderful alternative, but instead of the typical puzzle like configurations that are seen on every Pinterest page, I tend to design a more subtle pantry experience.

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This Cherry Hill, NJ renovation in a Barclay Farms rancher has large drawers by the dining area for placemats and towels. The pull out shelving in the pantry makes everything easy to see.

Appliance “Garage”

A challenge for many clients is how to get a clean kitchen look while having all the tools they need at their fingertips.  This is a practice in practicality, because no one uses every appliance every day.  Instead of choosing to keep every appliance in the kitchen, this client chose her top three – coffee maker, coffee grinder, and her Kitchen Aid mixer (heavy). This updated appliance garage is practical, with all the electric inside the cabinet.   All of my client’s other appliances either sit in a pot-drawer (toaster) or in a cabinet in the laundry room (seasonal appliances and baking tools).  Having EVERYTHING in your kitchen is not always the answer.

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Streamlining the design of the appliance garage makes morning coffee a breeze.

Technology Integrated

We can’t get away from it!  Screens are now part of our everyday life.  The Jetson’s had integrated screens into every part of their home, and that is how the technology of the future is leaning.  Considering your renovation should last 20-30 years (see our budget section on kitchens), integrating screen technology into your kitchen now will avoid you having to “figure it out” in the future.  It will also add to your resale value.

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This galley kitchen in a Willmette, IL condo allows the client to keep up with the news, or his favorite cooking show.

Whether you need to maximize the space in a cramped layout, open things up, or give your existing kitchen a cozier feel, our expert designers will help you convert it into your ideal food preparation or entertaining space.

Posted by Bridget McMullin on October 18, 2016

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