August 29, 2011

Kitchen Design - Lesson Nine Accessories

KITCHEN ACCESSORIES, USE LOTS AND LOTS OF THEM!
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Now that you've designed the perfect kitchen, chosen all the appliances, finishes and lighting you will need to consider the last few touches; accessories to help you cook more efficiently as well as make it a comfortable space to hang out in.  I always say it's not the first $100,000 you spend its the last $10,000 which makes a home really special. The same holds true in a kitchen; people don't save for the convenience or specialty items, they want to "see" where they spend their money... big ranges, fancy fridge's and then a jumble of crap behind closed doors.

MAKE IT PRETTY
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This beautiful kitchen has great materials and surfaces - but one great design they incorporated was having open shelves adjacent to their focal point (the range) and accessorize it with their all white serve-ware. It has to go somewhere so why not make a visual "moment" of it....looks very cool I think.


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This gawjus white-on-white kitchen has bookshelves beside the range which gives that area a user-friendly look. Books are always a "cozy-ing element" to any space, hiding cooks-books is silly in a kitchen...duh


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This traditional-style kitchen has two refrigerators built into matching armoire-styled cabinets, they're linked together by a "Welsh Dresser"(hutch) which adds a "country" tone to the space, and it also allows the homeowner to have some antique accessories and cookbooks nearby.


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In his own kitchen, the famous Christopher Peacock, owner of Christopher Peacock Kitchens has designed his drawer fronts in black walnut with the foodstuff's names carved into the face. He also used leather pull straps for a softer, more sensual feel.


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Glass cabinets doors can be a good thing; they're best if used where you keep pretty things not Lucky Charms boxes, tins of tuna or mismatched Tupperware tubs filled with crap.  Glass doors can give a narrow room some depth, or they can make a large room look very cluttered.
Glass doors get dirty fast - obscured glass as shown in these two kitchens, one traditional, one contemporary can camouflage that.  And please don't light up the interior unless you have something really awesome in it... shit from Pier1 ain't what I'm talking 'bout neither...
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DO PRACTICAL STUFF
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Look at all the possibilities for drawer inserts, there's millions....some are interchangeable, some are fixed. Spices in a drawer are practical and easy to find. Every kitchen has lots of small whirligigs to use for various tasks, look at the lower right photo - it's perfect.  Determine how you eat and what you need handy.
In one kitchen I did for myself I had my everyday kitchen flatware in the top drawer and just below it, my good silver flatware in a "Pacific Cloth" lined drawer so it was handy whenever I was putting on the dog. The unit below can be made to fit in any drawer with any configuration for whatever your storage needs
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With kitchens having more windows and more openings to other rooms the usable wall space is lost.  Many kitchen designers are using dish-drawers which are super convenient and have infinite configurations.


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I loves me a pot-rack!  It's convenient, practical and provides more storage by keeping the pots and pans out of the cabinets. Everyone knows there's no perfect setup for storing pots and pans in cabinets or drawers.


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I have this very configuration for storing my pots and pans. It's OK, but not perfect. There's two "actions" to access them; opening the outer doors, then pulling the slide-out trays out.  I even have a third "action" as I have so much cookware I then have to lift something off of something else...
So, an overhead pot-rack would definitely be best for me...


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For the frequent cook who wants a "cooks kitchen" these easy access slide-outs are great as they have no outer doors, everything is visible.

ADD CHARM & STORAGE
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Open shelves are a hot trend right now, and they look great too!
If money is tight, you can pull down the old upper cabinets and put up shelves for less money than replacing them and voila! you have a new look for a few bucks.
However, if you have the money don't use too much open shelving as kitchens have lots of airborne dirt and grime; also everything needs to be super tidy all the time.
Oh yeah, and you can't use junk anymore, everything has to have "a look" or be a "collection" or you'll get that Sanford and Sons look...


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English Drying Racks.
Originally designed to go over the sink so that the dishes could drip-dry.  We don't do that anymore but the racks are still charming (a wee bit 90's looking...).  Sometimes, they're practical and sometimes space wasters.  For a practical application they're great for large platters, cutting boards and trays, even some beautiful dishes that add interest to the room.  However, for a set of twelve dishes they take up a hideous amount of space, so if space is tight - think about a cabinet with a door which stores five times as many dishes.

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I love these pantry doors:  One, an old screen door and the other painted with chalkboard paint; both witty and useful

ADD CONVENIENCE ITEMS
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If you go though dishtowels like I do, consider having them on a pull-out which can slide inside a cubby with (or without) a door on the outside. I just throw mine in a drawer next to the sink - yes, dirty or damp... to keep it out of sight.


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Lower cabinet pull-outs!
These spice/storage cabinets are narrow cabinets that can be installed next to the stove or wherever you need them. They can also have a towel bar on them for the dish towels!


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This cool range area has shelving on each side to keep the oils, vinegars, salt and pepper, etc. Everything you use most often is right at hand.


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This upper-cabinet pull-out can be used for spices, pastas or whatever you want. It gives you full organized access to the entire volume of space


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I love this built-in paper towel roller.  Nothing on top of the counter to blow around or be seen from the family room ... literally right at your fingertips and above the trash pull-out too....


CONSIDER WASTE AND DISPOSAL 
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There are hundreds of waste bin configurations for the kitchen.
The pertinent questions are: Do you have a disposal?  Do you recycle? How many daily items are recyclable compared to daily waste, etc.


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For those of you with garbage disposals and inconveniently located power switches - get an AIR SWITCH, it's a 1.5" diameter push-button which is placed right next to the faucet in the counter.  You simply press it on and off (shown below). No more dripping wet hands reaching for 120-volt switch on the wall or opening the lower cabinet door to switch on the disposal....how 1970's....
Waste King WKAS4201-CH
Larger than actual size

For those of you in the country on septic systems, you can now have a garbage disposal
SEPTIC FRIENDLY DISPOSAL

BE DECORATIVE & PRACTICAL
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Glass cupboards or cabinets can add drama to any room, traditional  or contemporary!   Again, they just need to be neat and tidy all the time.  They're best advantage is also their worst advantage....you can see everything....


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If you eat 50 pounds of potatoes and 50 pounds of onions in a fortnight then these would be great, I think they're a bit too twee.... 


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This is a mommy's kitchen! The chalkboard fridge fronts and the bookshelves for kids books are all great ideas for keeping them busy with something other than the TV.

SPEND A FEW EXTRA DOLLARS
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If you need an electric burner for you're special sauce that needs the lowest heat possible, or you live in a tiny apartment, or occasionally need a hot plate to keep things warm for a dinner party... then consider installing an electric single burner which slides out of the way when not in use.


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Want a $2,900 built-in Miele, Bosch, Thermador and Decor espresso machine?  These are brilliant appliances and cabinet companies have responded by designing specific components creating an actual "station" for the residential kitchen (e.g: places for the condiments, cups, spoons, etc.)

WANT NEW CONTEMPORARY ITEMS?
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Chip a tooth opening the damn cabinet.......
These lift-up "airplane doors" are stupid....just plain stupid... You have to be tall to use them; they swing out and right into your face when opening or closing them. Their only advantage is when you're cooking on the IRON CHEF TV program... and you're pulling dishes and foodstuffs from everywhere - creating meals in minutes...the doors are up and out of the way giving you free access to everything....you cook like that??  Didn't think so...


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A well designed drawer for wine, decanters and cocktail napkins


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This Siematic kitchen display is perfect for a small apartment or rarely used kitchen. The large bi-fold doors open to reveal the warming drawer, oven and microwave as well as large open shelving. When closed all you see is the coffee machine!


DON'T MAKE THESE MISTAKES 
HISTORY TELLS US WHY WE SHOULDN'T BUY SMALL BUILT-IN APPLIANCES

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(If she touches that damn mixer again I'm gonna shove her fat little hands right in those mixing blades)

Who doesn't remember the Nutone "IN-BUILT" mixer-blender-sharpener-juicer of 1962?
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Yes, a clunky contraption that was the rage in upscale homes for about five years... Then....they needed parts; dirt and cooking messes fell into the slots, etc.   Eventually, it wore out and people abandoned them and just bought a new counter-top appliance, leaving the old built-in device as a reminder of their dashed upward mobility
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Helloooo 1980!!!  
Now this was a lotta flash flash for your cash!
IN-WALL toasters...  Really, someone thought that was a good idea? Crumbs falling directly to the floor? It's been my experience that appliances really don't last that long....nor do we want them to as their designs are purposely updated all the time leaving us with "dated" looking appliances...OH HELL NO!   So seriously, why would you want to cut a hole in your wall and have something that will look dated after two years??




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This is one of my favorites too.... Corning's "glass cutting board" installed in the counter-top. This one has the "fresh herb" pattern....they were just as ugly then as they are now!  Installed with a nice thick 1" piece of stainless-steel trim around the edge that harbors dirt, food particles and God knows what else AROUND YOUR FOOD PREP AREA.
No Alice, I have no idea how Mary got that e.coli poisoning, but my steak tartare was delicious...



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OMG, my friends mom had one of these growing up, it was soooo cool... We'd stand around pretending to talk on it, and take each others pictures lookin' all James Bond and shit...
She still has it, and uses it... however, it wasn't so cool for the last 35 years ...now its cool again....
But really, cut a hole in your wall for a phone, really??

ENJOY YOUR KITCHEN
THE CENTER OF YOUR HOME




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You can do it, I'm here to help


202.669.8669
jpdsodpb@aol.com