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

August 17, 2011

kitchen Design - Lesson Eight Islands

DESIGNING YOUR OWN PRIVATE ISLAND AIN'T SO EASY

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This is the territory of a professional kitchen designer, but you should have an idea of what you want it to be and how it can best serve you. Hopefully, this will prepare you with ideas and enable you to articulate your desires and wishes to your kitchen designer instead of standing there looking like you've had a stroke or arrived on the short school bus!

KITCHEN'S COME IN ALL SIZES, AND SO DO ISLANDS!

Don't go to your kitchen designer and say "I want an island exactly like this" when you have a Pullman size kitchen and you've handed him a photo of one that's the size of a ping-pong table... you gots to edgumacate urself...

Many of the questions for the island are the same ones we've already asked ourselves regarding other components of your kitchen makeover.

  • Are you a big family with kids?
  • Does someone else cook for you? (cook, maid, etc.)
  • Do you entertain huge groups and use caterers?
  • Do you have large family dinners in other parts of the house (dining room, porch, etc.)?
  • Is there an adjacent Family Room?
  • Do you have a separate food pantry?
  • How much will you reeeaally use the stove-top?
  • Are you more formal when you eat? At a table? Served? Jeeves?
  • Are you a tidy cook or one that has food, dishes, pans and cat food strewn all over the place?
  • Are you a pastry chef?
  • Are you frantic about specs and crumbs?
  • Do you enjoy and serve red wine with a "wine group"?
  • Have a buncha unruly kids running around the house and getting into stuff all the time?
  • Do you have dinner parties where you invite friends to make a salad or help prepare the food?
  • Do you have buffet dinners?
  • Do you have pot-luck dinners and need places for everyone to remove the saran wrap from their 3-bean salads?
  • Do you have trouble keeping the crowd out of your kitchen when you entertain?
  • Do you use a lot of ice?

AN ISLAND CAN BE MANY THINGS:

  • A Barrier for the person working in the kitchen from the others that only get in the way
  • A place to feed the kids quickly or while you're still cooking you can keep an eye on them
  • It can be the separation between a casual breakfast or dining area and the cook
  • It can hide all the crap you've spilled all over the floor, the open dishwasher, etc.
  • It can be a barrier between a kitchen and a family room
  • A large island can be the perfect thing for caterers to stage food before its brought out
  • It's a wonderful buffet server when hosting large groups of frenemies
  • If the island has a separate sink and disposal you can have two people working together at the same time and not get in each others way
  • The island can be a gathering place for wine-tastings, but it must have an impervious top.
  • If you're the messy type the island can have a raised shelf around it so you cant see all the khazerai from the dining or family rooms
  • If storage isn't a problem, and you have a butlers pantry and a food pantry then the island can be a simple table type structure
  • If you cook (especially fry) often, I think stove-tops in the island are dumb, they need a stronger extractor hood and all the surrounding areas get covered in grease. And don't forget all the stuff you keep around your stove; utensils, oils, S&P and so on...do you really want all that in the middle of the room on display?
  • If you make pastry the island top can be marble and outfitted with a cooling element
  • The island can also be outfitted with refrigerator drawers and a sink to make a full salad and veggie station away from the "cooking" area
  • If crumbs and bits make you nuts, get a wood or "flamed" stone top, they hide a lot
  • An ice maker can be installed on the outside of the island so people can access it and stay out of the kitchen work area; especially good for parties and refills when seated at the table
LETS SEE WHAT WE CAN FIGURE OUT FOR YOU!
SMALL KITCHENS
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Designer: Jonathon Berger
This lilliputian island is perfect for this tiny kitchen; its size allows movement in the kitchen whilst adding more counter-top space. Made from the same cabinetry and stone so it doesn't become a "decoration" itself and clutter up the "visual space"


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Source: J. Savage Gibson
This sexy red apartment kitchen has a wooden counter-height (42") table which is used for work and eating.  The backless stools don't get in the way in this small space


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Designer: Eva Quarterman
This narrow New York townhouse kitchen has all of its appliances lined up along the wall but has additional counter-space for food preparation, buffets or use as a bar for parties. A little color here wouldn't kill anybody either...

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Source: Unknown
This owners of this charming cottage kitchen in an old house kept the old cabinets, installed a new floor and found this funky table to use as a super cool island. I love the accessories too.


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Designer: Eric Cohler
This small kitchen doesn't project a traditional kitchen feeling;  it has a contemporary rural thang goin' on.
The salad sink on the island is great, the plumbing is hidden inside the chunky table legs - brilliant!


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Source: Achados de Decoracao
This seaside cottage uses a rolling table with a marble top; it has extra storage below and provides extra counter-top space which is also a breakfast bar. Low budge and lovin' it!


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Source:  Belgian Pearls
From the dining table of this small Swedish cottage, you can't see any of the workings or appliances of the kitchen as all are hidden behind the strategically placed island with the urn of flowers on it


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Designer: Nancy Braithwaite
The kitchen of this weekend home has most of the appliances hidden behind the bypass doors; the island contains two sinks, two dishwashers and the trash bins;  a cantilevered counter at the end for eating close to the window is nice too.  This is great for entertaining on weekends, all the mess is behind the doors and you can serve from the large island


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Source: Gracious Kitchen Designs
This island is placed adjacent to the outside wall of sliding glass doors and contains most of the kitchen appliances and workspace. The counter to the right is the built-in dining table.  Hopefully, they have a larder and a china closet...   I'm totally diggin' that mirror-reflecto range hood!


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Source: Unknown
This is just plain overcrowded....and that range-top on the teensy-weensie island...whaddup wit dat?
Where do you put your "stuff" when preparing food?  I'm sure things fall off of that island top all the time.

NARROW KITCHENS

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Designer: Jean-Louis Deniot
LOVE this small island and the cantilevered top which seats three for a quick meal or coffee with a friend


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Source: Unknown
This kitchen would be ordinarily too narrow for an island, but this long narrow table with the matching stone top looks perfectly normal. I love it ON the carpet too, looks cozy.


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Source: Unknown
This American style kitchen looks great! Very cool in the all white finishes and wood floors. The narrow island with the sculpted radius ends looks perfect in the space. HOWEVER, it's a total road block from the stove to the sink...duh.

NORMAL ISLANDS

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Source: Traditional Home
This island looks great in the contrasting natural hickory wood. It's practical with the sink opposite the stove and the counter height seating...HOWEVER, the drawers will not allow the person to sit at a comfortable level and get their knees under the counter...duh


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Designer: deCesare Design Group
This is a great island for wine tastings or everyone sitting around chatting with the cook; it's intimate and seats five comfortably


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Source: Unknown
This amazing huge-ass island is actually most of the work area for this kitchen. The storage it offers is awesome and I personally love that it's in the same cabinetry too....you just cant beat white...


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Source: Euro Cucina
This glam-o-licious island is far from "normal"
You KNOW at first glance it's French.  Philippe Starck clearly influenced that island fabricated of stainless and wood, and it rocks!


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Designer: Jackye Lanham
This beautiful "old world" style kitchen has a totally utilitarian island; it provides storage in drawers and open shelves. It also contains refrigerator drawers.


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Kim Kardashian's kitchen
I think this definitely looks like a California kitchen, the wide open windows over the sink, the fireplace, use of materials, etc.   It's a nice calm kitchen...NOT what I expect from that Kardashian ho.  I doubt those bar stools will hold that tuchas of hers too...  Again, I think the stove-top on the island is stupid, but whatever...    The radius edge front where the bar stools are is a  nice touch as it allows the people seated there to see each other as opposed to being lined up in a row


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Designer: Paul Corrie
This nice, basic island works perfectly; beautiful teak wood top, sink, etc.    Three stools are perfect as I believe that when there's four people you should move to the dining table.   I'm just sayin'........


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Source: Unknown
Love this plain island, the stone top and dark wood sides are very chic and work beautifully with the floors and the all-white cabinetry. The island should be no closer to the other base cabinets than an absolute minimum of 36" (in an apartment!).  The standard minimum is 48" you don't want the island too far away either.


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Source: Unknown
This island gives me dry heaves; not only is this kitchen pushing the "cutesy button" too hard, but WTF is that calico curtain doing down there under the island? And why isn't it big enough to go all the way across? Did they throw it in the dryer?   It just screams "cheap"

TWO OR MORE ISLANDS...

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Designer: Nannette Lewis
This country style kitchen uses a "table" style island between the family room and the actual working island.  It's a perfect buffet and provides a transition between the rooms from cabinetry to furniture...smart!


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Designer: Tracery Interiors
These two matching islands are brilliant; one is all storage and the other is a dining table.
When entertaining one can be used for a bar and the other a buffet, or for staging meals before being served.   The two separate islands also keeps away the ping-pong table effect of one huge-ass island


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 Source: Traditional Home
This super elegant kitchen has two islands; one for food prep with a sink, the other a room separator and breakfast bar.  The finishes are all amazing together. This particular kitchen is large enough to visually handle the islands in mahogany. Not sure about those jerky curtains though....


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Source: Marie Claire Maison
This creative kitchen has two separate islands that roll where you need them for the circumstances of the moment....cool, right?


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Designer: Christine Sullivan
These two islands are both utilitarian: One is the visual divider with storage between the dining room and the kitchen; the other is the super-large work island which also accommodates seating facing the view.  The continuation of materials such as the cabinetry and stone tops creates a more architectural, less cluttered feeling.

TABLE STYLE ISLANDS

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Designers: Ferguson and Shamamian
A wonderful natural-wood counter-height table with drop-leaves is used for a dining table;  when the homeowners are entertaining the leaves are raised and its a perfect staging table


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Source: Belgian Pearls
This freekin' awesome kitchen has a very Shaker look, with the same color blue used everywhere, however it's in Belgium! The island has a chopping-block top which is comfortable to the touch, and it has lots of drawers for all the placemats and napkins, etc.


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Source: Elle Decor
This European country house kitchen utilizes several old tables; antiques add warmth and charm to any room


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Designer: Vincente Wolfe
This isn't a table at all, but it looks like one! Genius....


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Source: Unknown
This table-style island with the chunky legs and storage below adds a softness to this kitchen. It also holds a sink and dishwasher which are barely visible.

MULTI-LEVEL ISLANDS

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Source: Unknown
This upper counter is at bar height (42") with the work counter at the standard 36" height.   The messy work-space is hidden by the raised dining bar from the rest of the room. This is only good if you need to hide the worktop and small counter-top appliances. Otherwise it cuts down your usable workspace and is too high for buffet use


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Source: Unknown
This raised bar-height "surround" makes no sense at all as it diminishes the work area and isn't far enough away from the other counter to accommodate bar stools comfortably. If you're using bar stools where someone walks behind someone seated they need to be a MINIMUM of 48" apart. 60" or more is preferable.


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Source: Unknown
Another nicely proportioned kitchen ruined by someones dumb-ass idea...   Really??? Couldn't find a place for Momom's old dry sink? How 'bout the trash?

SOME HELPFUL NOTES TO REMEMBER
  • BAR TOP HEIGHT:  42"
  • BAR STOOL SEAT HEIGHT 30"
  • COUNTER TOP HEIGHT 36"
  • COUNTER STOOL SEAT HEIGHT 24"
  • ALLOWANCE FOR EACH BAR STOOL, 24" WIDE
  • REMEMBER IF YOU EAT AT YOUR ISLAND, MAKE THE TOP FROM A TEMPERATE MATERIAL, MARBLE IS COLD TO LEAN ON
  • INSTALL RECEPTACLES CLOSE TO THE EDGE OF THE ISLAND FOR THE OCCASIONAL USE OF SMALL APPLIANCE
  • USE A ROUNDED OR "SOFT" EDGE FOR YOUR ISLAND SO IT WON'T CUT INTO YOUR ARMS
  • A SHELF TO EAT FROM ON YOUR ISLAND SHOULD BE NO LESS THAN 14" DEEP
  • USE BRACKETS, NOT LEGS TO SUPPORT THE CANTILEVERED SHELF
  • IF YOU CAN, HAVE THE BARSTOOLS FACING A VIEW, OR AROUND A SEMICIRCLE SO CONVERSATION IS EASIER

NEXT WEEK'S MASTER CLASS
"BUILT-IN'S AND ACCESSORIES"


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You can do it, I'm here to help!
202.669.8669
jpdsodpb@aol.com

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