Welcome to February 2009, friends know me as a person who loves to cook, and when I cook, I make enough to feed a small hungry army. I believe a great kitchen doesn't need to be huge to accomplish this task, just well organized. And when done, everything should have a home, I know i am not alone in my cooking style or my philosophy!
With the recent slump in the economic market, I see less clients on a daily basis who are willing to "blow out" the back of their home to add the "Super-Kitchen/Great Room". Many more are looking to grow from within. To me, that means, while they may be willing to remove a wall to promote the open feeling they seek, they are really looking to me for Zen-like efficiency and space planning. At the store I call "home" we recently completed just this very task. In a very nice neighborhood in Hillsborough, NJ, I designed a kitchen in a home like many others on the street. All well kept homes just of an age where the builders kitchen needed to go! Surrounded by neighbors, who also wanted islands or peninsulas, but had been turned down by designers and settled for less. Our clients hadn't given up on their dream!
The fly in the ointment: soffits that can't be removed. The answer: add more soffits where you need them so the design makes sense!(TBC in another post)
The key to the design, interestingly enough, was using a tall oven cabinet. By converting the surface cooking to a cook top, we were able to offer alternate corner storage solutions and pull the cooking away from the back door! The homeowners got the gourmet feeling they were looking for in many respects, glass transom cabinets, a fabulous dining peninsula, deep under mounted corner sink, and enhanced back splash with a tile mosaic; we even ordered additional sheets of glass tile to add more of the cranberry tones we wanted.
With this simple kitchen remodeling we went from a kitchen you would feel forced to cook in, to a kitchen you would love to cook in without building on to the space, just using what they already had better!