All along, our goal was to create a kitchen that put function over form, was energy-efficient, earth-friendly and fully accessible, comfortable for multiple cooks, and practical for our everyday life. Since I cook our dinners from scratch most every night, I wanted to have everything I needed to make most any dinner I wanted without having to make a run to the store (hello, pantry!) We knew it would have a Euro bent, with some nods to Niels' Dutch heritage. Because I need order to function with my brain injury, we knew it would be practical and organized. We are thrilled with how it turned out, and unless our friends are shamelessly nice (totally possible), we were successful with our goals.
With that, welcome to the perfectly practical, beautiful kitchen of my forever home dreams.
|The dream is reality!|
- Cabinets: Custom made by our amazing Amish cabinet maker, Joe Yoder. All drawers are full extension and soft close with Blumotion. We loved working with Joe, and he will be making the custom cabinetry in my pantry eventually, after we catch our financial breath!
- Touch Activated Recycling Center: Custom made by Joe Yoder. Power by Blum Servodrive.
- Counters: Hanstone Specchio White quartz, with a small slab of marble on the baking center. (saved $$ by buying a marble remnant. Otherwise the baking center would have been quartz as well).
- Floors: US Floors Marcas Areia planks
- Backsplash: Solistone Mardi Gras in Carrollton.
- Paint: Sherwin Williams Oyster Bay (Harmony No-VOC)
- Main Sink: Blanco Stellar Single Bowl with grid (441024)
- Main Faucet: Delta Touch 2.0 Pilar
- Main Disposal: Waste King model 8000 1 HP
- Prep Sink: Blanco Stellar Single Bowl (441026)
- Prep Faucet: Delta Touch 2.0 Pilar
- Prep Disposal: Waste King model 8000 1 HP
- Insta-Hot: Insinkerator
- Cooktop: Dacor PGM365-1S (saved $$$ by buying a floor model)
- Venthood: Vent-a-Hood SLDH14-136SS (saved $$$ by buying a floor model)
- Double Wall Oven: Jenn-Air JJW9830DD (saved $$$ by buying a floor model)
- Microwave: Sharp KB6425PS Microwave Drawer (saved $$ by buying a dent and scratch)
- Fridge: Whirlpool GSS26C4XXY
- Dishwasher: Bosch SHE68E05UC
- Freezer (in pantry): Frigidaire FKFH21F7HW
- Island Pendants: ET2 Fizz
- Under Cabinet Lighting: Task Lighting Sempria LED UC Series
- Under Cabinet Outlets: Task Lighting Angle Power Strips TR Series
- Pantry Light: Maxim Malibu
- Hardware: Generic pull bars that available everywhere.
- cork floors. So soft. So quiet. So easy to clean. LOVE LOVE LOVE them.
- quartz counters. Love the recycled glass and mirror. Easy to clean, no staining, despite my leaving turmeric and juice on it over night! eep!
- instahot. We drink a lot of tea. Now we drink more.
- backsplash. It stopped me in my tracks when I saw it in a display and if possible, I like it even more in my own kitchen.
- vacupan under the prep sink. I put it to good use!
- pantry. I love having everything I need to make anything I want.
- recycling center. I love that we have taken all the thinking out of recycling, and now most weeks we are able to make our goal of one bag of trash per week.
Energy-efficient: all of our appliances are Energy-Star rated, and our faucets are Water Sense labeled.
|View from the dinette.|
|View from the back corner.|
|View from the command center.|
|Hanstone Specchio White quartz made of 24% recycled glass and mirror.|
|Solistone Mardi Gras glass tiles in Carrollton. I wanted something subtle to avoid triggering vertigo, but also with a little variance to create visual interest, not visual noise.|
|ET2 Fizz pendants.|
|They are hard to photograph, but the lights have "frozen" bubbles in them|
|The craftsmanship of our cabinets is unmatched. Here you can see how smoothly the frame of the cabinet meets the shelf. Completely seamless.|
|Cork floor. Love, love, LOVE this floor. In fact, the head of the flooring company like it so much when he came over to see it in our house, he ordered it for his own house. It's wonderful.|
The idea for the baking center, was to be able to have a lowered space so I wouldn't have to knead dough on my tippy toes (I'm short). Originally, it was a few inches longer so a wheel chair could fit underneath, but when I saw this remnant with the same width we needed, I jumped at it. (And there are other places where a person in a chair can sit and still be in on the action). The other reason I kept it open underneath was to store a stool for my son when he helps me bake. However, he has decided the stool is better placed next to the bar so he can get up and down at well.
I wanted a long counter space for working, but also had room for my new Kitchen Aid mixer to have a permanent home. I had no plans to move that beast around! And of course, I wanted lots of storage space for my baking toys.
|The Baking Zone|
|My marble slab. I was really blown away by the customer service at Canton Cut Stone. The remnant that we bought was cut wrong. They replaced it for us, at no extra charge. I loved the original marble, but I love this slab, too.|
|I'm still playing around with layout, but for now, this nice long shallow drawer works will with my papers, foils, bags, and baking accouterments.|
|The middle drawer holds all my toys, including cookie cutters, molds, funnels, and baking sheets.|
The idea in the cooking zone was to have everything I needed within a step or two of arm's reach. We wanted a big kitchen, but the "work" part of the kitchen was separate from the "entertainment" part of the kitchen. With my brain injury, I can't multi-task, so I needed a cooktop on a wall to command my concentration. The prep island faces out so I can be social during my prep work, and it also makes team cooking interactive.
|Above the oven are slots for storing cooling racks, cooking sheets, and cutting boards.|
|Below the oven is plenty of space for my baking dishes.|
|We have a LOT of glasses and mugs for some reason. They're like rabbits.|
|The drawer holds more baking dishes and Corning Ware.|
|We opted to hide our outlets under the cabinets. It works out really well for potlucks (we hope!) and saved us from breaking up the pretty backsplash.|
|Short person's view of the corner. I can barely seen the outlets. If you're taller than 5'4", you don't see them at all.|
|This upper cabinet is mostly used for our tea caddy and the vat of coconut oil I know use instead of butter.|
|Our tea caddy holds our favorite teas, hot cocoa mix, honey and sugar. We have a whole big cabinet of tea, but this is what we use right here.|
|In the corner I have my first attempt at making homemade vanilla extract. The bottle needs to be shaken every day for a month. Seeing it out reminds me to give it a good shake.|
|The upper left cabinet has my other oils and sprays, like canola oil, sesame oil and non-stick spray, as well as my salt and pepper grinders. I find it's easier to take the whole basket down that rummage through the bottles. Above that shelf is my mortar and pestle for crushing herbs, and the top shelf currently holds extras and duplicates.|
|My wine and oil cubbies hold my olive oil, balsamic vinegar and cooking wines. Again, so impressed with Joe. Everyone else had a piece of filler here.|
|We saved a lot of money buying a floor model, and the blue light is kind of fun.|
|Cooking on this cooktop is like learning to cook again, but everything turns out!|
|The drawer they said couldn't be done. I LOVE having all my spice right at the cooktop.|
My lovely spice drawer.
I used tension rods to separate the rows.
|The middle drawers holds my most frequently used cookware. Another tension rod holds the lids.|
|The bottom drawer holds the lesser used cookware, like my new Dutch oven, the extra stock pot and additional skillets. I will start weeding some of these out soon. Because of the larger lid, the tension rod needed more space.|
|The top right cabinet holds my prep and mixing bowls and liquid measuring cups.|
|The top drawer holds my knives, essential oils, can opener, and bare essential cooking equipment.|
|The middle drawer is our dedicated bread drawer, because my Dutch hubby eats a LOT of bread. We also keep our nutella and peanut butter in there.|
|We put the frig on the outside so if I'm in the cooking or prep zone, anyone get access the frig for a drink or snack without getting in our way. We stayed with the side by side because it works well for how we use our frig and freezer. We tend only to have in our frig what we will use in the next week, mostly, except for condiments. The freezer mostly holds frozen leftovers in lunch size portions for Niels. We didn't put any cabinets doorsabove because I'm too short to use that space anyway.|
The prep island is the center island. It has storage on both sides. We knew we wanted it to house the recycling center and a prep sink, have a flat working surface and be large enough that two people could work comfortable on either side. I have visions of getting together with a friend or two and prepping some freezer meals together.
|The prep island, from the corner.|
|The prep island, front view.|
Five years with Niels has definitely brought me over to the green side, but I know that recycling isn't second nature for a lot of people. We wanted to make sorting our waste as easy as could be, so we designed this recycling center to hold trash, glass/cans, paper and odd recycling (like batteries and bulbs). We put on the end of the prep island, so it could easily be used for prep waste, but it's also next to the command center, so I can sort through all the mail immediately. It's touch activated, which is really handy when your hands are filled with sticky things.
I made a whole post about our command center already, but here's a picture to show how it fits into the kitchen plan. It's perpendicular to the recycling center, and nestled into its own little alcove, which means clutter is tucked away from the great room.
|Ground Zero of home organization.|
No big surprise here, but the area between the outer island and the inner island is meant for cleaning up and storing dishes. I already showed the inner island's drawer side. Here's what's inside:
|Top drawer: serving utensils, mostly.|
|Middle drawer: our every day dishes.|
|Bottom drawer: D is responsible for getting his dishes and putting them away. Not up to mommy's normal standard, but pretty good for a 3-year-old.|
|Top drawer in the center of island: cutlery and serving utensils.|
|Middle drawer: My mom and dad's china--all 12 place settings. These are BIG drawers.|
|Bottom drawer: Silverware and chargers.|
|Across from the dish drawers is the outer island. We raised the dishwasher to go easy on aging backs. Niels really likes how it gives the upper counter more of a bar feel with the wraparound.|
|We chose this Bosch dishwasher because it's VERY quiet, and quiet is this brain-injured girl's best friend. The third tray for silverware is pretty fun, too.|
|Both sinks have tip out trays.|
|I'm still working out the best way to store our cloth. For the time being, I have my eco cloths in the top drawer, my "good" dish towels in middle drawer, and my rags and stained clean up cloths on the bottom.|
We need to buy a three stool set so all three of us can sit at the counter, but for now, we're still using our old ones, which match well.
|See D's little step stool from Hobby Lobby? He LOVES that thing.|
My wishlist for the pantry was it was large enough for a full upright freezer to store more bulk meats and dry goods, had an appliance shelf to store less-often used appliances at waist level, and was wide enough that a wheelchair could move around in there. The pantry is 9'x9'10" and the door is 36" wide with door-activated lighting.
|Update: You can now take a pantry tour.|
|Here on the door jamb, you can see how the light sensor works. As the door is opened, the button is pushed in, turning on the light.|
|We will have custom shelve put in eventually, but for now I'm borrowing my bookcases and some bedroom furniture to make it work.|
|If you look closely on the frig, you can get an idea of what it'll look like with the shelving installed.|
|Here is my temporary appliance shelf. Still sorting things out here. Out of sight, out of mind!|
If you'd like to read more about universal design and aging in place, specifically for the kitchen, please check out these previous posts:
- Why Universal Design on the First Floor (May 23, 2011)
- Why Such a Big Kitchen (June 22, 2011)
- Building with a Brain Injury (August 13, 2011)
- Aging in Place (January 4, 2012)