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Old 10-10-2005, 08:31 PM   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Portland, Or
Posts: 1,173
I love my kitchen but who couldn't use just a little more cupboard space? I am short so I wish the counters were about 2 inches lower - my answer is to wear higher shoes when I need to chop or knead - that really helps my back and gives me some leverage.

DH indulged me when we moved in here 6 years ago and put in a gas cook-top, a new oven/microwave/warming drawer (which I could not now live without) and last year we replaced the window (from 3 very woody and dark panes to just two, sliders underneath) then we replaced the brick countertops - yes I said brick - glazed but with grout and horribly uneven - with Flowstone which I love. The sink is integrated so there are no sink edges to catch stuff and the surface is so smooth you can roll dough out right on it and it stays cool - you use much less flour and cleans like a dream with comet! I couldn't recommend it more highly!

The kitchen is U shaped but with a counter behind the U. I'm one happy cook!

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all. Oregon native transplanted to Chicago....
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:37 PM   #12
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,356
Wanted to share this article. What I have, and what I want, might take a little thinking - or take up a chapter.

Keys to Creating a Kitchen That Works

By Chris Casson Madden
Scripps Howard News Service

Innovative solutions such as a drawer devoted to spices are a plus for an organized kitchen. (SHNS photo by John Vaughan / Chris Madden Inc.)

If you've ever spent any time behind the scenes of a restaurant kitchen, you know that the preparation of delicious meals is a fast-paced choreography between chef and sous chef, salad maker, grill cook and wait staff. It is an economy of motion within an economy of space, with the goal being the prompt service of food.

I don't see a kitchen in a home as being much different. With our hectic lives, we multi-task while we cook, people eat on the run and a meal where everyone sits around the table together is often a rarity. For some, cooking is a necessary evil. For others, like me, it is enjoyable. But no matter what your style, creating a kitchen that's efficient and convenient should be a priority whether you are a simple cook or have the heart and saucepans of a gourmet.

However, the way we use our kitchen space today is changing. In fact, a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) found that most women not only work but also share the cooking duties with others in the home. They also prepare very few dishes from scratch, which means today's cooks need pantry space for any number of packaged food items.

There are three important keys in creating a kitchen that works with you and not against you: plan the space for efficiency, choose the right appliances and pay attention to storage needs.

You may need the help of a pro, but whether you are remodeling or reorganizing, deciding how your space will accommodate prep work and cooking is a must. While the classic "kitchen triangle" layout and its variations are still workable, today's kitchen designers more often are creating multiple work stations to allow more than one person to work efficiently without getting in anyone else's way. Adding an island is the most common way to make this happen.

There are some truly wonderful major appliance options out there that can turn the least skilled of us into the next Julia or Emeril. The trend to stainless steel continues, which goes with all decors. In particular, gas ranges and cook tops are more preferable than electric because cooks know that gas flames give them more control over the heat, an important factor when cooking delicate sauces.

As far as ovens go, think convection. Convection ovens cook faster and more evenly than conventional ovens and thereby prevent food from drying out. Higher-end models will be more expensive, but will yield more professional results.

Here are some other ways to create a cook's kitchen:
  • Place a spice drawer by the main cooking workstation. This lets cooks have their cumin, chives or cilantro close at hand, and racks tailor-made for glass spice jars are available.
  • Position a warming drawer next to your cook top. An invaluable cook's tool, a warming drawer can keep an entrée warm while side dishes are prepared.
  • Mount a magnetic knife bar on the wall nearest where you chop and slice. The bar keeps cutlery stored safely above your countertop but within convenient reach for prep work.
  • Install an ergonomically designed sink. One system manufactured by Franke streamlines food prep and cleanup using a cutting board, measuring bowl, colander, open-bottomed bowl and a stainless-steel grid. Those elements are integrated into the design of the main under-mounted sink. Both Kohler and Kallista are also designing interesting new looks for sinks.
Just as you would put together any recipe, so should you find the right ingredients for your kitchen to make it work for you and your family and enjoy the added benefits of smart design in one of your most-used spaces.

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Old 10-10-2005, 10:15 PM   #13
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Location: North Carolina
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Moved to the Food Talk Forum.

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
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Old 10-10-2005, 10:20 PM   #14
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: near Niagara Falls, Ontario
Posts: 316
Ahhhh the kitchen!

We moved into our present house in July 1993 and we have done a few changes to the kitchen since then, but it's basically the same as it was when originally built in Spring 1949, same cupboards and same placement of appliances.

In the first photo, you can now see a butcher block in the center of the kitchen. This was made possible by moving the fridge back 2 feet - which meant cutting open the wall behind it and losing my walk-in pantry on the other side, this was relegated to the basement for now. The kitchen is a lot bigger now, we have effrectively created a two cook kitchen by doing that.

At the bottom left side of the photo, you can see a breakfast table pushed up against the counter with a long bench under it. Initially it was a breakfast nook built like a restaurant booth, not convenient at all. We removed the built-in benches and added chairs opposite the long bench. Now we can move the table back (it used to be built in as well but now has four legs and is separate) and we can stand at that counter on the near side of the counter, very convenient when we have others helping out with food prep.

The cupboard doors have been removed on either side of the stove, this has become a very nice feature, it facilitates putting away dishes or reaching for what we need, it is very beautiful now as well as convenient. You would have had to see it in person when the doors were still on and be able to compare the effect it has on the whole kitchen, it looks so much more open and HUGE!

The next step will be to remove the microwave entirely from the near left side, cut the cabinet doors to match the short upper cupboards, as well as build three shelves, matching the ones on either side of the stove. At the present time the shelves behind the doors above the microwave are totally unreachable so we don't use these at all.

By the way I was not pleased that this photo was taken showing the huge garbage pail in the forefront - LOL - I made sure that I cleared space under the sink for three pails, regular garbage, recycling and compost.

This is great that I can post photos and let you see what I am talking about. This thread is fascinating!
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All things are difficult before they are easy. -Thomas Fuller (1608-61)
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Old 10-11-2005, 04:11 AM   #15
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,970
If I was rich, I'd raise my counters 2 or 3 inches (I'm tall), but that would be prohibitive! I agree with all who've said it .... I really wasn't sure I'd like those door-less, open cupboards ... too much for people to see! But in fact they are great. You can even put dishes away slightly damp, because they'll dry in place. You do have to pare down to the essentials, though, or they're too hard to keep clean and neat.

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