Test drive: Modern kitchen reveal
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The new kitchen has been up and running for a few months now and it occurred to me that I never posted a product list nor talked about how it functions as a working kitchen. The design challenge for the renovation was to create a space that would fit seamlessly into the mid-century house while utilizing 21st century technology, that would give us as much storage as the original but not feel as cramped. I spent six years researching and compiling wishlists. Remember the inspiration kitchens? The process was fluid, the layout changing right up to the moment the cabinets went in.
Moving the island has enabled me to both cook and wash dishes while spying on the neighbors looking out on the front yard; this is great entertainment, much better than a TV in the kitchen. Having three long and separate counters means a lot of people can be in the kitchen at one time without getting under each other's feet, but I find myself second guessing the Caesarstone, it's easy to maintain but in a battle with a Le Creuset casserole it's a brittle pussy. The previous Corian put up more of a fight. The Guy enthuses about the deep Blanco Super Precision sink, mainly because he can fit so much in it at one go. I like that I can pile dirty stuff in there and it almost disappears. I made a conscious decision not to have multiple dishwashers and I haven't regretted it. The thought of sacrificing a cabinet for something I'd only use once or twice a year strikes me as wasteful, plus the huge sink holds a the equivalent of one full load out of sight until the dishwasher is emptied again.
We both love the induction cooktop-it's a geek's dream come true-and the Cree LED downlights that have made a huge difference to the lighting in the room. These eco-friendly products were something I insisted on and they've more than lived up to expectations. The double convection wall ovens heat evenly but they take longer to reach temperature, even with the rapid preheat, than the old GE model and when I use the timer I can't read the oven clock. The cabinets are fabulous, the soft-close full-extension drawers mean less bending and stretching and yes, there are still a couple of empty drawers. Maybe though, the best part of the kitchen was something I didn't appreciate until I visited a friend who has beautiful Saulsalito tiles on her floor. After standing on them for only an hour I came home with an aching back. That's something that hasn't happened to me since we layed the hardwood floors!
Quick reminder of how it used to look. It was a great kitchen, although the design was not as specified on the original blueprints-in fact it had twice as many cabinets as Andrew Geller had planned. That made for four really tight corners, one of which, 2' between the island and the desk (just seen behind the island in the photo), we had to remove to install the new fridge the week we moved in!
The renovation layout has meant that more people can fit in there without pinch points, the smallest passage is a roomy 39" and my hips are thankful for fewer bruises. We had twenty-five friends in the kitchen one evening, the sink full of beer and white wine in a bath of ice, the table groaning with desserts and I could still get round to refill drinks and pass hors d'oeuvres. That's when I knew we had a fully functioning space.
Ikea Nexus Brown cabinets, Atlas Homewares Linea Skinny rail pulls, Caesarstone Misty Carrera countertops, Cree LED lighting, Electrolux ICON wall ovens + induction hob, SubZero refrigerator/freezer, Marvel wine fridge, Bosch dishwasher, Blanco SuperPrecision sink, Grohe Ladylux3 faucet, Benjamin Moore Silver Satin paint, Miniwax American Chestnut stain.