Dual Designs Create True ‘Living’ Kitchens
By Anita Shaw
Just as consumers’ lifestyles have changed over the past few
decades, so, too, have their homes, in order to accommodate
evolving lifestyles and attitudes. Longer work hours, the rise of
two-career households and an increasingly busy schedule have left
today’s consumers with less time to spend with families and
socialize with friends trends which have had a significant impact
on kitchen design.
To keep in step with these trends, the kitchen has gone from
being simply a room to prepare and serve food to being a
multi-purpose room that includes not only these elements, but also
serves as a meeting place for the family and acts as the setting
for social events, both formal and informal. In fact, according to
Renovation Style magazine, today’s consumers “want to live, work,
entertain and be entertained in their kitchen.”
Going in search of the “living kitchen,” Renovation Style
magazine sponsored two different design approaches, using as a base
a typical 29-year-old kitchen that measured 20’x20′. Project editor
Robert Young helped to supervise the operations, including the
removal of walls to open up the room’s original chopped-up
Consumers’ passion for multi-tasking was taken into
consideration during the creative process. “Our research shows that
kitchens today must support several activities at once,” offers
Renovation Style editor Ann Maine.”We also want more storage in the
kitchen, and multiples of appliances two ranges, two dishwashers,
Both kitchen designs which were showcased at this year’s
Kitchen/Bath Industry Show in Chicago include multiple appliances
with ease-of-use features, as well as walk-in pantries for
significant storage, reflecting another hot new trend: buying in
The cooks’ room
When Janice Pattee, CKD, of KraftMaid Cabinetry, in Middlefield,
OH, mapped out the first design, she kept the ideas of entertaining
and serious cooking in mind. Accordingly, the room features six
separate food preparation and entertaining areas.
The food prep areas are designed to allow for several cooks at
once, according to Pattee. An island with a vegetable sink,
Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator drawers and ASKO dishwasher
creates a high function area, while a FiveStar dual-fuel 48″
stainless steel professional range offers food storage on each
side. A clean-up area includes a second dishwasher, plate rack and
Kohler Alcott apron-front sink. A Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer
drawers are featured on one wall, along with a KitchenAid stainless
steel microwave oven.
The built-to-order, semi-custom cabinetry from KraftMaid
Cabinetry includes Huntington Maple recessed door panel styling,
Knollwood Cherry with a raised door panel and Marquette Maple with
raised paneling. Solid surface countertops in Natural Firma from
the Surell Terrastone Collection are featured throughout the room,
complementing the Italian marble floor. Yorkshire leaded-glass
inserts show off the cabinet interiors and add warmth and
The elegant wet bar features a Kohler Porto Fino Entertainment
Sink in Sunlight, wine chiller from Sub-Zero and base cabinet wine
racks. The bar area is grouped with the dining space, which is
placed adjacent to a raised-hearth, Heat-N-Glo Crescent
Arched-front Gas Kitchen Fireplace with glass shelf bun warmer.
The room also gains function-ality through the design of a
planning area and message center, Pattee adds.
A gathering space
Creating a place that facilitates family gatherings was the goal of
the kitchen designed by Doug Austin and Faith Allen of Amera Fine
Cabinetry by Merillat, in Adrian, MI. Created to accommodate
several activities at once, the space combines an entertainment
center, a library with fireplace and game table, and an office
nook. Niches, glass-front cabinets and bookshelves were added to
allow the family to personalize the space with mementos.
To create separate activity areas, Austin and Allen created
alcoves at either side of the room, set off by dramatic arches. One
alcove fits a Heat-N-Glo Gas Fireplace with arched opening and
built-in bookshelves, making it a warm, cozy spot for gathering.
The other space includes a 30″ gas cooktop, Architect Series 30″
Stainless Steel built-in electric oven and 36″ stainless steel
Wall-Mount Canopy Range Hood, all from KitchenAid.
KitchenAid appliances are also featured throughout the room,
including a Classic Collection 36″ refrigerator and an Architect
Series stainless steel dishwasher.
One narrow corner niche features an office area, while another
holds a walk-in pantry. All furniture in the room, which includes a
game table as well as arm and side chairs, are finished in tweed
An island is also included in the design, and encompasses a
television and video storage area on one side and a Kohler Clay
Tones undercounter sink and food prep area on the other.
Amera Fine Cabinetry from Merillat Industries in Cranston Fare
Maple and Leland Park Maple features Oatmeal with Chocolate Glaze,
Sherwood Green with Chocolate Glaze and Cider Finish, with Manor
Cherry Door Style. The cabinetry has an unfitted, furniture-like
feel, giving the room a den-like quality, according to Austin and
Allen. Lexalt solid surface countertops in Parma and Coconut from
Nahshon Industries complete the look.