Stealing a couple of feet from the adjacent garage made this kitchen wide enough for an island, which holds the cooktop in a central spot. Downdraft ventilation eliminates the need for a hood, which would have put a visual barrier in the middle of the room.
The island is framed by generous stretches of countertop space, including one wall that accommodates the sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, and microwave. This consolidation of essentials -- all opposite the cooktop -- saves steps for the cook.
The working part of the 15x18 kitchen opens into an eating area, creating a setup for casual meals or parties. For more formal occasions, a doorway to the adjacent dining room eases serving and cleanup.
Continued on page 3: Entertaining L