A new layout transforms this Colorado kitchen from an obstacle course to a smooth work zone.
What's the most important feature of a kitchen? Ask homeowner Bev Needham, and she'll tell you a good layout. That's why she got together with Beth Joseph, a kitchen designer, to create a new kitchen layout that naturally flows between work areas. To achieve this new space, they gutted the kitchen, changed all the cabinetry and appliances, and redesigned the island.
Before, Bev would not have described her kitchen as user friendly. A large island broke up the room's work space and forced her to take extra steps when preparing a meal. The glass blocks along the base of the island dated the space and didn't match the rest of the kitchen's aesthetic.
Joseph's major task was to create a new work space that was functional and modern. Rather than remove the island, she revamped it by changing the island countertop to one height. Next, she moved the refrigerator from in front of the island to behind the island to give Bev easier access when preparing meals. Joseph believes a kitchen functions better when the refrigerator integrates with the main cooking area. She moved the microwave closer to the refrigerator to make reheating food easier.
This double-level island presented many problems when it came time to prepare a dish. The appliances were spread across the kitchen, with the island serving as a roadblock. Therefore, Bev wasted time and energy moving around the island and bringing stuff back and forth to the sink and preparation area. The prep area was also a major problem. The dual-height island hid dirty dishes but limited space for spreading out ingredients.
Updating the cabinets, countertops, and backsplash was a key part of overhauling the kitchen. Stainless-steel upper cabinets team with the stainless-steel appliances to give the kitchen a modern look. Green and gray glass backsplash tiles play off the colors of the granite countertops throughout the kitchen. For the base cabinets, Bev chose cherrywood cabinets with an espresso finish.
Office spaces in the kitchen are great for paying bills or giving kids a place to do homework while dinner's being prepared. The designer repeated the tile and cabinetry elements to connect the area to the rest of the kitchen. But, she also wanted to set it apart. The stepped-down counter and contemporary shelving unit that mounts to the ceiling separates this mini-office from the rest of the kitchen.