Carol and Richard Bernstein both love to cook, so when it was time to plan their dream kitchen they wanted a space that could work when they cooked together and apart. The 23-X-14-foot kitchen has two ovens, two islands, and a six-burner range.
The Bernsteins' kitchen can accommodate one to four cooks with its zone system. The first zone reaches from the double sink to the undercounter oven, to the left of the range, and to the refrigerator. Zone two begins at the same sink, extends to the cooktop, and over to the refrigerator. These zones are ideal for preparing everyday meals. When it's time to entertain, zones three and four come into play. Zone three is designed for pre-meal preparation. It goes from the microwave to the counter. The fourth zone is organized for baking and reaches from the island sink to the counter to the oven on the right of the cooktop.
Rather than rely on one oven to prepare a big meal, the Bernsteins incorporated two ovens into the kitchen layout. Two ovens speed up cooking time. The one to the left of the range is used for roasting meat, the one to the right for baking. The ovens features doors that swing out instead of down, which makes it easier to access the food. Having designated jobs for each oven also makes storage easier. The drawers and cabinets next to each oven hold the necessary equipment for each job.
The U-shaped kitchen has two food preparation areas, two cooking areas, and two cleanup areas. Double work spaces allow the Bernsteins to use one area for preparing everyday meals and the other for larger meals. The center island is the main preparation area. It houses the kitchen's second sink and a butcher-block countertop at one end. The second preparation area, against the back wall, has a double stainless-steel sink. Both areas have granite countertops and dishwashers.
Because sharp knives can damage granite, the 3-inch butcher-block countertop provides a ready-made chop and dice station.
Two oversized drawers sit below the butcher-block countertop. Each drawer has designated grooves for knifes and other equipment. Storing these odd shaped items can be difficult, but having specific areas makes storage a snap.
Continuing with the theme of doubles, the kitchen features two pantries -- one for food and one for dishes. Dark-stained oak cabinet doors were used for the food pantry and base cabinets. These doors have stainless-steel handles that match the appliances. Having the food pantry next to the refrigerator makes for easy grocery unloading and meal preparation. The dish pantry, which is on the same wall as the food pantry, is created by four separate white-laminate and frosted-glass units that reach nearly 8-feet tall. The dishes show through the frosted glass doors, creating both a display and storage area.
Swing out oven doors aren't the only modern twist in this kitchen. The frosted-glass doors on the upper cabinets fold up rather than swing out to avoid bumping heads. Adjustable halogen light fixtures above the upper cabinets provide task lighting, and the halogen under-cabinet lighting illuminates food preparation on the 3/4-inch granite countertop. Windows added along the east-facing wall bring in natural light.
Thanks to the repeating materials, the kitchen and dining areas easily flow together. The limestone floor and pendant lights are the same in both areas. Black chairs mirror the almost-black appearance of the dark-stained oak cabinets.