After-School Kitchen

Better Homes and Gardens magazine shows off a multifunctional space with a strong connection to the outdoors. A kitchen, window seat, banquette, desk, and mudroom offer plenty of room for the family's after-school activities.

Family Banquette in Red

"The kitchen is the place where the family comes together," says Oma Blaise Ford, senior deputy editor of Better Homes and Gardens. This all-encompassing kitchen helps solve the problem of fitting in family time, since the design allows for many activities to take place in and around the kitchen area.

The Floor Plan

Luxurious space for a mudroom, banquette/homework center, window seat, and cooking area fill this layout with family features.

Dual-Height Kitchen Island

Complementary countertop materials -- Corian (in the gray "Earth" color) for the main work surface and Zodiaq (in "Indus Red") for the eating bar -- add pizzazz to the design, as well as definition to the functions of the surfaces.

Practical Corian Countertops

Functional working countertops are a necessary feature in a family kitchen. This Corian counter (in "Earth") has a deep base color with veins of beige to create a smooth and flowing effect -- which also helps to hide fingerprints, smudges, and the occasional crumb.

Bar-Height Zodiaq Eating Area

Virtually maintenance free, DuPont™ Zodiaq® is 93 percent pure quartz crystal, which gives it a natural depth and radiance without the imperfections common in unimproved stone. It is also incredibly durable, resisting both heat and scratches. Our red countertop adds sparkle and pops in the otherwise neutral kitchen space.

Open Shelving

Why not check on the kids outside while you cook? Positioning the KitchenAid 5-burner cooktop in front of the window will let you do just that. Handy open shelves beneath keep frequently used cookware within easy reach.

Furniture-Look Cabinet

Though this cabinet might look like a piece of free-standing furniture, it is actually a separate kitchen cabinet finished in a complementary color (KraftMaid Pewter Glaze). See the next slide for a view of the inside!

Family Storage Center

Fill a handy pantry unit like this with everything from serving platters to games, cookbooks, CDs, and DVDs.

Snack Ahoy!

Give the kids their own space to create sandwiches, breakfast items, or snacks. This cabinet's roll-out shelving and built-in electrical outlets also let you close the doors to hide any clutter.

Appliance Center

On the other side of the island, a large built-in refrigerator and double wall ovens share space with a cookie bar and cookie jar display area.


Most families could use the handy features and space inside this KitchenAid French Door refrigerator. On top, the double doors require a smaller area to swing open -- a boon for a busy kitchen where multiple cooks and kids may frequently cross paths. A bottom freezer offers easy access to ice cubes, frozen pizzas, or ice cream.

Wall Ovens

Sparkling stainless wall ovens combine a top unit with a convection/microwave combination, a second oven, plus a warming drawer to keep dinner hot for stragglers.

Collectibles Display

We carved out a spot for a whimsical display of collectible cookie jars, but the shelves could easily be commandeered for cookbook storage, copper pots, or vintage mixing bowls.

Island Detail

A curved line of raised red countertop helps break up the look of a large island and adds a pleasing design element to the space.

Cookie Prep Station

Handy to the sink, a cookie prep station can be accessed in a moment using this handy lift-up shelf installed inside the KraftMaid cabinetry. Though the cabinets may look white in the photo, the finish is called Vanilla Bean Glaze -- a softer, more family-friendly look than bright white.

Banquette with a View

From the island, the striking red banquette can be seen in the far corner. It's a perfect spot for homework, snacking, eating meals, or just chatting.

Banquette Shelving

Unusual curved shelves line up behind the banquette and have enough space for homework projects, reference books, and materials. Below is a rolling art table, also seen in the next slide.

Pull-Out Kids' Art Center

Multiple storage drawers and fun red handles distinguish this cabinet as "just for kids." Inside, a variety of art supplies, paper, markers, etc. fill the unit with everything needed for an impromptu rainy-day craft session.

Banquette Seating

Practical leather cushions are durable for all kinds of kid antics. Throw pillows soften the corners -- making an extra-deep bench a great place to lounge.

Mom Central

A small desk near the banquette is a place where Mom can make grocery lists, plan activities, or make calls.

Pet Care Area

Steps from Mom's desk is a pet-care space with a shower (as handy for washing muddy boots as it is for washing the dog), a pet feeding station, and plenty of storage for pet supplies.

Mudroom Storage

Opposite the pet wall, built-in cabinetry (KraftMaid's Amhurst Maple door in Ginger Glaze) creates a home for paperwork, boots, mittens, and sports equipment. To the left (out of view), a lower shelf offers a place to sit while changing shoes and also acts as a backpack staging area.

Window Seating

Back in the kitchen space, this window seat is a great place for parents and kids to talk, read, or munch on a cookie after school.

Books and Games

The window seat space includes shelving for family books and games. Sheer drapery panels help create a sense of privacy.

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