5. Clear the decks
As in any open kitchen, neatness counts. Here, building the island from the same glossy, white-lacquered cabinetry uncluttered the view from the dining table and front door. Beneath the sink, one drawer hides garbage and recycling bins; over the basin, the wall-mounted cabinet is made specifically to conceal a dish-drying rack and drip pan, helping to keep the highly visible countertops clear. And some streamlining came from keeping upgrades simple: Domel vent hoods, for instance, cool and recirculate cooking vapors, eliminating the need to add ductwork. Moving the cooktop to the island would have meant rerouting the power lines under the original terrazzo floor—at an additional cost of about $10,000.