Balanced Workstations Help a Small Kitchen
An island, a second sink, and designated zones for food prep and cleanup offer a cramped space much-needed elbow room
With three active doorways, a brick chimney wall, and a floor-to-ceiling window to reckon with, all the kitchen's contents—including the chief cook and head dishwasher—found themselves pushed up against the room's sole uninterrupted wall. Designer Beth Haley helped improved the flow by reconfiguring the space into distinct stations devoted to prep, cooking, and cleanup. By removing a short peninsula and a table that was shoved in front of the one window to serve as additional work area, the designer made way for a granite-topped island with a prep sink, under-counter storage, and bar-stool seating. Period-style materials such as galvanized zinc and beadboard combine with four well-coordinated shades of green, gray, and gold paint to create a vintage look.
1. Integrate Existing Cabinets with new, custom-fitted cupboards by local cabinetmaker Roger Graham, painting them varying shades of green. This not only stretched the budget, it spared perfectly good woodwork a needless trip to the landfill.
2. Reconfigure the Layout to create task-oriented stations and ease the traffic jam: Sliding the range into the spot freed up by the sink and removing the short, single-cabinet peninsula that stuck out into the room provided space for an island with a second sink, storage, and seating.
3. Relocate the Main Sink to directly in front of the room's tall, narrow window for a cheerful, efficient cleanup station. Now dirty dishes are easily transported to the dishwasher from the adjoining dining room.
4. Vary Counter Heights and surface materials—like the galvanized zinc around the main sink and the tumbled-marble tile behind the Wolf range—to give the kitchen a built-over-time look. Four well-coordinated paint colors blend the old and the new in an effective, unforced fashion.
A glass-front hutch fitted with open brackets, a raised butcher-block surface, and a beadboard back adds vintage style to an oddly angled exterior wall. Painted Benjamin Moore's Nantucket Gray, the piece has the look of freestanding furniture and a made-to-measure fit. The Lutron lighting control mounted under the hutch's upper cabinet remotely commands the new lighting scheme masterminded by homeowner Judson Adams, an engineer. Pendant lights, recessed accent lighting, and dimmable undercabinet tracks warm up the room, which has only one source of natural light.
The custom washstand designed to hold the Rohl fireclay farm sink has turned legs, with open storage down below for frequently used pots and serving pieces. A zinc countertop and a Delta faucet with Victorian styling complete its old-fashioned look.
Slide-Out Drawers built in the space vacated by the old dishwasher, keep dry goods neatly organized and handy near the range.
A recessed built-in outside the dining room has shelves up top to display serving pieces; hinged paneled doors below serve as pantry space. The piece is given added architectural heft with the same casing that surrounds the home's doorways.
The white stock cabinets were sturdy but boring, and too few in number to keep work areas clear of clutter.
The L-shaped cabinetry configuration pushed everything—and everyone—to one side of the 182-square-foot space.
Removing the L's single right-angled cabinet and makeshift worktable allowed for relocating the main sink and dishwasher along the window wall. This freed up space
for a multifunctional island, more cabinetry, and better traffic flow.