Kitchen Goes From Cramped to Comfortable
Rounded edges optimize space and ease traffic flow in a jam-packed city kitchen
A tip to remember: Curved edges preserve more open space than do right angles. Sweeping curves and a creative storage plan took this 10-by-14-foot galley kitchen and 6-by-8-foot pantry from cramped to comfortable. Now, the New York City homeowners and their two teenage children can cook and eat together without colliding at each turn.
The 2-by-6-foot, granite-topped island's rounded ends with double doors ease clearance and provide full access to what's stowed inside. Curved clerestory-height maple cupboards add a third row of storage cabinets. The stainless-steel under-sink cabinets and backsplash were chosen for their water resistance.
Architect Duo Dickinson replaced the right-angled walls separating the kitchen and pantry with a wall at an oblique angle, bumping out its full length by 2 feet and stealing 20 square feet from the living room. An exposed steam-heat pipe and valve had to be relocated in the process.
Also relocated were the appliances. The fridge sits along the sink wall, with the ovens positioned just steps away. A cooktop set into the island, which also houses the wine cooler and a second sink, makes for comfortable meal-prep and cleanup zones. A built-in table with a curved end and banquette seat provides an informal eating area.
Custom curved cabinets from DW Woods at both ends of the island preserve open space without sacrificing storage. Clearance around the island is comfortable at just 36 inches, where 39 to 42 inches would be the norm. Garbage bins are hidden away at the sink end of the built-in, small appliances and extra dishes at the other.
A pull-out food-storage pantry makes maximum use of the 12-inch-wide floor-to-ceiling niche next to the Thermador microwave, warming drawer, and wall oven.
A laundry closet hides the stacked washer/dryer behind one bifold door. Fitted with cork, the cabinet's side does double duty as a bulletin board.
Ceiling-height cabinet doors do more than conceal rarely used party wares and stored files; the recessed panels have glass fronts with a slot for displaying artwork. The units are framed by a curved soffit below and crown molding above. Making clever use of the 11-foot ceiling, they're accessed via a folding stepladder stored elsewhere in the apartment.
The dated 10-by-14-foot kitchen galley's cabinets didn't make use of the room's tall ceilings.
A 6-by-8-foot pantry held the fridge and was cut off from the 10-by-14-foot kitchen by a doorway.
Revising the 90-degree-angled walls that had segregated the kitchen and the pantry allows the space to function as one unit. Bumping out the new wall 2 feet added about 20 square feet. In addition to base and upper units, curved ceiling-height cabinets (not indicated) are part of the new plan, which increased storage space by about 20 percent overall.