A Kitchen's Uncluttered Look Really Cooks
Opening up and enlarging the kitchen leads the way to a freer-flowing layout, a handsomer look, and new no-hassle places for prep
A calm mien can belie a hardworking soul. The kitchen in Debra and Robert Curtis's Rockville, Maryland, house is so buttoned-down that a visitor might have a tough time finding the beer (it's in a fridge drawer), the microwave (in another drawer), or even the dishwasher (behind a false drawer). Before the redo, they were boxed into a confined space with crowded cabinets and countertops. "I wanted my kitchen to be a canvas," says Debra, one with colorful accessories set against a neutral backdrop. She also wanted to be able to make pizza without having to ransack cabinets looking for the grater.
Shown: Every spatula, spice, and small appliance has an assigned place in the enlarged kitchen, which also gained a graceful opening to the dining room.
Designer Connie Gustafson gutted the space, borrowed about 40 square feet from the dining room to improve the layout, and ordered white uppers and gray base cabinets with helpful pullouts. Now the couple, empty nesters who both enjoy cooking, know how to find what they need. Small appliances park in a garage near the fridge, and platters no longer hover at the back of crammed shelves. "In the old kitchen, I couldn't find anything," says Debra. "Now everything is totally organized."
Shown: Jumbled countertops and dated, dysfunctional cabinets took the joy out of cooking.
The appliance garage is strategically situated near the fridge with a landing spot for coffee, milk, butter, and eggs.
Pulls: Jeffrey Alexander
The range hood is trimmed to coordinate with the traditional crown molding in the kitchen and the dining room.
The 108-square-foot cooking space was crowded and boxed in.
Pro tip: "Streamlined pulls can give traditional cabinets a fresh look. Shop for ones that come as a suite so that you can match each pull to the size of a given drawer or cabinet front." —Connie Gustafson, kitchen designer
Gutting, lengthening, and opening up the space improved the layout and the traffic flow from the dining room to the breakfast nook.
1. Demolished a partition wall to open up the space and create a high-functioning peninsula with a prep sink, a microwave, and equipment storage.
2. Swapped the range and fridge walls and arrayed spots for spices, cutting boards, and utensils around them.
3. Removed the peninsula that divided the cooking and breakfast areas to give the space a more open feel and better flow.
4. Annexed 43 square feet from the dining room to create more work space and a larger, more formal opening.