As we design kitchens for our clients, I never make the assumption that the space will be predominantly for cooking.
In fact, it’s one of the first questions I ask during the design phase: why are you wanting a new kitchen? Is it truly for a better cooking experience? Or is it so you can tuck in a wine cooler and have a better place to host parties? Or to add an island so your kids can do their homework? Or is it just because you don’t like the way your old one “looks?” You can imagine how often the #1 answer is not for a better cooking experience.
Not so in the case of these clients. Though aesthetics and gathering and hosting and making space for their kids at the island all made the list, cooking was of the utmost importance– I knew it without even asking. After all the pair is the owner of several restaurants and cookbooks, not to mention James Beard accolades in tow for each of them.
Let me put it this way, when the husband creates dinners like this:
And the wife creates dessert like this:
You’re not allowed to create them in a kitchen like this:
It’s like a law or something. And they’ve been breaking this law for far too long. So finally the time came to throw those oak stained cabinets to the curb and try to forget that they ever had to look at that white microwave while thinking up award winning recipes. (I imagine it goes without saying that a microwave did not get included in the redesign!)
Speaking of the redesign, of course, these chefs knew exactly what they wanted. The new kitchen layout been rolling around their minds for as long as they’d been cooking in their old kitchen. And the new kitchen looked a little like this rendering we created for them:
Anyway, these chefs/homeowners were kind enough to humor me to a little Q & A. Here goes.
1. What did you like least about your old kitchen?
The style, efficiency, and small appliances were not conducive to our professional cooking needs. The cabinets were cheap and sticky from grease and the white microwave centered over our range will no longer be a focal point.
2. What was your highest priority as you designed your new kitchen? The one thing that had to be included in the remodel?
Making it easier to professionally cook and bake as well as entertain. Removing our table and creating one work space with island dining so our kids and guests can sit in the prep area was important, as well as updating our appliances to include a 48″ range (note: theirs will be a red range!).
3. As you planned your new kitchen and made decisions, what was most important: form or function?
4. What was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make so far?
Countertops. (Note: they ultimately chose a gorgeous honed, carrara marble paired with a black walnut Boo’s butcher block on the prep side of the island!)