MY NUMBER 1, NON-NEGOTIABLE BUT OFTEN CONTROVERSIAL KITCHEN DESIGN GOAL

Sometimes I think my “handle” should be space doctor. 

I just cannot help myself, really I can’t. In kitchens with an island, my eye automatically zooms to see if it has an appliance as a sink or a cooking range installed in it? To my amazement, regardless of the size of a kitchen or even if it is very high end (expensive) in most kitchen, islands do have an appliance of either a range top or sink.  

Take a look at the mixer the girls and I are using and also notice the flat stainless cooking sheet like pan. Only it is the cover for the Bosch Cooking Machine, the only appliance I “allowed” on my island.

As you see BobBob lovingly waxing our solid walnut island, where you can see the Bosch Cooking Machine. I loved it as a mixer, food processor, and blender, but expecially because it did not take up space one covered.

Many ask how can a kitchen function to the highest level without a sink or range in the island?

Here are 3 kitchens that I designed for these owners that love to entertain and are exceptionally good cooks, including myself… 🙂

This beautiful kitchen was a total remodeling project taking down walls with many other major construction upgrades. This is a perfect example of a high function, multiporpose island for this very social, empty nest couple who loved to entertain.

Here is the.cool part of this island, a prep sink almost hidden but used for a second cook, or cooling beverages, or iced down for shrimp or other delights.

I must also add that I have gotten into hot water many times with contractors or builders or an occasional client who challenged my request to avoid appliances in the kitchen island. But because I am convinced with years of kitchen designing, as you can guess, I was armed and ready to do battle. There are very few things I go to battle over in designing interiors, always leaving room for differing opinions, However, if I only hear, “but where else would a sink or a range go?”,  I have had to be qualified and prepared to do the extra space planning design to show how it can be done.

Here are my reasons why I believe islands should be free of appliances:

1. The work triangle is an outdated rule today since our kitchens have become the everything in the way life is lived today.

My own kitchen layout was a real challenge but after hours and hours of planning, I had it figured out. If you look carefully, the business part of my kitchen was all within cooking functioning and clean up. It worked like a charm making me a very happy cook. The constant question asked was where is your dishwasher? Aha, it is at the end of the island opposite the sink. Best ergonomic loading and unloading experience ever.

2. Kitchen island appliances are rarely magazine photo ready.

Unless there is never cooking which in turn means there are no dishes to clean up, how then can an island appliance be attractive? Oh yes, I know of the awesome sinks and even more awesome faucets and flat sleek stove top ranges. Let’s be honest, always spotless with no pans or dishes?

          And I have sat at tons of island bar stools eating or snacking looking at a not so pretty view of the cooking pans, dishes, or whatevers. Why do we want this view? 

3. Appliances in an island hinders unlimited use or entertaining possibilities.

I wish that I could show you all the wonderful functions that occured from our kitchen island. To name a few, there were baby and wedding showers, fund raising events, large happy hour gatherings, parties, and most importantly, family dinners and cooking with my grandchildren.

Lights dimmed for an intimate evening with special friends even though it was a fairly large crowd, the island did its magic.

4. The kitchen is the heart of the home.

Where do we all gather? In the kitchen of course so why only seasonally accessorize the dining room table? Who sees your dining room and how often do you use your dining room for dinners?

What joy it is for me to create a cheerful welcoming tablescape for my own simple pleasures but certainly for everyone vising my home. It says I care. I go the extra mile of effort to bring beauty into the everyday by seasonal flowers or traditional holiday décor and with little effort, you can too!

After all, it takes so little to make even our kitchens a place of ever-changing beauty. This is where life is lived for most people or families. Therefore, whether a designer or not, we all know how the simple pleasures in life can leave a lasting impression or give someone just the exact lift they need. 

Wishing you all a kitchen filled with lots and lots of joyful elements for your deserving self and everyone else blessed to be in your wonderful presence.

Living and Loving Life Together,

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