Kitchen design promotes good food, conversation

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The kitchen is the hub of a home. So when a homeowner remodels or buys a new house, the kitchen often gets the most attention. Even people who seldom cook may prefer a kitchen that has lots of cabinets and counter space and is big, open and multifunctional.

Sure, you can drool over kitchens on any HGTV decorating and remodeling show, but there’s nothing like being in a real kitchen to get ideas for making our own space more hospitable.

Diane James’s was in the recent Kitchens of the Bluegrass Tour. It was remodeled two years ago when she bought a house on Mentelle Park that was built in 1916. James removed walls in the house to turn a small kitchen, pantry and dining room into a large, open living area. The kitchen was designed to suit the house’s style and the owner’s personality. It’s spacious and functional, without frou-frou.

“I’ve lived in enough kitchens in my life to know what I want in a kitchen and what I don’t need,” said James, a general contractor. She also does a lot of work with Habitat for Humanity. “That’s really my passion.” She said she and a friend have built a few homes for low-income families who didn’t qualify for Habitat.

When she needed help remodeling her own home, friends pitched in.

The kitchen cabinets are dark cherry wood, and the island has a marble top and a dual-fuel stove. The gas stovetop was “something I really wanted,” she said.

James installed a farmhouse sink. “That’s another thing I really wanted. I think it looks great. I especially wanted to have a larger sink on one side, so I can lay a big pan or casserole dish in the sink.”

James’ kitchen isn’t cluttered with gadgets. She has only the things she really needs. One of her favorite items — a KitchenAid stand mixer — has its own cabinet. The cabinet has a hinged shelf that rolls out and up to bring the mixer to countertop level.

Now that her four daughters are grown, James cooks for special occasions. Her kitchen was built with that in mind. Guests can gather around the kitchen island to help with dishes.


5 Responses

  1. You can tell a great kitchen design when the countertops are not littered with small appliances or utensils.

  2. Don’t forget about the difference a new window can make! Adding new windows can be a great way to make an affordable, renovating change without completely remodeling.

  3. I agree, a well designed kitchen takes into account the users and their cooking lifestyle. A good designer will ask questions and design the kitchen to accommodate even the small appliances, creating storage areas to keep them out of site.

  4. Granite has developed from a largely structural material to a stone that has numerous applications, this could be used in your kitchens as Kitchen Worktops to make the interiors more beautiful.

  5. Nothing like some simple hanging brackets to make life easier, eh?

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