House Beautiful Kitchen - Smaller Focus

I follow so many great people on Twitter, but cannot stay on Twitter constantly, so I'm sure I miss many great tweets. Oftentimes, I'll catch tweets that really relate to something I'm thinking about or bring me great new information, as I'm quickly scanning, and I'm delighted. This morning is one such occasion. I happened to catch House Beautiful's tweet, in part, on a case made for refrigerator drawers in a small kitchen.

This REALLY spoke to me because I have thought about this issue a LOT. The issue is if one should substitute refrigerator drawers in place of a traditional tall refrigerator in a small kitchen.

This is a personal issue for me as well as being a basic kitchen design issue that I am interested in.

We own our own little piece of New York City. At the moment, our apartment is used full time, as our son, attending college, is living here for perhaps one more year. He and his girlfriend cook up a storm most nights a week. The tall, old, 33" refrigerator is packed.

As my husband and I talk about the future, we'd love to be in this apartment on a part time basis for the foreseeable future.

Last year we removed the wall that separated the kitchen from the main living area in the apartment, exposing the kitchen. It was the very best thing we could have done. It opens up and combines the living area and the kitchen but makes the aesthetics of the kitchen more important than ever.

So, in thinking about renovating our kitchen down the road, I consider three issues, as I think everyone must when designing a small kitchen space: resale, fumction, and aesthetics.

RESALE

I think the default position on resale considerations is that a tall refrigerator is better than refrigerator drawers for the vast majority of potential buyers. I think that is safe to say. In our case, we think we will hold on to this apartment down the road, but we do not feel 100% sure which makes resale an issue.

FUNCTION

Bending, bending, fruit near the floor, sift through food (while bending.) Limited storage...and where does the freezer go? Platters, larger quantities of refrigerated food storage? Better think about that.

AESTHETICS

Aesthetics IS an issue in kitchen planning and should be examined carefully, the plan with and without a tall refrigerator. My heart wants to forget about the two issues above and build in refrigerator drawers solely for aesthetic reasons! In a small space, yes, I agree with the designer of this featured kitchen by House Beautiful...refrigerator drawers can be an enormous plus aesthetically as opposed to a tall refrigerator - even a fabulously built in slim refrigerator.

That's the thing...aesthetics, at least in my world, are as important, and sometimes more important, (gasp) than function, to which I, personally, am (sometimes) willing to adapt to. That's the other thing...if you go with your heart, make sure your head is very well aware of potential consequences (oh, how responsible, sigh)

I don't know what I'll end up doing when we eventually renovate this kitchen, but I know I will consider ALL issues very carefully and I'll beware of my emotions taking control of the decision. Then, I just may say, ok, whatever, I really want to open the kitchen up to the max, come what may. I can see that. :)

KITCHEN OF THE YEAR

Do you know about the kitchen of the year? It's being built as we speak in the middle of Rockefeller Center in New York. Designed in collaboration with Ina Garten, one of my favorite cookbook authors of all time. I think I have every cookbook she's authored! The KOTY will be on display from July 20-24.  I'll certainly be attending the event!

Posted on July 5, 2009 .