Kelly's New Kitchen - It's Personal, Smart, and Flexible

Kelly's kitchen (see Kelly's picture on the right sidebar and wave!) was just finished a couple of months ago after a year of planning and 2 months of renovation! While our images quickly show the overall design of the kitchen, there are MANY features, both aesthetic and functional, that bear dissecting and sharing with our readers. 

Design is often the art of nuance, and this kitchen is all about nuance!! You'll see how soon - this is the start of our series! In each post, we will provide important tips, insight on how a designer thinks, the collaborative process and product information.

When you design a small kitchen, in this case, close to 200 sq ft, (small for the suburbs, huge for Manhattan-and we have (separate) personal living experience in no less than 6 Manhattan kitchens) every decision, no matter how small, is critical! With no additional dining space in the home and needing to accommodate a wide range of activities, it's a design that is either pass or fail once kitchen living begins post-renovation.

Kelly's new kitchen reflects the choices and compromises of real life needs and desires of a young family in their first home. It's a mix of DIY, designing around architectural elements we chose to keep in place and others that we chose to remove and replace. It's about designing with the end always in sight, including the surprisingly important decorative layer.

The kitchen (as many do) needed to serve these purposes:

  • A social kitchen - comfortable to be in for long periods of time
  • Able to accommodate as many people as reasonably possible
  • Appear as spacious as possible while balancing storage needs
  • Allow for a decorative layer including "real" artwork and treasured artifacts
  • Capable of change, which we will talk about in depth later, possibly the most exciting aspect of this kitchen renovation
  • To add an enhanced dimension of efficiency and function to the cooking process
  • Accommodate multi-functional activities (more about that later)
  • Reflect a highly personal design aesthetic overall

We are fortunate to have wonderful partners who donated their products and who had the foresight to see that this kitchen design would provide intelligent and interesting solutions to common design issues. We're proud of how it all came together, and as mother and daughter, we didn't even have a whole lot of drama during the process! Ok, we each took turns with some creative techniques of persuasion...true enough! I may or may not have coached Kelly on how to present controversial design ideas to her husband, a "trust but verify" kind of guy. ;)

So, thank you to our partners:

Next up, Kelly talks appliances - what was selected and why, where they should be best positioned, features, design integration, and more. Here's our nuclear family-the only one missing is baby Annabelle.

Posted on January 24, 2013 and filed under Kitchen Design.