Browsing Category

KITCHEN design


Kitchen Style for the Serious Cook

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

→ Creating a Homey Restaurant-Style Kitchen with a Chef Table at Home

functional English style kitchen prep and cooking areas
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

You see plenty of pretty kitchens in magazines and online. Unfortunately, some kitchens are more beautiful than useful. I am interested by kitchens that are practical and beautiful. I found several ideas when I looked at the portfolio of Deulonder Domestic Architecture. They are is a Spanish interior design studio that cater to passionate cooks. Their kitchens fill the needs of people who really cook in their kitchen and who love to have guests over while they cook.

airy country kitchen deulonder
photos: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 2)

One common denominator in their design is how they juxtapose three main areas: the kitchen, the dining room and the butler’s pantry/serving area.

The English Home Restaurant-Style Kitchen

functional English style kitchen with a banquette dining room
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

This is unusual kitchen and dining room layout works if you like to entertain or have a large family. The kitchen itself is a mix between a galley-style kitchen and a L-shaped plan. Deulonder imagined a kitchen for a large family living on the outskirts of London or Boston. Let’s look at the ideas to steal in this stunning kitchen and dining area designed by Deulonder for Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

functional English style kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

For one thing, the fact that the kitchen/ prep / serving areas are wrapped around the dining room means that you can hire staff without jeopardizing the intimate mood of your dinner.

Secondly, you have to admire the efficiency of this kitchen. It is equipped for serious cooking. You have one big sink per prep area; which means you are never on someone else toes. There is a two-oven, four burner Viking stove with a grill and a teppanyaki. And there are plenty of the storage shelves or holes to store your large platters and baking sheets! I’m jealous!

functional English style kitchen view from the kitchen
photo: Deulonder Domestic Architecture (kitchen 1)

The third great feature are the glass walls. Without them, the dining room would be very dark. On a bright sunny day, I imagine myself serving brunch in winter and feeling warm. Another advantage is that they cook can see what is happening with the diners. If you need to keep a wall divides your dining room from your kitchen, you could examine how you can incorporate a big window inside your wall.

If you are still convinced that it is an amazing space, look at this view from the dining room.

functional English style kitchen pantry dining

For Outdoor Entertaining

I like the room interactions of this outdoor entertaining heaven space created by Minim, another Spanish interior design studio. This project was also presented at also presented at Casa Decor Barcelona 2011.

kitchen for outdoor entertaining by minim
photos: Luis Sanchez for Minim

Here a wine pantry is located between the kitchen and the terrace. You can bypass the wine pantry to access the terrace from the kitchen. This means that you can prepare your wine service out of sight and keep everything at the right temperature if you lounge outside.


Three Things I Like about Viola Park’s Kitchen Islands

viola park island details

First, I like the minimalist design of Viola Park’s kitchen systems. I wish I could live in a house where my floor plan would allow for that type of kitchen layout. In fact, I would make it my priority if we ever move to another house.

viola park integrated bread box

A cool thing about these airy, open islands is that they have more in common with furniture than kitchen cabinets. It suits me since I would use an island more as a food preparation area and a buffet station. I have never been keen about including a cooking surface and to a lesser extent, a sink, into an island. What I crave is to have access to a long uninterrupted work surface.

Their optional accessories are a sweet bonus to achieve that goal. The recessed bread box could be used to store onions, garlic, potatoes and root vegetables. The pivot storage units neatly keep cooking knifes and other cooking tools at reach, without reducing your work surfaces.

viola park pivot storage units

Lastly, the end shelving units enables you to keep your cookbooks or your favorite serving ware close by. You could opt for a drawer unit if you need more closed storage for plates, kitchen linens or small appliances.

As you can imagine, it is an upscale American made kitchen system, manufactured by Henrybuilt. Island B is available in lengths up to 11’ and widths of 24”, 30” and 36”. Island C can go up to 12’ in lengths and widths of 24”, 36” and 42”. Viola Park also produces a mobile island with a variety of drawer configurations.

viola park mobile island

+  Viola Park’s Kitchen Islands



New Uses for Old Things: Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Baking Sheet Magnet Board

Yesterday’s easy end-of-the-year teacher gift project got me thinking about everything else that comes with the end of the school year: piles of projects, artwork and report cards making their way from the classroom to every room in the house.

A little spray paint gives everyday kitchen baking sheets a new life as wranglers of colourful artwork and rainy day creative projects. Photos and display-worthy drawings are held to the baking sheet with magnets glued to the bottom of fluted metal tart cups, which are filled to the brim with pretty, stacked sewing notions.

This idea would look at home on the wall of a kitschy kitchen, in a kid’s bedroom or a craft room – whether you choose a colour that adds punch, or leave the sheets unpainted for a more modern look.

For full project instructions, check out the Crave Paper Blog.

+ DIY Baking Sheet Magnet Board from Crave Paper Blog


Kitchen Planning Like A Pro

kitchen storage planning drawer organizing

kitchen storage planning drawer organizing

If you’re going to all the work of renovating a kitchen, you might as well make it worth the effort – even if your custom kitchen dreams don’t have a dream budget to match.

Though they may only be visible behind closed doors and drawers, a few well-planned extras can add a layer of luxury to basic big box cabinets.

Over at The Farm Chicks, Serena turned double-decker drawer space into a chopping block with a built-in garbage shoot for scraps (the drawer underneath houses a compost bin).

Better Homes & Gardens has no shortage of custom-kitchen-on-a-budget ideas, but this one stood out for its organizational simplicity. Not only does it offer double the storage of a typical cutlery drawer organizer, you can size the slots to fit other culinary accoutrements too. Check out more ideas here.

What special “just for me” feature would you add to your kitchen if you could?

+ Chopping Block Drawer at The Farm Chicks
+ Silverware Organizer at Better Homes & Gardens


Hide Away your Kitchen Tools with Trim by Dada

There is more to kitchen cabinet design than the standard 12-inch and 24-inch deep cabinets. To achieve a certain look or for function, you might have to consider a custom made depth. For example, I designed a 6-inch deep kitchen cabinet over my sink to achieve a continuous flow of cabinets of the same height. It is very useful despite its small space. I am simply more selective about what I can put there.

Trim Kitchens by Dada

narrow storage details of Trim kitchen by dade

But what about the need to hide away the food products, tools and tableware that we either hang on the backsplash or rest on the countertop. Dante Bonuccelli came up with a cool solution when he designed the Trim kitchen system for Dada. He designed a narrower cabinet system that fits between the countertop and the upper cabinets. The crystal doors disappear beneath the work top when you cook. The rest of the time, they hide the contents.

dada trim kitchen system

It also hides the electrical plugs and illuminates your work surfaces. The end result is a neater space that is very efficient. I love it!

+ Trim kitchen system by Dada


Meaningful Kitchen Wall Decals by Hommu

dishes by wall decals

dishes by wall decals

The Spanish-brand Hommu specializes in fun wall decals and wallpapers. I particularly like their kitchen recyclable vinyls that you can apply on walls or cupboards.

cutlery vinyl decals by hommu

A nice practical touch it is that you can use it to identify what behind the doors or drawers. Every set from the “shelf” collection is modular, which means you can divide to create several vignettes or combine the pieces to fit the space you have.

coffee and glassware wall decals

Your friends will not have any more problem to find where you put your cups, glasses, coffee pot or bar ware.

cocktail bar ware wall decals

Or you could display a Spanish recipe, like the gazpacho. A unique element are the ingredient illustrations. The gazpacho set is available in four colors.

gazpacho recipe wall decals

Stay tuned as I will share my fabulous wallpapers for kids from another Spanish brand this weekend.

+ Dishes recyclable  vinyl decals 45 €
+ Cutlery decals on recyclable vinyl decals 45 €
+ Coffee decals recyclable vinyl decals 45 €
+ Cocktails vinyl decals 45 €
+ Gaspacho recipe on recyclable vinyl 110 €


How to Use Colors in the Kitchen

painted green shaker kitchen cabinets

painted green shaker kitchen cabinets

We pass so many hours in your kitchen, why not make it cheerful? I buy several European home decor magazines every month. One constant over the years is how much the British and the Europeans are not afraid to use colors on big pieces. And their use of bold colors is tastefully done. The key to not regret your choice is to select a rich hue.

lime green glass backsplash counter surfaces in a white modern kitchen

I do not expect that I will convince many of you with this post to jump and buy colored kitchen cabinets, counter surfaces or fridges. I simply wish to show you something that you rarely see inside the North American decoration magazines. We are getting more comfortable when we see it more often. They are things that grow on you; others that don’t.

emerald blue high-gloss kitchen cabinets by alno

If you are not ready to commit, the next best thing to create a big statement is to paint your kitchen walls a contrasting color. This way, it is an easy fix if you get tired of it.

lime walls with espresso kitchen cabinets by alno

I walked the talk

There are many ways to add colors on a kitchen, other than accessories. Since I live in an old house (150 years old), I didn’t go all modern. My husband and I decided it was best to maintain an harmony between the indoor and the outdoor of our home. But it is still very modern for many people. I created the illusion of a wall of red stripes with my kitchen cabinets. The back of every two maple wood Shaker door is stained a bold red. I lent a wood watermelon to my kitchen maker and told him to match it. The backdrop is my olive green walls.

A row of red upper cabinets was my first choice but it meant changing the design of the tall cabinet, which I was not willing to do for practical reasons. You can use colors to enhance or to reduce the effect of the room architecture.

Have you dare to use colors on big pieces?

+ Harvey Jones Kitchens
+ Emerald Blue Kitchen by Alno
+ Alno – espresso cabinets with lime walls


One Open Plan, Two Ways to Use the Space

open dining layout

open dining layout

We often repeat some layout elements from one home to the next. We do it by preference and sometimes by habit. It is OK to repeat them as long as they still fit your lifestyle. Even with almost the same floor plan, no two persons will use the space exactly the same way. My open kitchen/dining plan shared similarities with the house I grew up as a teenager. Still we used the space very differently.

My mother would serve all the family meals at our spacious counter. My mother, who was working and still managed to cook our three daily meals, designed that house to reduce the amount of steps she needed to serve us. We would eat in the dining room every Sunday, on holidays and when my parents entertained.

Kitchen Stools

counter culture

Like most people these days, my husband and I always eat at the dining table. Even when I eat breakfast alone, I will sit at the dining table. For us, the counter area with stools is a conversation area. I like it when my husband and my guests sit at the counter while I cook dinner.

So, what’s about you? Do you eat every day in the kitchen or in the dining room? What is the relationship between your kitchen and your dining room?

+ Open Dining at Crate & Barrel
+ Counter Culture at Crate & Barrel


Great Kitchen Tips by Samantha Pynn

kitchen by Samantha Pynn

kitchen by Samantha Pynn

I love the open shelves of this kitchen designed by Samantha Pynn. We all dream of building a kitchen from scratch but for monetary and something, time constraints, it is not always possible. Samantha Pynn is known for trying to give a second life to furniture. We saw her operating her design touch on Pure Design that aired on HGTV. And the results are always exquisite. I am all for trying to reuse or repurpose furniture or kitchen cabinets with good bone and in still good condition.

refreshing a kitchen by Samantha Pynn

Last June, Samantha shared her top tips to Spice up your kitchen on The National Post. It goes from having  your cabinet doors professionally painted at a paint shop, to updating your backsplash with gorgeous tiles or marble tiles, up to replacing your sink and faucet. You will find on that same article the pros and cons of the various countertop surfaces. Have a notepad next to you before reading her article because it is filled with sound advices.

You can also read what Holly of Decor8 thinks about Samantha’s design on a post she published earlier today.

+ Samantha Pynn
+ photos: Virginia Macdonald, all rights reserved.


Artesio Kitchen by Poggenpohl

Poggenpohl artesio kitchen

Poggenpohl artesio kitchen

German architect Hadi Teherani worked with Poggenpohl to create a kitchen system where the kitchen cabinets, the furniture and the space form one entity. I like the overall look and feel.

Poggenpohl artesio in a high-ceiling home

The kitchen design seems fit for a loft since it creates a division between the kitchen and the rest of the open space. The beautiful “arch” solves a common problem with very high ceiling by lowering the ceiling lamps. It brings down the kitchen to human scale, instead of feeling lost in the space.

Poggenpohl artesio details

The minimalist lines of the white cabinets work well against the wooden wall. The glass box could be used as display area or my favorite, to grow an herb garden.

Poggenpohl artesio full kitchen view

The shown configuration looks great on pictures. I would probably add a row of lower cabinets to be with the family or see my guests while I prepping my food and plating my dishes. It does not have to be wide as an island for it to work. Artesio kitchen will be available in the USA in January 2011.

+ photos: Poggenpohl
+ photos: Hadi Teherani


Delightful Mondays: Girlie Kitchen of Catherine Hammerton

catherine hammerton's Kitchen

catherine hammerton\'s Kitchen

You may have seen this kitchen on the April issue of Elle Decoration. The dress and the tablecloth share some design elements. You may be glad to know that the dress pattern is from Catherine Hammerton’s wallpaper collection. It has an updated classic flair.

catherine hammerton\'s kitchen :: close-up on dress and tablecloth

For her tablecloth, Catherine reinvented the same color palette on a simpler version. I like it! More photos and sneak peak on Design*Sponge.

+ photos by Brent Derby – styling by Ali Heath of Plum lifestyle for Elle Decoration