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linalibre

I used to actually label drawers and doors to make it easier/safer for visitors, babysitters, gatherings of multiple cooks who otherwise walked around opening & slamming every door and drawer searching for utensils, ingredients, etc. So our latest kitchen was deliberately designed to be transparent for multiple users: Base cabinets are door-less with pull-outs. Upper cabs are open boxes w/ shelves. Utensils and cookware are on display as collections that we consider quite attractive. (We did a test run in our previous house to determine whether grease got deposited on things in open cabinets--simply removed cabinet doors. It didn't, and it hasn't here either. I used to fear that but it's baseless, so we went ahead w/o doors as part of the new design.) BTW I hate cluttered counters; it's the walls and shelves that display items, not the counter!


Paneled appliances that look like cabinets or drawers? appliance garages? This is just a pretense that "There's no kitchen here--move along...." A form of denial IMHO. Ours says, THIS IS A KITCHEN--ENJOY! (And, "Please look at my beautiful cookware!") My husband, who used to accuse me of "hiding" things or "moving" them, is very happy now to share cooking space. And my mom immediately felt at home--no mysteries! Speaking of which--for people "aging in place," this kind of transparency means safety as well, and convenience for caretakers, etc.


OUTLETS: Our electrician refused to install plug molding strips--fire hazard in a kitchen, not code (although we are not in an area subject to code inspection). But we do have an outlet BEHIND a drawer; our coffeemaker is in that drawer, gets pulled out every morning, and gets pushed back after breakfast, stays plugged in. First saw this idea in a hotel. Any time there's an outlet in or behind a drawer, the space inside shrinks to accommodate and safely buffer the wired parts outside the drawer.


We have a pop-up outlet in our 7' island. It was the only practical solution given the excess of drawers and shelves we planned for the structure (hardwiring takes up space, as did plumbing for the prep sink which is of course at the corner!), and it is used frequently. The flat, round outlet is 100% waterproof (and crumb-proof). I cover it with a trivet, a tile, or a fruit bowl; I find it an unfortunate blemish in the countertop but it was a compromise. And I love it for what it does!


One other outlet idea: When our (door-free) upper cabinets were installed, I had the electrician install outlets above them (invisible from below). We now have transformers up there that power wireless switches for indirect lighting in various locations. Wireless is a real thrill.


Our kitchen is unique (according to our contractor) but its reflection of our values & needs has already inspired others who visit. Please, don't be afraid to make your space work for you; judge ideas according to what you really do in your kitchen. Experiment a little and see what works for your situation.



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PRO
Tali Hardonag Architect

I chose a small prep sink, but wanted the cabinet below to be a useful size. I offset the sink in the cabinet and gained a small drawer, very useful for pot holders and aprons. The faucet pulls out from the side and also acts as a pot filler in the island. custom lid over the sink increases the prep area and the faucet swivels out of the way (haven't had an accident yet where we forgot to move the board before using the faucet!)

Sustainable means Not Throwing Everything Out · More Info




   
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PRO
Tali Hardonag Architect

A Tape LED - with lens - was routed into the underside of the cabinets for a completely flush look. Placed about 4-5" from the wall, it highlights the beautiful backsplash and throws enough light to cover the counter. I love the continuous light of the LED, the lens cover makes sure that the reflection on the counter is not a series of little dots. Alloy LED Surfa

Sustainable means Not Throwing Everything Out · More Info


   

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