Published at Tuesday, 13 February 2018. Kitchen. By Laverne Beaulieu.
Put an upper counter 8\" above your countertops (i.e. 6\" wall, 2\" thick upper counter). In an \"open floor plan\" concept, this 8\" of height hides a \"messy\" kitchen counter from view to the other rooms. It also gives you plenty of room for multiple electric outlets in the in the 6\" wall areas. The 6\" tall wall is the right height for 6\" ceramic wall tile. The upper counter is 44\" (elbow height) a perfect height for \"leaning\". This allows your guests to \"lean\" on the counter (out of the kitchen) and talk with you while you're preparing food (in the kitchen). It's also a good height for serving food or for tall stools as a breakfast bar. Not all of the upper counters have to be the some width. Some sections may be 9\" wide (just a top to the kitchen partition, while other sections of the upper counter can be 24'' wide, for serving food or as a breakfast bar.
But typically, the kitchen portion of the great room still looks like and is organized like the super efficient, work-only kitchen mentioned above. It is lined with horizontal bands of cabinetry and countertops that are interrupted only by exposed hi-tech appliances. Designers promote this 'laboratory' look because it is easy to design and it truly is the only kitchen design concept that most people understand. Most kitchen layouts are created by drawing a line 2 feet out from every wall (to indicate cabinetry) and then if there is room, an island (the bigger, the better) is drawn to act as a buffer between the kitchen and family room. The room's personality is determined by the design of the backsplash, and it depends on the color uniformity of the cabinetry and appliances to hold the design theme of the room intact.
Put a pantry in the corner between your tall cabinets. It doesn't have to be very big (4' x 4') and being in the corner will utilize all the corner \"dead\" space. The pantry would have a 2' opening at 45 degrees to the adjoining cabinets. The pantry walls could be 2x4 framed with drywall or 3/4\" MDF, but the wall shouldn't be taller than the height of the tall cabinets. This allows for crown molding (if you use it) to also be used on the pantry. Have the pantry open at the top, especially if there is a skylight above, to allow daylight into the pantry. Have shelves from the floor to top of wall. Put a \"cabinet door\" (same as the rest of your tall cabinets) on the pantry entrance, not a frame door like you'd use in the bedroom. By having a cabinet door the pantry, and the pantry walls at the same height as the cabinets, the pantry looks like a cabinet rather than a drywall opening.
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