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Island Paradise

At house parties, kitchens are key

Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 10:12 a.m. CDT

With the summer months in full swing, we anticipate parties and celebrations with delicious foods and beverages. And, because of the warmer weather, we always plan for the party to be outside. But, as we all know, most parties end up in the kitchen.

Designers are well trained to create separate centers or zones within the whole of the kitchen space–, prep, cook, clean-up, beverage area, casual dining, eat-in areas – while continuously remaining cognizant of the distance the cook will travel while preparing a meal. Kitchen designers also know there are certain additions to the kitchen space that make the space really special.

When a kitchen is being designed, entertaining always is part of the equation. There are certain elements that must be considered. First, and foremost, does the space allow an Island? If so, where best would the Island situate, or better yet, could we achieve two Islands; each providing a different purpose? If we are preparing the space for two cooks, then a second sink, second oven or micro-convection and refrigerator drawer offers stellar added real estate.

Further, island seating is, by far, the preferred seating in the kitchen, particularly when entertaining. Seating at the Island brings the guest or family member into the center of the activity, while keeping them from being underfoot. Who amongst us hasn’t spent time preparing food in a kitchen while “doing a dance” around family or friends?

Another perfect addition for any kitchen is a beverage center. Elaborate or simple, the addition of a beverage area pulls traffic away from the basic work zone. Many times, for a simple installation, we slide a beverage refrigerator into the end of an island; simple, concise, but serves the purpose. While a more elaborate beverage center may consist of many beautiful items; wine storage and display, both room temperature and cooled. It paints a lovely picture in and of itself. Consider the beauty of the stemware and sparkly glasses displayed within open or glass cabinets. Cold beverages of all types also can be kept within this area.  A beverage center footprint, as small as 24 to 48” wide, can house a multitude of items and enhance the efficiency of any kitchen, large or small. 

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, the most often used and busiest room in the house. Make it all it can be!

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