may 5, 2022

Oui, Chef! Kitchen Design Must-Haves for the Cook or Baker

In our opinion, a beautiful kitchen means nothing if it doesn’t function properly for the person using it. Before we even begin the design phase, we always sit down with our clients to get their vision for the space when it comes to functionality and everyday use.

Over the last few years (probably due to being home so much!), we’ve seen more and more of our clients desiring smart layouts, improved storage solutions, specialty appliances, and other kitchen upgrades that create a dream kitchen for a cook or baker. Does this sound like you? Well, we’re here to help!

Whether you’re planning a full remodel or a simple, weekend revamp, today we’re sharing our top kitchen design must-haves for the cook or baker.

1. Large Island

This item is at the top of our list for a reason! Not only are islands a beautiful focal point in the kitchen, but they might be the most functional aspect as well. Aside from a place to prep and gather, here are a few more details to give your kitchen island a custom, designer look that’s also fit for a chef’s playground.
– Incorporate outlets for small appliances.
–  A prep sink or a butcher block portion.
–  Storage cupboards and/or drawers on either side of the island.

2. The Right Countertops

If you’re an avid baker, there’s no smarter choice for countertops than quartz. They are extremely ideal for baking because they stay cool (aka your dough won’t stick as you cut out your cookies!), they are nonporous and nonabsorbent, making them easy to clean and extremely durable. Cambria is our favorite place to find quartz countertops because they have so many different designs and colors to choose from.

Bria’s list of her favorites here:!/

3. 3 Zone Layout

Layout is everything in a high-traffic area such as a kitchen. When creating a floor plan, we typically like to create 3 different zones: Prep, Cook, and Clean. This avoids the “too many cooks in the kitchen!” phrase and creates a smooth, easy experience in the space.

4. Prep Pantry

If you have the extra space, prep pantries are an amazing choice for your home! Pantries are becoming a secondary kitchen in a lot of homes we work on and we’re finding that many of our clients even like hiding their appliances (i.e., microwave, oven, etc.) in these spaces as well.

5. Appliance Garages

Hide your smaller appliances (i.e., coffee maker, toaster, microwave, etc.) in cabinetry so that it’s not sitting out and taking up valuable counter space. It seems like every year there is a hot, new appliance that we’re lured into buying (hello, Instant Pot and Air Fryer!) and although they make our lives so much easier, they do end up taking up treasured space on your counters. Nicknamed “appliance garages”, features like this are a great idea for smaller kitchens.

6. The Right Range and Oven

While the size/style of the appliance is personal preference, we strongly recommend investing in a quality brand when it comes to your appliances. Not only does it help with the overall resale value of your home, but having a reliable, professional appliance will take your skills to the next level!
Our favorite is: Thermador! Bria has Thermador throughout her own home and we recommend their appliances to all our clients.

7. Open Shelving

Open shelving in your kitchen breaks up cabinet faces and can make your kitchen seem bigger! They also offer easy access to oversized tools like mixing bowls, serve ware, and so much more. We love re- styling the shelves seasonally as we find that if you see it, you’ll use it. This avoids any neglect of those beautiful serve ware and entertaining pieces you have stashed away in your cabinets.

Photography by: Spacecrafting Photography | This post is in partnership with Cambria, a brand we use and adore. All opinions are our own.


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  • Shirley Runge May 5, 2022, 2:04 pm

    Bria, thank you for this informative article - so helpful for planning a working kitchen

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