New Blue Kitchen

October 8th, 2021 by Mary Schmelzer

island and framed ceiling box

working side of island

glass panel backsplash

Not every kitchen layout works for every family. The owners of this kitchen found themselves hemmed-in during cooking and unable to interact with guests and family members while prep, cooking and clean-up were underway. One of their specialties is pizza made in an outdoor oven and they found it difficult to travel between the kitchen proper and the outdoors, especially if the pizza chef was trapped in the U-shaped kitchen. The kitchen came with a walk-in pantry, but they found it too small to easily store items but big enough to cram things in and then make those things difficult to get out when needed.

By slightly reworking the floor plan and tearing out the pantry, we were able to turn the peninsula into an island with seating and storage, and build in large cabinet pantries that were much easier to see into and use.

Prior to the remodeling, there had been a dropped ceiling over the peninsula and a framed wall enclosing the end. The dropped ceiling camouflaged a structural beam, but the end wall wasn’t critical. We removed both and treated the ceiling to a framed box, highlighting the work area over the island and creating much more openness over the kitchen. The beam remained, but now feels much less weighty and allows light to flow between the kitchen and the adjoining dining room which is full of windows and outside views.

The pantry is now home to a utility cabinet for storage and a wall oven/speed oven. There is plenty of work space adjacent to the ovens and room for spice storage.

One design consideration was how to treat the wall above the range. Only open shelves were desired, and it was difficult to find a place to meaningfully stop a wall tile installation. A large glass backsplash provides the wall protection and openness desired as well as provides a clean, contemporary aesthetic and an easy-clean surface. An added bonus is the way the backsplash reflects light and views from the dining room.

before

before

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