07 Oct Kitchen & Bath Design News Magazine Cover
Down2Earth Interior Design is so excited to have our work showcased on the cover of Kitchen & Bath Design News magazine’s September/October Edition! The cover features our Belmont Avenue project, check out the project portfolio >
You can read the full article featuring this kitchen project and learn more about creating functional and luxurious spaces in a small-foot print. If you want to dive a little deeper into this topic, check out the Q+A Amy did for the article.
Q: How does the design process change when the footprint of the kitchen is small?
Amy: When the kitchen is small, you know there are going to be trade-offs. It really becomes a conversation with the homeowner about their must-haves vs. what is optional. It’s important to have that conversation from the start so everyone knows we can’t deliver every item on the dream kitchen wish list.
Q: What is your favorite luxury item to include in small kitchens? Why?
Amy: Drawer inserts. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, it’s important to maximize the function of what you do have and tailoring the insides of your drawers to what you intend to store there can really improve kitchen organization.
Also, if just one or two people are living in the home, a dishwasher drawer can be a space saver.
Q: What is your favorite design tip for small kitchens?
Amy: I often like to contemplate whether we can demolish the wall between the kitchen and the adjacent space so we can get a little more square footage. Or I investigate whether we can at least store some kitchen items in an adjacent space.
Q: What is the biggest challenge associated with designing small kitchens?
Amy: There are only so many things you can put in corners, and once you account for appliances and their door swings, that can result in some hard to access corner space. Also, if someone is standing at a sink doing dishes, you still want them to be able to open the dishwasher and the trash at the same time. In really tiny kitchens, this can be a challenge.
Q: How do you balance function with aesthetics in small kitchens?
Amy: When size is limited, function has got to come first. Once you’ve got that worked out, aesthetics will follow.
These questions relate specifically to the Belmont Avenue project kitchen…
Q: What was the design theme for this kitchen?
Amy: The kitchen is open to the rest of the first floor so it needed to aesthetically coexist with the rest of the house but we also wanted it to have it’s own pizazz. We balanced pale colors and warm woods with mixed metals to achieve this. Mixed metals can be done well as long as you figure out the rules and stick to them. For example, the kitchen faucet and the light fixtures are a combination of black and gold, while the appliances are stainless steel.
Q: What is your favorite luxury item in this kitchen?
Amy: Red knobs on the cooktop
Q: How did you ensure maximum function with this kitchen?
Amy: The openness of the shelves above the counter and under the island is something that the homeowner really embraced. I’m glad she did because it keeps some of those elements from becoming visually heavy, as they might in a small kitchen. The homeowner is very neat, and doesn’t let dirty dishes build up, even though she has three young kids, so the shelves become this great functional space where dishes are stored and can be easily reached.
Q: What was the biggest challenge (related to its small footprint) with designing the kitchen?
Amy: With so much open storage, a kitchen can really look cluttered, so paring the countertop appliances to only what was needed was important. Also, all the dishes and glassware are either white or clear. Many folks are not that disciplined about keeping their dishes neat and unified in appearance, but if you have a kitchen where all of these elements are on display, you really need to edit your selections.
We hope you enjoyed the ‘behind the scenes’ of the Kitchen & Bath Design News article!