Saturday, 13 May 2017

Building lesson #4 - Keep having fun along the way

Building is a long, often tough and stressful journey - that's why it is so important to have some fun, dream and be creative along the way.  Nothing shakes off the building blues like meetings with your cabinet maker - just try not to think about the budget while you are being creative!!  One of my favourite interior designers, Belinda, from Gallerie B, recently shared on her blog her great ideas for storage - it is definitely worth a read.  We have recently finished our cabinetry design with our cabinet maker and I wanted to share with you all some of the great little ideas we have come up with for each space, in this post, I will walk you through the kitchen.


Well there she is, the bones of what will eventually be my dream kitchen

The most important part about designing this kitchen was to think carefully about how we use our kitchen, how we needed traffic to flow through the kitchen and what space I would need for storage. My current kitchen is a U-shape which is fine for one or two people, however you add three little poppets to that kitchen and it is a recipe for disaster.  It is so important to have two points of entry and exit to allow all family members using the kitchen to move freely in the space.  

Our island bench design was next on the agenda.  Many friends have questioned my decision to include the sink in the island bench, however, for our family and the way we live, this was a conscious decision.  I can be at the sink, working at the bench, cooking, making lunches and still be a part of whatever is going on with the family as my view is to the family room, not a fence or the side of the house.  We designed the seating at the bench to be situated all at one end creating an informal table space where the 5 of us could have a quick bite to eat while still seeing each other.  Most island bench designs have the seating all to the rear, lined up next to each other in a row - we wanted to create a space where we could gather around and talk to each other.  Creating this space also prevents the kids homework from getting wet as they are not sitting behind the sink.  Our island bench is 3.5 meters long and 1.3 meters wide, as such, there is plenty of room for gatherings at one end, food prep and food presentation, even with the sink in the island.  The bench has storage on both sides.....oh the storage.....

This is the "sink" side of the island bench.  To the far left we have a bin draw, the bin draw has a bin for rubbish, a bin for recycling and a shelf at the top.  The shelf stops the bins from being over filled (hmmm), keeps any smells contained by acting like a lid and also creates a space for storing spare garbage bags.  Next to the bin draw is the dishwasher and either side of the sink are my gorgeous little creations...the slide out cupboard drawers.  One slide out cupboard drawer has baskets in them, the other has towel rails, like these ones below:
One side will be used for storing sponges, dish-mops etc, the other will have rails for a tea-towel and hand-towel.  This should keep my gorgeous butlers sink free from sponges.

Under the butlers sink is another drawer which has a very clever, "draw in draw" design.  Having a draw under the butlers sink makes access a breeze - no more searching for that illusive cleaner at the back of the cupboard.  The draw in draw means small items like spare sponges, cloths and scourers can be easily found.

The other side of the island bench has full sized cupboards which will help with table setting duties. You will see what I mean when you look at our family room floor plan.
Ground Floor Plan

Our dining table will be situated between the kitchen and family room, so the cupboard at the back of the island bench will be very handy for storing all the things we need for setting the table each night.

We have included a study nook (hmmm, nook?  It is 1.5m wide) in the main area of the kitchen for the same reason the sink is in the island bench - I can keep a close eye on homework, or internet activity, or I can do some work while still being in the main living area of the house.  The study nook is at bench height so the bar stools can be moved around from the bench to the study nook.  There is a draw under the bench in the study nook which acts as a "charging station" - this should keep all the devices neatly stored away while they are charging - they can also be checked in at night so they don't find their way to the kids' bedrooms!

The butlers sink decision was a change of heart.  Originally I had a double bowl undermount sink planned, however after some prompting from our cabinet maker, we changed to a butlers sink, not just for aesthetics but for practicality.  Our butlers sink is about 80cm wide, we favoured the space for washing large pots and platters rather than the need to fill the sink.  This did lead to our decision to include a smaller sink in the butlers' pantry and a double bowl sink in the laundry - which may act as a double ice bucket from time to time!!

There is so much to love about the butlers pantry, an additional dishwasher, room for a 60cm wall oven and microwave, room for a second fridge, a place for the kettle and toaster and so many shelves for food storage.  Those are all a given in a dream butlers pantry, but for me, what I am really excited about are two little storage additions.  The first is the vertical shelves that we are including above the wall oven - these vertical shelves act as dividers for platter storage - no more deconstructing platter towers to get to that super large platter I need at the bottom!

The second storage addition is the book shelves above the fridge.  My cabinet maker suggested keeping the kitchen free from clutter but was all for having shelves for my recipe books above the fridge in the pantry.  We also have a large blank wall in the pantry - this is likely to become the family organisation station and include the whiteboard calendar and a place for the endless stream of school notices and birthday invitations.

Either side of the main oven are two slide out drawers (the same style as either side of the sink) for oven and baking trays, either side of the mantle are condiments cupboards.  The banks of drawers either side of the oven include a shallow top draw for spice racks, tea-towels, foil, cling wrap etc.

Designing this kitchen, thinking about how we will live and come together as a family in this space has been such a joy.

Thanks for stopping by,

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