A beautiful kitchen is food for thought

I am always annoyed by the space the microwaves take up, so of course I think having a drawer microwave is brilliant.

I am always annoyed by the space the microwave takes up in a kitchen, so of course I think having a drawer microwave like this is brilliant.

Raymond and I spent New Year’s in North Hatley, Que., and one evening were invited to drinks at the home of friends. They had recently finished redoing their kitchen, and we were very interested to see it. And oh my! Absolutely gorgeous. The best appliances (huge gas stove complete with grill, big fridge, and not one but two dishwashers, one tiny and cute!), lovely dark wood countertops, great lighting fixtures and furniture (including stools for guests to sit and nibble and sip and gab at the counter while the cooking goes on – and very fine cooking it is, too), the microwave in what I think is a great place for a microwave – a drawer, out of the way – and a small thing that I was most taken by: bins built right into the countertop so you can toss your compostable material and collect it for when compost pickup happens (as it does in civilized places).

But the absolute best thing was how beautifully the kitchen was designed and laid out. It’s not a terribly large space, but it doesn’t feel small because every inch is well and elegantly used, and everything is in its place. It was really gorgeous, and it gave us lots to think about for the Manse kitchen. Which has, you know, a way to go before it reaches anything remotely resembling gorgeousness:

Okay, so this picture of the Manse kitchen was taken almost a year ago, and it has been tidied up since. But you get the general idea: this kitchen needs serious work!

Okay, so this picture of the Manse kitchen was taken almost a year ago, and it has been tidied up since. But you get the general idea: this kitchen needs serious work!

The pantry off the main kitchen. It's small, but it could readily serve as a work area. And we might move a wall to make it bigger.

The pantry off the main kitchen. It’s small, but it could readily serve as a work area. And we might move a wall to make it bigger. But those cupboards have got to go! And don’t get me started on the floor.

While we don’t have the same space constraints that our friends did – the main kitchen at the Manse is quite a large room – I think it’s still very important to use the space well. We had hoped to use the small pantry off the kitchen as a work area, opening into the main room where there would be a sink and more work space fronted by a higher counter for guests to sit at, like our friends have. But then there’s the rest of the room to think of; how would it be configured? Somewhere in there we’d like to have a wood-burning stove – whether of modern or traditional design (a conundrum I wrote about here) we still haven’t decided – and presumably a comfortable seating area around it. And also a table and chairs, if only for old time’s sake; the kitchen is where my family ate all our meals together when I was growing up at the Manse. (The dining room being reserved for when we had company.)

Anyway, there is much work to be done, and before that much planning. I think we will be going through a lot of graph paper before the exercise is over. But it’s fun – and cheap! – to dream.

6 thoughts on “A beautiful kitchen is food for thought

  1. Katherine, In Malaysia I saw a steam drawer oven. Instead of baking and broiling, they steam items like fish in it. If I was redoing my kitchen, I would drop the microwave and get a stream oven. As you are dreaming, why not look into this as well. it looks just like the photo you posted of
    the microwave draw. If only money grew on trees – I would plant an orchard.

    • That is very interesting indeed, Jo-Ann, and I have already started doing a little research into steam ovens. I do love steamed food, and of course it’s so good for you! One blog post I saw mentioned that it makes risotto a snap. Interesting! I see high-end brands like Miele and Bosch make them, and they are quite beautiful. Mind you, they don’t seem to come cheap: I just turned up a Miele steam oven on Amazon’s UK site for a mere 2,000 pounds! But definitely something to look into, especially since I’ve never had much use for microwaves other than as something to reheat coffee in. And it looks like one could do that in a steam oven too. So thank you very much for the suggestion!

  2. Now you’ve done it!! When the Manager at Money Pit Manor saw the post about new and modern kitchens, she went just wild. Who knows what damage you have wrought!

    • Hey, when it comes to beautiful and welcoming kitchens, The Money Pit doesn’t take a back seat to anyone! But anyone who spends time in kitchens is always interested to see other kitchens, right? I wish I had pictures of the North Hatley kitchen, but I am shy about hauling out my phone and snapping photos when I’m visiting someone’s home, and of course people don’t necessarily want me posting photos of their homes or whatever on the internet. But it certainly was, as I said, food for thought. Kitchen dreaming is so much fun! (As the Money Pit Manager clearly recognizes.)

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