This post started in response to a friend of mine, Matt Pappajohn, who happens to be a custom cabinet maker and wanted to have a go at building a modern and green kitchen for our project. He wanted me to give him a general idea of what we would be trying to design prior to a meeting with himself and ISA, our fearless architects, this Thursday.
Brian from ISA originally came up with the term “urban kitchen” that we are applying to our design here. The kitchen will most likely be for the 120K house only as our budget is slightly larger for that home and we are really making a prototype for possible future”urban kitchens” with Matt. Matt owns and runs Pappajohn Woodworking with his brother, Ian. They also rent warehouse space to a bunch of local artisans and woodworkers. One of these companies that may be helping with the project is Erector Sets as they have some nice CNC equipment.
Our main guidelines for the design are included in title of this post – minimalist, green, modern, utilitarian, efficient and gritty. The design should have simple, clean lines that lends well to affordable construction.
I am not a huge fan of using veneers and would like to try and focus on using some of the available green sheet products available on the market today that would be suitable for cabinet making.
We will be trying to make the design as open and airy as possible by having more open shelving than usual. Preferably, we will have no upper cabinets and use only open shelving. We may also reduce costs and keep some open shelving in areas near the stove/oven on the lower levels where large pots and pans may be stored. Also, larger and fewer drawers are preferred to keep the cost of hardware down while maintaining storage space.
Lastly, I hate how our large American refrigerators stick out like sore thumbs in today’s kitchens and since we don’t have the budget to buy a sleek, built in model, we will need to be creative in how we keep the fridge from looking ridiculous in our design.
I have written two other posts on kitchen design to date where some more insight into our design strategy can be seen so far.
Below are some of the inspirational kitchen designers that I really like. Some of these are a bit too modern or sleek for what we are going for but I like the lines and concepts in them. The Hansen kitchens are by far my most favorite and I think they capture the perfect mix of custom cabinet making, natural materials and modern design.
Props to Justin at materialicious for turning me on to most, if not all, of these inspirational kitchens!
Boffi Table Kitchen
Only One by Terry Dwan
Libero Kitchen by Terry Dwan
I really, really like this open lower shelving & drawer design
Hansen Living Solid Wood Kitchens
I’m a bit obsessed with Hansen’s kitchens…
The image below is a very rough sketch of a couple possible kitchen layout configurations we have kicked around so far.
Right now the top runner is the upper left layout that contains a simple L-configuration where the peninsula is an open, boffi style table that a few people can sit around and is as open below as possible to let light come through the space from the back of the house.
The top right layout is one of the original thoughts we had that hides the fridge, oven and tall cabinets under the stairs and leaves a sleek island in the middle, dividing the ground floor space.
The bottom right is a more traditional layout with a seperate island. I am not crazy about this due to its standard design and need for a totally separate piece that does not seem as inherently cost-effective as the other options. It also takes up a bit more floor space and reduces the flexibility of the layout for the future homeowner.
Lastly, is a new concept on the bottom left that has a deep cooking island with seating in the middle that is flanked by the fridge, sink and deep storage on one side and shallower storage on the other side for dishware and other more attractive kitchen items.
Next we will try to work up some sketches of possible cabinet designs prior to our meeting on Thursday.
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