Homeowners are demanding more amenities to create the ultimate master bedroom retreat. One such luxury is having a "morning" kitchen to brew coffee in the room. And the morning time frame can stretch to evening, with small refrigerators to chill wine for a relaxing night. Mini-kitchens are more popular in new construction, but a few remodelers and kitchen designers are finding their clients asking about them.
Joyce Combs of Joyce Combs Kitchens has recently designed two in the Denver area. One was in the sitting area of the master suite. The 6 1/2-foot-wide space includes cabinetry, a 24-inch undercounter refrigerator, a sink, and a coffeemaker. Combs decided to conceal the coffeemaker by placing it behind a partition on the side of the bar. "You only see it when you're exiting the bathroom--not when you're entering the room," Combs says.
For another project, Combs fitted a furniture-look wardrobe into a master bath that holds a television and a 15-inch U-Line refrigerator.
Though it makes sense to place morning bars near the bathroom because of the plumbing, she advises designers to be open minded about the placement and products. "You can also integrate it into areas outside of a bedroom," Combs says.
The definition of a morning kitchen depends on the client. "Some people might just want a beverage bar with a fridge and sink. It depends on their habits," Combs says. She says with the available price range of appliances, morning kitchens don't have to be limited to high-end clients.
Mollyanne Sherman, an independent designer and owner of MAC Design in Newark, Calif., decided to build a morning kitchen in the master suite addition to her own house. A door in her bathroom will open to an outdoor hot tub, so she wanted to have beverages and refreshments nearby. The 3-foot-wide "all-around bar" is tucked inside the entry to the bathroom and includes a small refrigerator, coffeemaker, and microwave.
She says designers can steal space from closets or use compact appliances to fit into a small space. Even smaller than an undercounter refrigerator is a college dorm fridge, which can be hidden inside cabinets.
Sherman says though morning kitchens are becoming more popular as homeowners want to create retreats, designers still have to educate clients about the possibilities. Sherman has seen mini-kitchens in resort suites and wanted to bring that into her own home. "We treat ourselves to luxuries while on vacation," she says. "Why not on a daily basis?"
Sylvain Cote, Absolute Remodeling, New York, has only quoted prices for morning kitchens and says price and space limitations are holding back his clients. He estimates the cost of a 6-foot-wide bar at $8,000. He says morning kitchens are more popular in new homes, but after posting an article about them on his Web site, he expects to design one within the next few months. He likes Sherman's idea of selling the idea of an everyday luxury to his clients.