For Marcy Voyevod, of Voyevod Design, in Alameda, Calif., space planning and storage are the starting points of every project. This kitchen was part of a whole-house remodel. To prevent the large island from overwhelming the room, Voyevod used three countertop levels, a combination of concrete and butcher block surfaces, and angled some of the base cabinets. “That center piece brings another height and another shape to this big island,” Voyevod says. Drawers under the highest countertop level hold art supplies.
While the parents cook, the kids in the family sit on stools and do homework and projects. Voyevod also designed rolling toy bins that tuck under the island when not in use. The designer turned to cabinetmaker and construction firm Mueller Nicholls, in Oakland, Calif., to match the customer’s very specific requests. However, Voyevod says that stock cabinetmakers, and even Ikea, offer good storage options. “The storage is almost more important than what it looks like. If you have a beautiful kitchen and terrible storage, you will be frustrated,” Voyevod says.
The homeowner of this kitchen project is in a wheelchair, so designer Sarah Michalowski of Sawhill Custom Kitchens & Design, in Minneapolis, provided low-height storage throughout the space.
Michalowski specified an appliance garage with lift-up doors to provide easy access to glassware and cups. The 18-inch cabinet is deeper than a standard appliance garage and is 171/2 inches high. It sits on a countertop that, at 34 inches high, is 2 inches lower than standard 36-inch cabinets. The cabinet contains adjustable shelves.
When Sawhill Custom Kitchens & Design renovated this client’s previous kitchen 15 years ago, it included wall cabinets in the design because drawer products and specialized hardware were not as readily available. This time around, the designer used a semi-custom line of cabinets that has a wide range of standard options, and she even dictated some specific cabinet measurements.
Michalowski prefers using drawers rather than pull-out storage units inside the cabinets because “pull-outs require a two-motion action.”
—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.