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Efficiency, Color Restored in Cook's Kitchen

This renovated eclectic kitchen brings work spaces closer together.

The original kitchen in this post and beam home was large but inefficient. Designer Sarah Aldrich's goal was to make the space more functional and visually stimulating with the combination of bright red cabinets and gleaming stainless steel. This kitchen was renovated to be more efficient and to make a dramatic design statement with color.

The most important change for the new kitchen was to bring the work spaces closer together for efficiency. This was done by bumping out the sink and enlarging the island, making the aisle between the two work centers narrower.

The dual-level island accommodates a six-burner 48-inch cooktop and warming drawer on the lower level. A few steps away is a small prep sink. The upper level is devoted to an eating area.

One of the challenges of the post and beam construction was finding a way to vent the large cooktop. Commercial-grade pipe was left exposed as it bends its way to an exterior wall from the center island, creating an unusual design element.

The dual-level island, capped with oak, was enlarged so the cooking area could be closer to the sink.

The brilliant red cabinetry has contrasting brass bin pulls. Glass fronts and punched-tin panels add interest and charm and offset the industrial look of the venting system and stainless steel appliances.

The cabinets are stained rather than painted to leave the grain of the wood visible and complement the wood of the post and beam construction. The cheerful red color contrasts with the wooden beams and keeps the kitchen from feeling too heavy with so much wood.

The home’s post and beam construction required the vent pipe remain exposed on its way to an exterior wall from the center of the kitchen.

Honed gray granite and a white porcelain farmer's sink add a soft country touch. A cluttered desk area that was never used was replaced with a wet bar that includes a wine cooler, antique glass panels, contrasting beadboard backing and a two-tone cabinet front. An informal eating area with an old-fashioned farm table and punched-tin chandelier is adjacent to the work area.

Antique glass panels add interest and charm to the brilliant red cabinets at the wet bar.

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