Expert Kitchen Design

HGTV Magazine offers a peek inside the kitchen of caterer Peter Callahan. The cooking pro shares his kitchen design tips with organization ideas, timesaving tools and budget tricks.

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Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

A Caterer Knows

Peter Callahan has been a caterer for 26 years and has organized everything from over-the-top engagement parties to U.S. State Department soirees. Even though it's just him, his wife, Josephine, and their daughter, Juliet, 12, in the house, Peter designed his own 1920s Haverford, Pa., kitchen \"for fast flow like a commercial kitchen.\"

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Smart Design

The real genius of Peter's room is that, despite its hard-working design, it feels personal and homey. \"Our kitchen gives us the opportunity to do things as a family. We cook together, test recipes and have great conversations in-house.\"

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Storage-Packed Island

The Callahans designed a 5 1/2-foot-by-6 1/2-foot island at IKEA using the store's premade components, then added stainless hardware. Open shelving at one end holds pots and pans, and cabinetry on the side stores small appliances. There are plenty of drawers to stash flatware, linens, bowls and plates in all sizes.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Restaurant-Worthy Hood

Peter paired a residential Viking range with a commercial-grade Zephyr hood, which has an extra-powerful exhaust fan. \"The best beef and fish dishes need to be seared at a super-high heat to make a delicious crispy crust,\" he says. \"But only the best hoods can handle the amount of smoke that emits.\"

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Lighting Mix

A curvy iron chandelier hangs above the island, and another lights the butler's pantry. Both offset the industrial appliances. But since a hard-working kitchen needs more than pretty fixtures to function, the Callahans' space also has lights under the cabinets and in the range hood to spotlight prep and cook spaces.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Cabinet Restoration

The Callahans preserved most of the Shaker-style cabinet doors and rebuilt the ones that were in bad shape to match the originals. \"Restoring rather than replacing saved the character of the space,\" says Peter. They also switched out the original brass hardware for a similar style in nickel to match the stainless steel appliances.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Commercial Fridge

Peter installed a restaurant-grade refrigerator in the kitchen and a freezer in the butler's pantry, each with the capacity of typical residential units, but stripped down of crisper drawers and door shelves. A bonus of commercial refrigeration: an external thermometer for precise temperature control.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Family Message Center

In the pass-through between the kitchen and the butler's pantry hangs a board with a roll of white butcher paper so the Callahans can make lists and leave notes for one another. The whole unit is metal, so magnets stick to it too. For a similar look, try the Wall-Mount Craft Storage Rack With Corkboard ($129, grandinroad.com).

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Semi-Custom Shelves

Creating a built-in look doesn't have to break the bank. The Callahans purchased the unit for the glass canisters at a junk store for about $300. To make it blend into the room, they added trim, molding and hardware that match the rest of the cabinets.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Marble Countertop

Here's a clever idea that customizes a space: The IKEA island is topped with Carrara marble (the rest of the kitchen counters are black granite). The top was made by sandwiching two 1 1/2-inch-thick pieces to make a single 3-inch slab — a luxe look for a fraction of the price.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Butler's Pantry

\"Renovations today tend to rip out the butler's pantry and make the kitchen one big open space, but it was one of the things I fell in love with about this house,\" says Peter. A favorite original feature: the built-in slide-out cutting board beside the sink.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Stainless Steel Sink

\"We're big fans of stainless for the sink since we tend to bang around heavy pots, and stainless is pretty invincible,\" says Peter. \"And I like the sink to be deep for washing fruit and veggies.\"

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Wine Storage

In place of a pair of cabinets, a built-in wine rack sits on square feet and fits perfectly under the sink, just in front of the pipe. \"I like to use every inch for storage,\" says Josephine. More cabinets were removed to install a wine refrigerator and an icemaker beside the wine rack. \"The wine fridge gets all of our favorite whites, and we keep the pantry cool, so it's a great storeroom for the reds,\" says Peter.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Dishes on Display

Glass-front cabinets are just the spot to show off collections, and the Callahans' is quite eclectic. They picked up the blue goblets to use outside, and even though they're plastic, they look just as pretty as the green glass pitcher and water glasses, and the more formal china.

Photography by Laura Moss; styling by Gina Provenzano

Photo Gallery Wall

Inspired by her grandmother, who decorated her kitchen with family photos in black frames, Josephine covered nearly every inch of empty wall space with 88 photos of her and Peter's families, going back several generations. To cut down on framing costs, she had a carpenter build custom frames out of glass and inexpensive molding from The Home Depot, which she spray-painted black. \"I love being surrounded by photos from all stages of our family's life,\" says Peter. \"They're probably my favorite things in the room.\"

Lara Robby/Studio D

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Olive Oil

\"We use olive oil every day, and this is my favorite. It's organic and delicious.\" (Paesano organic olive oil, Whole Foods Market stores)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Bamboo Cutting Board

\"Bamboo is a solid surface to cut on, plus it's a renewable resource.\" (Large bamboo cutting board, oxo.com)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Cleaning Supplies

\"I like natural cleaning supplies, but they have to work well, too.\" (Seventh Generation Free & Clear dish liquid and 100% recycled paper towels, grocery stores)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Good Set of Knives

\"I use lots of knives, but I'm partial to Henckels because they stay sharp.\" (Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro three-piece starter set, cutleryandmore.com)

Greg Marino/Studio D

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Recipe Books

\"My book's full of recipes for mini comfort foods, but Joy of Cooking is like my bible.\" (Bite by Bite, and Joy of Cooking, both barnesandnoble.com)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Deluxe Toaster

\"This is my favorite gadget; it can toast even the thickest slices of bread.\" (Dualit chrome retro toaster, brookstone.com)

Lara Robby/Studio D

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Sea Salt

\"I can't live without this sea salt — it makes almost anything taste better.\" (Maldon Sea Salt Flakes, surlatable.com)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Heavy-Duty Pans

\"I'm loyal to All-Clad pots and pans for their even cooking and sturdiness.\" (All-Clad d5 brushed stainless steel fry pan, williams sonoma.com)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Glass Canisters

\"It's perfect for storing ingredients and keeping snacks fresh.\" (Heritage Hill 256-ounce glass jar with lid, crateandbarrel.com.)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Brass Wool Scrubbers

\"The way I cook, I need these workhorse scrubbers to clean up afterward!\" (Brass wool sponge, All-Spec Industries)

Image Courtesy of Manufacturer

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Classic Stand Mixer

\"They designed the first stand mixer; this one's still as strong as ever.\" (KitchenAid Artisan series stand mixer, macys.com)

Lara Robby/Studio D

Peter's Kitchen Must-Have: Frozen Dinners

\"Organic frozen soup and a baguette make for a great quick dinner.\" (Tabatchnick organic Tuscany lentil soup, grocery stores)

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