Kitchen Cooks Up Fusion of East and West
Taking Craftsman bungalow design back to its Asian influences, designer Jennifer Gilmer remodels her own kitchen into a contemporary, soothing cooking space.
- By Jenny Nash
Filed under: Kitchen Appliance, Kitchen Design, Kitchens, Asian Style, Contemporary Style, Appliances
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Jennifer's design about-face was motivated by a desire for more light and openness.
"Arts and Crafts style tends to be kind of dark and heavy — which I already have in the front of the house," she says. So, as you walk toward the back of the house and into the old kitchen (now the butler's pantry) you move into a lighter and more linear space. There are dark beams crisscrossing the cream-colored ceiling — Asian influences that still echo the Craftsman style but have a thoroughly modern, streamlined bent.
Jennifer, who loves to cook and has been doing so since age 14, has brought a cook's — not just a designer's — sensibility to this project. When she bought the house, she knew she'd be redoing the small galley kitchen with its stock cabinets, laminate countertops and bottom-of-the-line appliances. She's been designing kitchens since 1984 and 80 percent of her business is creating them for other people. So, she had a laundry list of what she wanted for her own kitchen — a butler's pantry, spaciousness and good ergonomics.
To obtain the latter, Jennifer followed that kitchen design standby, the work triangle, along with less obvious ergonomic fixes. She has a prep sink next to the refrigerator for easier vegetable washing. And the dishwasher can be loaded without interfering with an open refrigerator.
Joan Kohn shares those years of accumulated knowledge in It's Your Kitchen, which is as much of a useful how-to manual as it is...