Studio Brunstrum

What Every Kitchen Needs

March 31, 2016

Everyone’s dream kitchen is a little different, so along with my ideas, I asked the Sweet Peas Design team to tell us what they think every kitchen needs.

Kitchens have always been and will continue to be the welcoming heart of the home, which makes them one of the top two most popular rooms to renovate - you know the other one, bathrooms! And a kitchen update will provide the best return on your investment. Today’s kitchens are more multi-functional than ever – they’re headquarters for homework, office work, surfing the ‘net and entertaining as well as cooking and dining, of course. Everyone’s dream kitchen is a little different, so along with my ideas, I asked the Sweet Peas Design team to tell us what they think every kitchen needs.

Senior Designer Beth Kweton

A big pantry, walk-in if possible!  It provides easy access to cumbersome items such as small appliances that you don’t want on the counter, extra-large serving dishes, out-of-season dishware and nonperishable food, of course.  I know people who have their microwaves in their pantries!

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  • Large, sturdy drawers for dishes and heavy pots and pans.  I find it is easier to lift these items out of drawers than cabinets.
  • Hidden outlets instead of in the wall (backsplash), which takes away from the sleek look. We like to hide outlets under the cabinets.
  • Multiple light sources, including ceiling fixtures such as a chandelier over the breakfast table, multiple chandelettes (think small chandeliers but not as small as pendants) over the island  and a pendant over the sink, recessed lights, under-cabinet lights and lamps. At least one source should provide mood lighting for romantic intimate dinners! I also love sconces in a kitchen/breakfast room.

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Senior Designer Angela LaVista

  • The traditional and very functional triangular arrangement of sink-stove-refrigerator.
  • A large John Boos cutting board. Mine is out constantly for quick chopping with my Shun Classic Chef knife, a must-have for every chef.

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  • Spice storage with access from two sides, like a pull-out, instead of rows in a cabinet where you can’t see anything beyond the first row.
  • A microwave in the lower cabinets so everyone can reach it. If you can have a refrigerator drawer beside it that’s an added bonus - kids can grab their own snacks!
  • A marble counter for rolling out pastry. But if you don’t want marble counters in your entire kitchen you can have a special baking section. It’s more comfortable if it’s a little lower that the standard counters as well.

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Junior Designer Lauren Benditzky

For my dream kitchen I would have white everything! It’s timeless, chic, clean and so versatile. Now imagine a KitchenAid mixer against all that white in a really fun color like pastel pink or mint green. Pretty, right? That splash of color would add some whimsy and youth, too.

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Communications Manager Laura Bianchi

I couldn’t survive without my bread machine to make homemade dough for pizza and Parker House rolls. My family would stage a rebellion if I didn't serve those when they visit. My machine is big enough to make dough for two pizzas or dozens of rolls.My new convection oven has become a must-have too. I can bake two pizzas or several sheets of cookies at a time and nothing ever burns.

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Principal designer, Susan Brunstrum

Absolutely, I must have a single bowl sink. A large sink makes it so much easier to wash large pots and pans and casseroles. Plus, I can rinse and stack dishes in it when I’m entertaining and the kitchen doesn’t look like a mess. I can’t go to bed with dirty dishes, but if I put them in the sink the kitchen feels clean and I can get some good zzzz’s.

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My other two must haves?  I need a pretty little bowl or plate to put my rings in when I’m cooking and cleaning, and a spoon holder to keep messy spoons off the counter. What would you like in your dream kitchen?

Susan Brunstrum
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