3 Compelling kitchen cooking/design tips:
- Always keep your work spaces clear. Wash and dry your dishes after use (or at least throw them in the dishwasher). Even if the kitchen space is just for you; excessive clutter is not very zen.
- Keep only the essentials out in the open... (more after jump) The Pitch - Cont'd Although the ceilings are 9 feet tall in the rest of the apartment, the ceiling drops down in the entryway and kitchen area to accomodate the HVAC. As you can see from picture #2, the ceiling heights in these areas are staggered, with the lowest ceiling painted a contrasting silver grey and a recessed cut-out in the kitchen ceiling to accomodate the track lighting... Its openness to the living/dining area make socializing and food-prep that much more relaxed. The floor in the kitchen is the same bamboo flooring that is in the rest of the apartment. What I love about the kitchen is that it shows that good design can be had at a reasonable price: all of the lacquer-finish laminate cabinets are from Ikea; the track lighting is also from Ikea (the pleating in each shade even echoes the lines of the Nelson bubble lamp in the dining area); all of the large appliances (ceramic top stove, microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator) were the least-expensive, energy-efficient models in their class; all of the work surfaces and backsplashes are caesarstone (white with grey flecking that looks very similar to terrazo floors); and the striped runner was a $13 purchase from Ikea. Being a single guy who's a bit of a neat-freak, I guess the geometry of the space is what pleases me most about the kitchen. But I cannot take credit for the kitchen update. The previous owners completely gutted the apartment a few months before I bought it. The kitchen is really a testament to their eye. Tips Cont'd ...What you see pictured is pretty much how the kitchen looks at any given moment. Only the most used items are out: coffee maker, coffee grinder, small stainless dishrack with dishtowel, dishsoap and sponge, scented candle, convection/toaster oven (unfortunately only available in black), napkin caddy, cordless phone and whatever bottle of red happens to be uncorked at the time.
- Accesorize with art. I have a few pieces that hopefully warm up the space: 3 lacquer trays filled with black river rocks, an inexpensive, small Indonesian Buddha bust, and an original mixed-media painting of the signage for the late-great Hollywood Star Lanes Bowling Alley by L.A. artist Mark Brunner (www.markbrunner.com). At some point, I will hang the painting on the back wall, possibly creating a gallery wall in the kitchen with other Hollywood-type imagery (art budget permitting). But, hey, I've only been living in this apartment for seven weeks now! Enrique PS Thanks for opening up this competition outside of NYC!