George J. Bush Kitchen Center
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Kitchen Islands

Kitchen islands are a highlight of many homes and the focal point of the kitchen. A kitchen island is the center of activity, where friends and family often gather, an additional dining spot, and a great place to spread out food preparation. Here are some points to think about if you’re considering the addition of an island to your kitchen.

As a general rule, you need at least 100 sq. feet of kitchen floor space to install a fully functional kitchen island. More specifically, the size of a kitchen island is a function of the space that must be left open around each side of the island. While different designers can work with different dimensions, about 3 feet safe distance to allow between the edges of the island and any adjacent wall, cabinet or appliance.

If you’re thinking about installing a kitchen island, you may be looking to expand your kitchen’s functional space. After all, at the most basic level a kitchen island gives you a boost in kitchen counter space. a A second kitchen sink is a great idea for improving a kitchen’s functionality. You’ll be amazed at how much a second sink comes in handy. Putting a specialty range or cooktop in your kitchen island will give you a new culinary experience in the kitchen. If you don’t already have a dishwasher or are looking to upgrade your existing appliance, a kitchen island gives you the perfect opportunity to install a brand new dishwasher. Extra electrical outlets are another great perk of installing a kitchen island. Additional outlets will give you greater flexibility when lots cooking is going on or when you’re hosting a party or get-together. Bookshelves and accent cabinets are a popular option for adding more storage space, while providing a decorative touch.


Trend of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel cabinets are becoming increasingly popular in modern kitchens. While they’re commonly associated with outdoor kitchens, you can find them in more and more indoor kitchens as home owners learn more about the benefits of stainless steel.

Durability of Stainless Steel Cabinets

Stainless steel is an easy-to-clean surface, making it ideal in both indoor and outdoor kitchens. It’s a long-lasting material in addition to being a recyclable material, which is an important consideration for many homeowners. As the name implies, stainless steel is stain and corrosion-resistant. Stainless kitchen cabinets can also be clear-coated, making it a maintenance free surface that can take a lot of abuse.

The Look of Stainless Steel in the Kitchen

Stainless steel cabinets create a distinctive look in your home. The material is sleek and modern-looking and can be brushed with different finishes. Many people associate stainless steel with professional kitchens, and it’s often regarded as the mark of a “serious” kitchen. Whether you’re accenting with stainless steel or going all-out, stainless steel is a great choice for giving a kitchen a modern look.

Offering both style and functionality, it’s no wonder that stainless steel cabinets are becoming a popular choice in kitchens today.


Lighting your Kitchen

Kitchen lighting is an important element of your kitchen design, so it’s important not to overlook the impact of the kitchen lights. Interior lighting is can give form and texture to a room, light up a corner, accent a favorite piece of art, or create the atmosphere you’re aiming for in your kitchen design plans.

There are three types of lighting appropriate for kitchens are ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.  Task lighting is appropriate for situations in the kitchen where the lighting must be concentrated, for work activities. These lighting fixtures usually fit well under kitchen cabinets or as pendant lighting. Ambient lighting should be used for overall illumination in the kitchen. Incandescent lights are usually the most popular choice  for this type of light, and not just in kitchens. Accent lighting is a decorative element that can highlight focal points within the kitchen, usually with track lighting or hanging fixtures. No matter what the concept, a mix of all three of these lighting types should be used in an ideal kitchen. Pendant lighting is especially popular in today’s kitchens and is a beautiful, versatile option for a lighting, brighter kitchen.

Good light helps make any kitchen comfortable, and good light is achieved through mixed all three types of appropriate kitchen lighting. Natural light is important to consider as well, but think about the places that it will not often reach. Also take into consideration what time of day you will be doing most of your work in the kitchen.


Keeping it Clean

Sometimes what you don’t do can be as important as what you do. Such was the case in Oderzo, a town 40 miles northeast of Venice, when architect Simone Micheli saw the raw attic he had been commissioned to build out as an apartment for Marco and Elena Bergamo. Micheli did his best not to get the most out of the 3,200 square feet available. “The idea was to create warmth-but more empty than full,” he says. Marco Bergamo adds that he and his wife agreed it was important to maintain “very open spaces” delineated by just a few elements.

The couple knew that Simone Micheli Architectural Hero was right for the job without even asking for a portfolio. That’s because the Ber­gamo family owns a company that produces furniture components, and Micheli was a professional acquaintance. “We know other designers, but Simone has a unique style,” Marco Bergamo says.
Few others would have thought to leave the apartment’s front half almost completely open. Its vastness is most striking when seen from the entry, as oak floorboards flow straight ahead, beneath a 13-foot-high cathedral ceiling painted in white. Most of the space is occupied by the living-dining area. Only one small corner is completely walled off, creating a powder room.
In the opposite corner is the kitchen, partly screened from the rest of the open plan by a freestanding curved partition set on a diagonal. The side facing the living-dining area is predominantly surfaced in white glass mosaic tiles, accented by two perpendicular swaths of silver tiles and interrupted by a pass-through. Extending from this aperture on the kitchen side is a table and chairs.

Functionality isn’t overlooked when it comes to storage, either. Micheli devoted an entire kitchen wall to a run of seven pull-out cabinets, laquered white with massive stainless-steel pulls. Above the cooktop and sink, he wedged in additional cabinets by designing them with slanted tops to follow the sloping ceiling.
Being on the top floor, the apartment is blessed with abundant sunshine, which streams in from skylights as well as the glass doors to four terraces. As for artificial light, Marco Bergamo says, “Simone pushed for interesting solutions, for example putting LED fixtures beneath the furniture.” Indeed, the blue LEDs under the living area’s gray sectional sofa-a custom design, like all the furnishings-give the impression of floating. Ditto for the LEDs under the master suite’s cylindrical washbasin and platform bed. Micheli also added mirrors generously to the equation throughout.

Among other design themes, unifying separate areas, are subtly rounded corners. They’re found everywhere from the kitchen partition to the bathroom fixtures. And the partition’s silver-on-white mosaic-tile motif is revisited on the walls and floors of the bathrooms.

Since moving in, the Bergamos have done little to alter the essential minimalism that Micheli handed over to them. Cabinets and closets have made it easier to keep things tidy. There are no knickknacks. Only a few plants and flowers have appeared here and there.

The most important arrival for the couple has been a son. When he starts to crawl, he’s likely to appreciate the open terrain at his disposal for exploration. His parents can only hope that the pure white walls will be less tempting.

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