Inside My Family Kitchen Design
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The Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest is going on right now. This contest has inspired me to share my own kitchen redesign experience with you. Read about my kitchen redesign below and then head to the bottom of this post to find out how you can enter to win a $100 Visa Gift Card from Sub-Zero and Wolf.
When we moved to our new house 18 months ago it was like a dream. I was 8 months pregnant and told by doctors to stay off my feet. I sat by the kitchen window looking out over our new lake while The Hubs did all the unloading and most of the unpacking.
As relaxing as that was, I couldn’t wait until after the babe was born so that I could get into that big beautiful kitchen and cook (and rearrange everything in the cupboards).
But once I got into the kitchen I was disappointed.
What had seemed like a big kitchen actually lacked counter space. The vast majority of counter surface either had big overhangs of cupboards over it or was in a place that made it awkward to use (like right next to the sink where dirty dishes end up getting piled while the cooking is going on).
Also, the cooktop was abysmal. It took FOREVER to heat up and even longer to cool down. The first meal I cooked in our new home involved white rice and I tell you, this food blogger was nearly in tears over that little pot. It WOULD NOT come to a simmer. And then, once it did it instantly galloped to a boil that would not calm down no matter how low I turned the dial. It took me five minutes of blowing on the bubbling water before realizing that I could just put it onto a different burner. Which was cold and did not maintain the simmer but eventually warmed up enough to sloooooowly cook the rice.
But there were aspects of our new kitchen that we loved.
The cupboards were as richly brown and shiny as maple syrup. And they were deep with lots of shelves. The best part about our new kitchen was that while washing dishes I had the most serene view of the lake behind our house (it was this lake with its little rookery that we fell in love with before even setting eyes on the house). Between me and that view was our big unfinished wooden table where I liked to imagine school-aged kids one day doing homework while snacking on cookies and milk.
This is the view we see when washing dishes. It is so peaceful that I barely notice the laundry piled on the table, and almost even that I’m doing dishes at all!
We immediately knew that something had to be done about the counters and the cooktop.
But nobody was allowed to mess with those cupboards or with that view!
We hired a contractor to come in and organize the job and to give us suggestions. If we wanted to keep the dishwashing-view and the cupboards there wasn’t much we could do in terms of rearrangement. To gain usable counter space we considered getting rid of the top level of counter and making the lower level go the entire depth. But we so loved sitting at our “bar” on Friday evenings drinking wine and chatting about the week that it was a no go.
And then our contractor had a brilliant idea.
He proposed that we gain counter space by making the lower level of countertop deeper. That is, we could deepen the first level and have the second level start further back. The only extra concern was the amount of space available to get between the counter and the cupboards that run along the side of our kitchen. Our contractor had a solution for that as well: Trim the corners off of the top level to allow for those few extra inches of space that we needed.
See how nice and deep that low level is? And see how the top level has its corner trimmed off to make more room for walking past? We never would have thought of this solution ourselves.
Wanting to bring as much of the outdoors in as we could, we decided to go with a granite countertop, a deep brown striked with corals and creams to set off the cupboards and the table.
Next we needed to choose a cooktop. When we walked into the appliance shop we already knew that we wanted a gas cooktop. We wanted to instantaneously turn heat on and off and we wanted precise control over temperature. We were so vehement with the salesperson, and so specific about what we wanted, that he immediately said, “Do I ever have the cooktop for you!” And he led us to the cooktop of our dreams.
Another view of our counters with the trimmed corner and, in the background, our fabulously brilliant Wolf 30″ Gas Cooktop.
It was the Wolf 30″ Gas Cooktop. We instantly fell in love with this cooktop and so it was no surprise for us to learn that Wolf appliances were born in the commercial kitchen. Really, cooking on it has reminded me of cooking in my parents’ restaurants.
This Wolf Cooktop has been perfect for us with controls on the top (so little fingers can’t accidentally turn on the gas!) and, best of all, something called True Simmer. Basically, each of the four burners has two rings from which the gas can come out. The top one is used for the regular cooking settings (ranging from low to high like any cooktop). But then the ring that is lower is for simmering. It’s far enough from your pot that it keeps things at a…well…at a True Simmer. And you have a ton of control over this too, with settings from a low simmer all the way up to a high simmer.
Let me tell you, cooking rice has never been a problem on this baby!
All the kitchen remodeling wrapped up several months ago. We now have the extra counter space that we needed, our cooktop works properly (and is completely brilliant) and we still have that happy family lake-backed view to enjoy while washing dishes.
It really is a delicious design!
And now onto info about the Kitchen Design Contest!
From sleek stainless steel and beautifully integrated panels to cobalt blue interiors and iconic red knobs, Sub-Zero and Wolf have led the way in innovative kitchen design for more than 65 years. As such, their Kitchen Design Contest is one of the most respected contests in the design industry. The contest was created to honor and celebrate design professionals who incorporate Sub-Zero and Wolf products into kitchen designs that are both innovative and beautiful. The 2010-2012 contest marks their 10th year! To celebrate this 10th Kitchen Design Contest, Sub-Zero and Wolf is giving away over $140,000 in cash prizes to winning design professionals – the largest amount of cash prizes to date. Categories for the 2010-2012 Kitchen Design Contest include Traditional, Contemporary, Online Designer’s Choice, Student Entries, and new this year, an online People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award honors the top kitchen design entry as determined by the general public via online voting. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive $15,000.
Here’s where you come in. Follow the three steps below for your chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card.
1) Click here to check out all the winning Kitchen Design Contest designs. 2) While there, cast your vote in the People’s Choice Award. 3) Come back here and comment below telling me which design you voted for and why. This comment is what enters you in a random drawing for a $100 Visa Gift Card! Ready. Set. Go see the Kitchen Designs!
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 4/1/13 – 4/30/13
Be sure to visit the Sub-Zero and Wolf brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!