Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.

Designing a Gourmet Kitchen

For some the kitchen is where we simply go to prepare a meal but for others it is a place of creativity where new things are not just cooked or baked, they are born. New flavors are combined to form amazing dishes that delight and wow others. For a budding chef or a seasoned one, having a kitchen at home that is equipped with everything you need is essential but what goes into designing a gourmet kitchen? Which elements should be included to provide you with the perfect space to cook or bake those new food items? How can you best maximize your kitchen layout to gain the most usable space? Let’s talk about what it takes to design the gourmet kitchen of your dreams.

Kitchen work stations

Divide and conquer. This has been a winning strategy for centuries and the kitchen is no different. Workstations in the kitchen offer you the chance to divide your space into different sections focused on various tasks. Whether baking or cooking, you can create a space that is customized to your specific needs. A baking workstation in the kitchen allows you to have everything necessary to bake your delicious recipes whether tried and true or brand new. Some of the things to include would be:

  • A pull out for spices
  • Mixing bowls
  • Storage
  • Baking sheets
  • Small appliances
  • Access to the sink

We know that nothing can be baked without ingredients but having to run back and forth between your pantry and the kitchen is not only tiring but can create more mess. Having your spices and dry ingredients like flour and sugar within reach saves time and makes it much easier to get things done. Storage is another critical part of any space in the home but especially in the kitchen. Deep drawers give you room to store small appliances such as blenders and hand mixers keeping them in arms reach but neatly tucked away when not needed. Don’t forget about the sink and fridge. Baking can mean extra hand washes to rinse off sticky dough or dirty bowls and utensils so be sure to position your baking workstation near the sink. A cooking station is another critical part of a gourmet kitchen as it provides a designated space to prepare and cook not just dinner but entirely new dishes. This is the area where you make it easy to have access to items such as:

  • Knives
  • Pots and pans
  • Cutting boards
  • Towels
  • Dishes
  • Spices and oil

Work flow is important and nothing hinders that more than having to walk all over the kitchen to find what you need while trying to cook. Keeping these items within reach speeds up the process and gives you more time to focus on the task at hand. Things like pots, pans, and other dishes such as platters mean you can transfer food to them and place them where they are needed at the correct time instead of trying to keep an eye on the steak while finding a bowl to put the green beans in. Supplies like towels both fabric and paper help you keep your cooking station clean plus leaves you with less to mess to deal with later. When designing a gourmet kitchen workstations are a must on the list so talk to your designer about creating the perfect one for you.

Appliances that will last

Without a refrigerator to store your perishable wet ingredients like milk, eggs, and butter or a stove to cook it all on, your creative ability would be greatly minimized. Thinking about which appliances you need as well as ones that will be the most durable is an important part of designing a gourmet kitchen. There are many different sizes and styles that can be chosen to match your particular design wishes and integrated into numerous layouts though square footage does play a key factor in the final selection. A smaller amount of usable space means you need to be specific in the appliances you choose, think about which ones will bring the most value to your kitchen and cooking needs. Some of the appliances to consider would be:

  • A refrigerator
  • Double oven
  • Freezer
  • Warming drawer
  • Stove

Each of these provide a different service and perform varying functions. While several are essential such as a stove and refrigerator the size you choose may be flexible. If you have a small kitchen a stovetop can be all you need especially if you lean more toward cooking than baking. A refrigerator can be made smaller meaning that you can store less inside but that can be compensated by visiting the grocer a couple times a week instead of twice a month. Sometimes this helps reduce spoiled food since it doesn’t get buried in a drawer. A larger kitchen, however, can offer you the ability to enjoy all the appliances but placement still matters. A double oven should be close enough to the counter so you can place the cookie sheet down to cool. Having a warming drawer lets you keep the meal ready to serve when family members run a little late. A freezer means you can cook ahead then freeze to serve later which is a great time saver especially during busy times of the year like holidays. While not an appliance, the kitchen sink is also worth mentioning as it serves a multi functional role. For those who love to cook, having a sink is as essential as the stove or fridge. It is where dirty dishes can be dropped, veggies are washed, and hands sanitized. Talk to your designer about your list of essentials needed in your gourmet kitchen space.

Some final suggestions

Storage and counterspace are two things that should also be considered when designing for a gourmet kitchen. Sufficient storage means you can store all those extras you need such as pots and pans, small appliances, dishes, serving trays, mixing bowls, utensils, silverware, and supplies. Tools matter and when they are organized your tasks get easier to do and maintain. Counterspace is another critical part of the design as they are the true workspace in the kitchen. They provide you the room needed to spread out and knead your dough or prep for dinner. It is always easier when you can have everything you need in front of you instead of shifting things from side to side or running back and forth to make it work. Be sure to discuss these areas with your designer so that they can come up with good solutions.

Designing a gourmet kitchen

For those who love to cook, to create, to celebrate in the kitchen there is nothing better than gourmet. This type of kitchen allows you the freedom to explore as well as entertain in style. It can also make the experience more enjoyable for everyone but especially the chef. A customized space is perfect as it is suited just for you and your specific “tastes”. This is also an important investment that deserves careful consideration and planning so be sure to go over every detail with your designer before finalizing any design. We promise that a custom space is exaclty what the chef needs to flourish.