After Labor Day weekend, I put away the summer decor and tableware in my kitchen.
One of the things I enjoy about the month of September, is having my home in its “normal” state; without any seasonal or holiday decor.
Besides, there’s all of October and November for fall decorating. It’s nice to have a break; before six to seven months in a row of one holiday after another.
Without all the decorations and tableware out, late summer is also a good time for me to do a thorough cleaning of the kitchen cabinets inside and out. Now that I’ve started that process, I thought I’d continue the tour of my pretty, but practical kitchen.
Today’s tour will focus on the kitchen’s nine-foot island bar; and a few other unique cabinetry features and design elements.
I use affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission that helps to offset website operating costs with no additional cost to you. Your support is appreciated! Disclosure Policy.
Taking the Long View
Here’s a wide view of the kitchen looking towards the family room. Remodeled Kitchen Design & Layout Tour (Part 1) started in the eating area; at the other end of the island.
Next, we moved along the right hand side of the island; including the glass-front cabinet, and floor-to-ceiling pantry.
In Part 2, I showed you the backsplash, countertop and under cabinet lighting. Then, I opened all the cabinets and drawers around the refrigerator and microwave to show you how things are organized.
And, I shared clever ways the remodeled layout utilizes space within the house’s original footprint.
Today, we’ll be taking a walk around the island. Then, we’ll return to the back corner and long run of cabinetry, counterspace, and appliances on the outside wall of the kitchen.
Center of the Kitchen
One major cost-savings we made when remodeling, was to use Corian, rather than granite on the island countertop. We did upgrade to a beveled finished edge. After all these years, the counter shows very little wear or staining. I also like how easy it is to clean and care for.
Plug It In
One of the last things we figured out with the designer, was the placement of electrical outlets in the remodeled kitchen. Positioning one on the side of the island is really handy. I use it frequently to plugin my food processor, blender, mixer, waffle maker and more!
Everyday, while eating breakfast at the bar, Mr. Buzz uses the outlet to recharge his iPad. It sits in a stand, so he can easily read the news and check on email at the same time.
Spice it Up
Now, let’s move down the left side of the kitchen island. Handy to the cooktop, oven and work surfaces is a wide drawer with built-in spice rack. Previously, I used a carousel rack in a cabinet.
Whether cooking or baking, the angled insert makes it much easier to reach and locate spices.
Underneath the drawer, is a cabinet with two pull-out drawers inside. Large nested pots, microwave cookware, loaf pans, bakeware, and molds reside on the top drawer. Not only is it easier to see and reach things, it’s a lot easier on the ‘ol back!
In the bottom drawer are lids; organized with an insert. As I’m sure you know, adding pull-out drawers and special built-in organizations (like the spice rack) adds significantly to custom cabinetry costs. Some free-standing organizers (like the one for lids) are sometimes better purchased from a store like Bed, Bath and Beyond. Free-standing inserts and organizers allow the flexibility for moving them around too..
Right in the center of the kitchen island is a gas, five-burner cooktop. Prior to the remodel, we had an electric range with a built-in oven and microwave. Do you use gas or electric?
I love how the three burner grates sit flush, allowing me to easily slide pots around. Or, to sit a large griddle over two burners. And, I frequently use the grates for placing hot pans removed from the oven. Often, I’ll place a large roaster pan there for cooling, and then turn on the burners to make gravy from the juices.
A large drawer underneath is handy for foil, parchment paper, and storage bags. It’s also where I keep trivets, cutting board, and hot pads.
When Up is Down
Since the house only has 7 1/2 foot ceilings, an overhead hood would really breakup the room. Exactly the opposite of what we wanted when remodeling the kitchen and back area of the house.
In the picture above, the green arrow points to where a fan pops up, . Air is downdraft under the cabinetry and floor to vent outside.
It has three fan speeds and a motor that rises the fan up and down. Although it works fairly well, it’s obviously not as effective as an overhead vent. Still, when you’re remodeling, you have to work within the existing framework of the house.
My Sweet Scottie Dog, who isn’t even intimidated by a lawn mower, runs and hides whenever I turn the fan on. I think he connects the sound of the smoke detector alarm going off sometimes when the fan is on?
Rather than waste all the Corian cut-out for the gas cooktop, I had them use half of it to make a large cutting board.
Even with the vent underneath the cooktop, there is still ample storage space for large, wide items like the griddle and roaster pans. That’s because the vent sits to the back.
No amount of usable space is wasted, as the designer added a narrow shelf. It’s where I keep a heavy Staub pumpkin pot, waffle maker and even a rarely-used crepe maker.
More Cookware Storage
On the left side is large utensils drawer, with built-in dividers. I don’t keep my utensils in a large, decorative container on the countertop, because I have just too much of the stuff!
Underneath is another cabinet with two more pull-out drawers. In the top drawer are primarily nested saucepans and cake pans.
Heavier skillets (including two made of iron) are layered in the bottom drawer. Cardboard and bubble wrap are used to separate and protect Teflon-coated pans from scratching.
Sitting on the countertop above is this double tiered basket. It’s topped with a faux fruit and vegetable arrangement that compliments the kitchen decor.
See all the fruit and vegetable decorated decor in, Remodeled Kitchen Design & Layout Tour (Part 1).
On the far end of the island, facing the kitchen table, is a three-shelf bookshelf. It’s where I keep cookbooks and the like. Do you have any of these in your kitchen? Which is your favorite or go-to?
Feet at the bottom of the cabinet give it the look of furniture.
Have a Seat at the Bar
On the pantry side of the kitchen island is a counter with three swivel chairs. Each stool is covered with it’s original practical fabric — now about 15 years old!
The only downside to the stools is that they are extremely heavy — I hate moving them to clean the floors!
Although the pewter metal with gold highlights is showing a bit of wear, the chairs have held up well. I picked them to compliment all the stainless appliances and grey in the countertops, tile floor, etc.
Gold fleur-de-lis are a nod to my French ancestry and name — do you remember me telling you many believe the motif represents a bee? And you know what a buzz I am about bee stuff, LOL!
Back to Counter
Now that we’ve made the entire circuit around the kitchen island, I want to return to the adjacent countertop and cabinetry.
In addition to the Rooster Decor and Tableware that populate my everyday kitchen, I like to create other non-seasonal vignettes between holidays. These are primarily located in two corners of the kitchen countertop.
Adjacent to the coffee maker, is a simple grouping anchored by a square platter. I like how the black in the cheese plate and small round server compliment all the other black decor accents around the kitchen. Did you notice the little spreader handle that looks like a wine cork?
Included in the vignette are a pair of Byer’s Choice figures. Can you guess who they are?
They’re the butcher and baker from the old English nursery rhyme. Aren’t they perfect for a kitchen vignette?
“Rub-a-dub-dub, three men in a tub, and who do you think they be?The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, and all of them out to sea.”
And, I’ll bet you thought you had seen my entire collection of Byer’s Choice figures! This pair has been passed up from my youngest sister A to sister B when she moved. Years later, Sistah B then gifted them to me when downsizing to a waterfront home. She knew how much I loved ’em! Thanks girls!
Pasta & Beans
One of my favorite decorative, design elements of the kitchen are this pair of glass-fronted drawers.
Pretty as they are, the deep drawers are also practical for storing plastic storage containers and baskets.
Two-inches of space between the glass and a wooden slate (see green arrow above) provides fill space for decorative materials. I used various kinds of dried beans and pasta layers, and have never had an issue with bugs or mold.
Originally, I had intended to chance the filler seasonally —- candy canes for Christmas, jelly beans for Easter, etc. But, that would be too much of a pain. All the beans and pasta would mix together when the board is lifted and contents empty into the drawer.
Things are Heating Up
Adjacent to the pasta windows, and behind the center island, is the convection oven. My original kitchen remodel plan included two wall ovens. But, that would have meant giving up significant counter and cabinet space for the few times a year I would actually need two ovens — like Thanksgiving.
In hindsight, I’m happy with the decision. Between the microwave and five-burner cooktop, I make due. Do you have double wall ovens?
Another easy place to add a little personality to the kitchen is by placing a pair of dish towels on the oven handle. Since I’m between seasons right now, these depict rooster and barnyard animals. Pretty soon, I’ll simply swap them out with fall and then Halloween designs. Clean towels are stored in one of the four drawers to the right; adjacent to the double sink.
Well ladies, I’ll have to complete the kitchen tour sometime soon. It’s time to make dinner and get cooking!
I hope you’ve found a few ideas for organizing your kitchen or changing up some design and decor elements? Any tips or suggestions you’d like to share?
Related Post Picks
I regularly participate in: Metamorphous Monday, Turn About Tuesday, Centerpiece Wednesday, Whimsical Home Projects, In Link Party, Share Your Style, Tablescape Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Crafty Creators, Fabulous Friday, Saturday Sparks, Happiness is Homemade, and Love Your Creativity.
Subscribe to the Buzz
Receive an email notice on Wednesdays or Saturday mornings; whenever Debbee publishes a new post --- about twice monthly.
I love your kitchen, as you know, and especially like the way you utilized every square inch to be most efficient for your own needs. We, too, have a nine foot island, but our cook-top is not installed in it. We have receptacles at each end…something I didn’t think we’d use much, but find we use them all the time. We have pull-outs and deep drawers on all the bottom cabinets …my back thanks me every time I use them lol! Our home was almost three years old when we purchased it so I didn’t get a say-so in designing it, but I am pleased that we have many cabinets and drawers. We have a pretty granite, but I will put quartz in our retirement home as it will allow me to put out more seasonal decor colors with a plainer slate. Our cabinets are cherry wood with a nice raised profile and a brown-cinnamon stain….color is perfect with my autumn decor, but not really what I would have selected for year-round decorating. All in all, I am thankful for what we have right now. I love the idea of using Byer’s Carolers the way you have…too cute! I have them for holidays, but never thought of ones that would work year-round in the kitchen…I’m crushing on yours! I would really enjoy having open shelving for all my cookbooks so they’d be close at hand. Hope you have a fun Labor Day!
Bobbi, you sound like you have a lovely, well designed kitchen with lots of great storage. I do like the neutral color palette of mine. In hindsight the black granite I liked wouldn’t have been as aesthetically pleasing. Really am glad we used an experienced designer who also understood the construction implications (and costs). And, was able to get most of what I wanted without knocking down any exterior walls. Plus, we redid all 3 baths at the same time. Don’t want to go through all the disruption ever again though, LOL!
Congrats on the new kitchen set up, Debbee! Looks fabulous!
Thanks Crissy, but my “new” kitchen is over 15 years old now — it’s held up beautifully and functionally.
I love a good functional kitchen. We have outlets on the side of our island and it’s one of the most used outlets in the kitchen. Your spice drawer is something I would love since mine are in an upper cabinet that isn’t short people friendly 🙂 Oh, and I love those pull out drawers in the cabinets too!
That spice drawer is genius — not sure why I’m the only one who seems to have one? Maybe it’s because you need a wide drawer to the insert? Yes, I am really pleased with how well the kitchen and it’s functionality have held up all these years. But, there is never enough storage for all my tableware, LOL!
Debbee, your Kitchen is stunning!! Love that you can fill those drawers with different things for different Holidays and Seasons..And as I have mentioned before, I love the Byer’s Carolers!!
Gee, thanks Debbie! It was a pain living through the remodel, but so worth the end results and its longevity.
beautiful kitchen, and you’re so super organized. the previous owners of our new house, didn’t put in an electrical outlet, and it’s a real problem for me. I’d like to have one put in, don’t want to tear up the ceiling in our basement bedroom. Love your Byer figures, such cute vignettes!
Although everyone is mostly impressed with the look of my kitchen, it’s what’s “under the covers” that makes it so great — all the electrical outlets, the undercounter lighting, organizational features, etc. I know what you mean about tearing up ceilings, etc. We’ve been wanting to convert our log-burning fireplace to gas, but it’d be very disruptive in order to reach the main gas line. Thanks for stopping by Debra!
Debbee: loved your tour of your kitchen a good design never goes out of style. I am a retired interior designer. Oh I know (they) say, but the cabinets go out of style. I would say pick out your cabinets that (you) love now and that you will always love and (you) can’t go wrong. What goes around comes around in design pick your anchor pieces and build from there. What a dull world it would be if we all had the same decor. I have a small question dear the manufacturer you got your rooster table cloth and round rooster rug from please. Thank you. Love your classic black in your decor also. When I taught a design class I would always say. It is like the little black dress that hangs in your closet. You can dress it up or wear it casual it is always in style. Take care, Cher
It’s great to get high marks on design from a pro like you Char — thanks! Although the kitchen designer I partnered with deserves a lot of credit, particularly for working within our homes existing footprint. Also appreciate you sharing your design insights.
The tablecloth came from William Sonoma, along with many matching dishes (several years ago). See more at Rooster Kitchen Decor and Tableware. Unfortunately, the rug came from a now defunct catalog company. Although not the same, I have see similar rooster rugs on Horchow.
And, if you like black used in design, check out Monkey Decor Adds Impact to Small Powder Room.