Designing My Dream Kitchen

03. February 2021 House Renovation 0

I know we don’t really have the house just yet, but I preemptively started designing my dream kitchen. When I was buying my Harlem apartment, the sales office said I was the only one who requested “an open kitchen”; that most people asked for a park view or a second bathroom first. Now you know where my priorities lie but really, I’ve been dreaming about my perfectly functional kitchen for 10 years!

Alec is the person who made me realize that “we” is a very good thing, but I’m not hesitant to say “my dream kitchen” because my day to day revolves around food. While I’m working, I’m planning ahead so that the right meat has enough time to thaw from the freezer; before starting a workout, I set up the rice cooker so it’s one less thing to think about after; while walking Atticus, I’m trying to decide if I should make a stop at the pizza place; before going to bed, I make sure there’s enough cold brew for tomorrow’s drip. I plan all the grocery shopping and cooking lest I want to eat mac and cheese everyday.

I picked these appliances first because their measurements will dictate the rest of our kitchen. Without thinking of style or prices just yet, I wanted to create a wishlist so that whatever kitchen layout we get, I can plan to work around them:

  • Induction cooktop like the Bosch 800 series – I have always wanted an induction cooktop for easy cleaning, precise cooking, and for its safety features. If you think, I can’t imagine cooking without an open flame, then you simply haven’t tried cooking on an induction cooktop. The Wirecutter says there are several misconceptions about them. Americans tend to be hesitant to adopt new cooking tech mainly because it hasn’t been marketed very well. Here I am, Bosch, and I am going to make sure I convince people to switch after I get mine installed!
  • A very wide single basin sink like the Kohler 36″ apron sink – I am the cook that is always cleaning up every step of the way and I always find myself rinsing my chopping block or wrestling with a baking sheet. I never soak dishes, so my priority is a roomy sink over a deep one.
  • A tall faucet to accommodate a stock pot and to dispense carbonated water like the Grohe Blue chilled and sparkling – I don’t think a pot filler is necessary above the stove, but I can’t stand that my purifier takes up a lot of sink space. I exclusively drink seltzer water at home and at work, so having one faucet that does both would be amazing. Together with the induction cooktop that can heat water in seconds, I won’t be needing my electric kettle to boil a giant pot of water for pasta anymore.

Of course, there is the quiet dishwasher, the counter-deep refrigerator, and the right oven model for someone who doesn’t favor cooking a giant turkey, but the above 3 are the ones that make the top of my list.

And then I made a list of all the things that I do in the kitchen so that I can plan on how to improve each one.

  1. Cooking
    – an efficient vent would minimize wall and ceiling stains
    – an easy to reach backsplash would make it easier to wipe down after each use
    – a self-cleaning stove would be a necessity
  2. Prepping/chopping
    – ample space for sorting out and bagging groceries for storage
    – a chopping block that’s not too far away from the sink for easy cleanup
    – extra space next to the stove for easy transition from prep to cooking
  3. Composting/recycling/garbage disposal
    – an under the counter large bin to collect compost directly from the chopping block before transporting to an outside composter; I already use bokashi bran to help with my indoor composting
    – it would be great not to have all our recyclables and trash exposed until we have to take them out for the next day’s collection; this is something we will have to get used to since we will be our own landlords!
  4. Storing
    – easy to reach and store plates and utensils used everyday
    – easy access for the most used small appliances and enclosed storage for those that only get used during the holidays
    – a daily view of fresh food items that don’t need refrigeration like garlic and ginger; if I see them, I will use them!
    – a hidden paper towel compartment (why is this not a more common thing?!)
    – vertically stored ladles and serving utensils to easily pick which one to use

Lastly, I audited my current kitchen items, from the heaviest in weight to the least used. This will help me plan how I move around the kitchen and how much storage I need.

Heaviest weight items. I’ve always stored these on lower shelves for a less dangerous lift, but they also can’t be stored lower than my knees:
– All Le Creuset pots and pans (I have 5 different sized ones and you know how heavy each one is!)
– KitchenAid mixer
– Cast iron pan

From most used:
– wok
– rice cooker
– cast iron pan
– assorted Le Creusets
– donabe clay pot
– blender

…to almost never. I would store these farther from reach, but not so far that I will completely forget about them.
– steamer
– Instant Pot
– food processor
– waffle maker
– hot pot
– roasting pan
– raclette 
– ice cream maker
– sausage maker attachment
– pasta maker attachment

After we’re all vaccinated and we can all see each other again, I’d love to invite you over for some melted raclette with salami and gherkins!