It’s holiday season, when our kitchens get a workout from a range of ambitious endeavors, from hosting holiday dinners to crafting artisanal treats for gift-giving. And most of us find that our cookie-cutter kitchens don’t make the grade. It’s a good time, then, to take notes on what does and doesn’t work for you, so that when you’re ready for a remodel, you can help create a kitchen that’s truly yours.

In a recent kitchen project, part of a larger remodel of a grand Portland Foursquare, we worked with a couple who had carefully considered their tastes and habits. Consequently, we could customize their space for enduring enjoyment.

post2A kitchen that fits the home’s historic context

Having a clear vision of the aesthetics of the kitchen, the clients informed just how faithful the design and construction needed to be to the home’s historic origins. For instance, we custom built cabinets to match the cabinetry elsewhere in the home, both in wood species and profile details. We also encased a built-in fridge and pantry, visible from the dining room, in custom-built fir cabinetry. If historic fidelity is important to you, make sure you hire a professional who can recreate the space convincingly.

Personalizing with furniture

The remodel took into account a treasured antique table and display cabinet that the residents wanted in the newly expanded room. Knowing what furniture, if any, you’ll want in a space helps ensure they’ll fit and be shown off to good advantage.

post3An island that works for the cooks

The couple wanted the additional work space and focal point of an island but didn’t want it to dominate the room. A simple yet elegant table with a Carrera marble top was custom-built to serve as a workspace for baking, food prep, and additional storage.

post4Open Shelving for Kitchens

After living with the original kitchen, the homeowners realized they liked the convenience of open shelves, and also enjoyed seeing their collection of Arts & Crafts pottery prominently displayed. The new kitchen now has open shelving that fits into the kitchen’s genre and befits the collectibles they hold.

post5Functions that fit your kitchen

Both doctors, the clients requested a hygienic feature adopted from their work environment: foot-operated hot/cold water faucets at the sink. Additionally, the double-wide sink allows the two to keep out of each other’s way while working side by side. Dual dishwashers allow for similar multi-tasking: one can wash pots and pans while the other washes delicate glassware.

Taking the time to assess your tastes, habits and aspirations will ensure a remodeled kitchen that is a joy to work in now and for years to come.