Best Kitchen Design
The Kitchen at a Glance
- Location: St. George Island near Piney Point, Maryland
- Originally built: 1903
- Size: 157 square feet (kitchen), 750 square feet (house)
- Ceiling: Salvaged siding from the pre-hurricane cottage was flipped to the unpainted side.
- Walls: Board-and-batten wood
- Countertops, sink, and shelving: Custom fabricated using stainless steel; custommetalsofvirginia.com
- Backsplash and hood: Custom copper
- Cooktop: Viking; vikingrange.com
With limited floorspace, Wayne expanded upward. He raised the ceiling to the roofline (which peaks at 14 feet) so the 157-square-foot kitchen doesn't feel cramped.
Wayne designed a wall-to-wall, 10-foot-long copper hood and backsplash to anchor the kitchen. "In old camp-style kitchens, you saw a lot of long hoods like this," he says. "I wanted to have a commercial-kitchen effect, but I chose materials that felt like a classic copper pot."
Walls with Character
"The rough wooden walls add a layer of texture that feels true to this cabin," says Jessica Thuston. Board-and-batten, rather than plain-Jane drywall, eases the transition between indoors and out and is painted white to contrast with the copper.
Salvaged Wood Ceiling
While he was renovating, Wayne discovered that more than a century ago, the first owner had built the cottage using reclaimed materials. In that resourceful spirit, Wayne repurposed siding from the outside of the cottage. He flipped it to the unpainted side and lined the ceilings to play off the richness of the original heart-pine floors. "I love the idea of reuse in a rebuild—that mix of old and new makes it charming," says Jennifer Kopf.
Commercial Kitchen Storage
"These homeowners are cooks with an operating-kitchen aesthetic, not a showplace kitchen," notes Betty Dowling. Indeed, Wayne, a serious cook, looked to restaurants for efficiency ideas. He borrowed their under-counter, open-shelving concept to keep all of his pots and pans within easy reach.
Beside the freestanding china cabinet, Wayne built a 76-square-foot pantry for extra storage and to conceal the large appliances from view—an expansive design strategy. "I didn't want to interrupt the openness of the kitchen with a big refrigerator," he explains.
Wayne furnished the kitchen with some one-of-a-kind finds: In place of a kitchen island, for instance, he used an antique cast-iron architect's drawing-table base topped with a thick slab of marble. (It weighs 500 pounds!) Surrounded by four airy, modern wire chairs, it helps anchor the space.
Use an antique cabinet instead of built-in cabinetry in the kitchen to store china, crystal, and company-worthy serving pieces.
Essential Basic Tableware
Edit your possessions when you opt for open shelves. Wayne uses only simple white dishes and clear glasses for everyday meals.
Use the pantry for more than just food storage. Stock it with appliances, and include extra counterspace to create another spot for food prep.
Rather than lose precious space to a larger fixture, Wayne carved niches from his upper shelves to allow room for simple lightbulbs.