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Jewel box kitchen

Walls of glass allow for casual entertaining

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    Tall cabinets fill the side walls.

Improving your kitchen

"A kitchen must be well designed functionally but give way to mood and feeling," says architect David Coleman. "That's ultimately what makes a space endearing - and successful." Here's how to make your kitchen a more efficient and personal working and gathering space.

  • Connect it to the outdoors where possible, so you can take advantage of good weather for eating or entertaining outside.
  • Organize the space so that the cook and the guests don't get in each other's way. Here, the island puts the range on one side - close to the sink and the refrigerator - away from the main path to the deck.
  • Vary the cabinet treatment within a limited palette of materials to create visual interest and to indicate special functions. In this kitchen, glass cabinets highlight dish storage and contrast handsomely with other cabinets and drawers (for pots, pans, utensils, and tableware) made of jewel-toned ribbon-stripe mahogany and bird's-eye maple.
  • Make every inch count: Consider running cabinets from floor to ceiling to avoid the dust-and-grease-catching shelf that often tops conventional partial-wall cabinets. Also, shallow cabinets make great pantries.

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