Case Study: Busy Family Optimizes Kitchen Space

At Room Service Interiors, the goal is simple: to create spaces that fit life, not just fit around it. We loved working on this beautiful Rocky View County custom kitchen design with that goal in mind — to fit the busy, entertainment-filled life of a busy professional couple and their young kids. 


Who? 

Busy professional couple with 3 children aged 10, 13, 17 who like to entertain family and friends frequently.

What?
Overall Home Renovation: 6756 sq. ft.
Kitchen: 475 sq ft.

Where?
Bearspaw, Rocky View County, AB

Why?
This Bearspaw estate home had plenty of potential and more than enough space for this family of five. It was clear from the start that what it didn't have was any modern amenities or good function and flow. A narrow butler's pantry, sunshine ceilings, abundant oak panelling, dated appliances and lack of natural light were just a few of the issues keeping this kitchen from shining.  

This family craved a space where they could have a pack of kids run in and out without being underfoot and where friends and family could visit while helping the primary cook prep for large gatherings. 

Client Wishlist:

  • create a space for entertaining large groups

  • more light

  • modernize space 

  • materials that would stand up to family living

  • hardworking appliances that will make everyday chores efficient and quick

  • built-in storage 

  • more prep area

  • integrate technology

  • casual eat-in seating for family 


How? 
Prior to beginning any drawings, I spent time really getting to know the clients and what’s important to them.  With so many details involved in designing a kitchen, it’s easy to overlook the small details, which is why I followed that up with a comprehensive questionnaire to identify who uses the kitchen, how they’d like to use it, what is stored in the kitchen and point of use. 

Here is a list of the zones I identified and how we configured them to make life easier for this family of five:

 

Pantry & Food Storage

In this kitchen, we chose to have both dry goods and cold storage/refrigeration along one wall. It is the closest access to the garage and has a drop zone on the islands to make putting away groceries a breeze. The pull-out wall pantries are an efficient use of space and they allow users to see exactly what they have (umm…ever lost anything at the back of your corner pantry?). 

This kitchen included a “magic corner” pantry and four pull-outs paired with two 24” refrigeration columns and an 18” freezer column to create a well-stocked chef’s delight.

 Snack & Drink Bar

It’s not unusual to have a breakfast bar, but this family needed a space that served a more multi-purpose function due to the sheer number of kids and guests in and out on a daily basis. The space I designed for the clients included a snack/drink bar with a refrigerated drawer for cold beverages and food as well as a coffee bar and cup warming drawer for caffeine-craving adults. 

Having plumbed in water lines and storage above it ensured that users could take care of all of their snacking needs without crisscrossing the kitchen.

Dishes

The primary cook preferred to have everything in its place and out of sight if possible. Plates and glasses were stored close to the snack bar and within a few steps of the eating bar and dining room, contravening any need to enter the cooking and prep zone. 

 

Prep

With 475 sq ft to utilize, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of room for prep — but configuring space for this all-important task still needed to be intentional. The main workstation is the cook-top island. Positioned smartly across from the refrigerator and double wall oven, it’s tricked out with built-ins to accommodate all of the homeowner’s needs. And, with the raised eating bar on the end for friends and family alike, the chef is never left out of the conversation.

Cooking & Baking

The cooking zone includes the double oven with steam, a warming drawer, an induction cooktop with a downdraft vent, a microwave drawer and a refrigerator. Deep drawers with storage for pots and pans under the cooktop along with a pot filler in the island keep unnecessary steps to a minimum while flanking pullouts for knives, spices and oils keep frequently used items on hand and orderly. Next to the wall ovens, a pullout for pans adds easy organization. 

Clean Up

The large main kitchen sink was primarily designed for clean up of pots, pans and bakeware, while the smaller island in the second island was created for rinsing snacks and dishware. We also worked on placing the double dishwasher directly adjacent. Next to each sink is a trash receptacle, and underneath, I made sure to include a pullout for storing cleaning supplies such as sponges, soap, cleaning supplies, and garbage bags. 

 

Visiting & Homework

To create an effective space for entertaining, the chef should be able to converse with his/her guests even while cooking — which is what let to introducing an eating bar that also happens to do double duty as a homework space when the kids have questions or need supervision. I designed this eating bar on the same end of the kitchen as the homeowner’s organization centre. Rather than serving as an office (which had its own home), we built filing drawers for school papers and sports schedules. Need a recipe?  No problem, concealed shelves on the wall above contain ample space for cookbooks — or you could simply look one up on the pop-up screen hidden within the prep island when not in use.

The Final Outcome:


The open-plan entertaining space features a gourmet chef's kitchen with dual caesarstone quartz islands & a circular glass eating bar, Gaggenau & Wolf appliances that open up to the dining area inclusive of a wine bar.

During the undertaking of this whole home renovation by Room Service Interiors, special focus was put on crafting a high functioning kitchen with dedicated zones and workstations to reflect how the clients would use their space. The final design included 7 dedicated zones that would allow each person in the home to do what they needed to do when they needed to do it. Keeping things thoughtfully arranged within each of these zones was especially critical so that everything needed to accomplish a task was within arm’s reach.

Interested in starting your own kitchen or home redesign? Book a discovery call now.