With these affordable, achievable decorating styles, plus more than 140 photographs and floor plans, it’s possible to construct the ideal kitchen. Meet the designers, architects, and homeowners who have created some of North America’s finest. Working with a range of budgets, they tackled, and skillfully overcame, a host of decorating problems. Their layouts are models of efficiency, timeless beauty, and effective use of form and function. From small city kitchens to expansive spaces, each one illustrates the elements of good design.
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Wall-hung cabinets, whether standard-issue or custom-built, have the advantage of providing great volumes of storage area without intruding on the room's basic floor plan. Those that are ceiling height provide maximum storage space and are especially effective in apartment kitchens. The overhead space created by cabinetry that doesn't reach the ceiling can be used to store or display large serving pieces, baskets, and the like. Cabinets fronted with glass doors are ideal for the cook who likes to see everything at a glance or show off colorful china and dishware. Solid doors or glass doors backed with panels of fabric might be the better choice for cooks who prefer to keep their "pantry" out of sight.
Kitchen decor can be formal or casual, ultra-modern or old-fashioned, clean or cluttered, depending on taste. Color is far and away the most direct way to transform a room quickly; wallpaper, fabric, and even scatter rugs are excellent ways to introduce it in a kitchen. Furnishings, whether an antique pine dry sink or an upholstered slipper chair, add warmth and serve a purpose, too. Finally, the cook's favorite things -- collections of baskets, books, bottles, or bibelots -- help to stamp the kitchen with a decorating signature all its own.