WHEN TROY ADAMS RENOVATED HIS OWN L.A. KITCHEN, IT WASN’T ABOUT BIG, SPLASHY, OR OVER-THE-TOP. INSTEAD, HE USED A CAREER’S WORTH OF CLEVER, PRACTICAL TRICKS OF THE TRADE. LUCKY FOR US, HE AGREED TO SHARE HIS SECRETS.
TRICK OF THE TRADE USE LIGHT FROM MANY SOURCES
Lit from within, this overhead cabinet is a light fixture, too–frosted-glass doors conceal cabinet contents and help shed ambient light. Recessed fixtures underneath provide task lighting, while track fixtures and a pendant provide ambient as well as task lighting.
TRICK OF THE TRADE GO FOR A BIG SINGLE SINK (INSTEAD OF A DOUBLE)
One deep, wide sink takes up the same amount of space as a divided one, but it does what a double sink can’t–provides enough room to fill a 16-quart stockpot, rinse voluminous bunches of greens, or soak a turkey-sized roasting pan.
WITH 24 YEARS OF DESIGNING KITCHENS AND AT LEAST 1,000 PROJECTS UNDER HIS BELT, L.A. KITCHEN DESIGNER TROY ADAMS KNEW JUST WHAT HE WANTED WHEN IT CAME TIME TO REDO HIS OWN KITCHEN: BLEND THE EFFICIENCY ANY GOOD COOK CRAVES WITH THE STYLE AND ORIGINALITY ANY GOOD DESIGNER LOVES.
He began with a novel idea. “Instead of wallpapering the room with cabinets and appliances, as in a conventional fitted kitchen, I wanted each element to have its own presence, like separate pieces of furniture.” Sounds impractical and space-hogging–especially in this long, narrow 10×30-foot room. But it’s not: Thoughtfully conceived work zones make for a kitchen that’s as snug as a ship but feels spacious.
One key decision was keeping overhead cabinets to a minimum so that the room would have a more open feel. “I’m not a fan of overhead storage,” he says. “You only use the bottom shelf, because getting to the top one is usually really hard.”
A beautiful and eclectic mix of materials warms up this sleek room. But each has a specific reason for being there. A red enameled lava-stone countertop offers a juicy pop of color and is heat-, stain-, and scratch-resistant. Durable soapstone countertops take on an appealing patina over years of use, and the slate backsplash is shot through with colors that tie the room together. The butcher-block work island is a freestanding cutting board that’s always ready for action and looks great with the bamboo floors, which are both practical and green. Troy points out that bamboo, a renewable resource, is also a grass and handles moisture even better than a wood floor.
TRICK OF THE TRADE KEEP THE WORK TRIANGLE TIGHT
The uninterrupted path between work zones is a design concept called the work triangle–conventionally, the imaginary line from sink to cooktop to fridge. But for best use of space, there are actually two triangles: the line from chopping block to fridge to sink, and the one from chopping block to sink to cooktop. However you configure it, “each leg of the triangle should be at least four feet and no longer than nine,” says Troy. “If the distance is too short, you’ll feel cramped and want to spread out to another surface. But if it’s too long, you’ll be hiking across the kitchen for everything.” One of the secrets to this small space’s workability is that the island–where Troy spends most of his kitchen time–is the nexus of the kitchen. (more…)