Secrets of a Great Cabin Kitchen
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Secrets of a Great Cabin Kitchen

Stone and tile are not to be outdone: A farmhouse sink is fashioned from a solid block of granite, its face left rough for textural counterpoint. Hand-made leaf tiles, looking for all the world as if they were swept inside by a north wind off the lake, form the backsplash and island top.

Liz Firebaugh, CKD, owns the Signature Kitchens studio in Petoskey, Mich. She has won many national design awards, including the Pinnacle of Design award from the National Kitchen & Bath Association.

This article is excerpted from Liz Firebaugh’s new book, “Design With Taste.” There are three things to love about this book:  great design ideas, useful advice and pages of scrumptious recipes.

Published by Nickel Design, Inc., “Design With Taste” is available through and also through retail outlets or or online booksellers.

Hot trends in kitchen design

Specialized Cabinets
Cabinets can be specialized for different tasks and storage needs. Rollout drawers and bins handle pots, pans and recyclables; while tall, adjustable pullout shelves easily store canned goods. Drawers come with custom inserts for cutlery and utensils, felt linings for silver storage, or removable peg systems for dish storage.

Appliances have evolved in the most useful ways. Refrigerator and dishwasher drawers, installed singly or in multiples, can be strategically placed in the kitchen work zone. Microwave and convection oven combinations are very popular, and gaining ground are computerized built-in coffee systems, able to brew fresh coffee, espresso and cappuccino on demand.

Countertops have broken all the old rules – and for the better. Beautiful polished stones such as granite, soapstone or limestone can mix with stainless steel, copper or even concrete. Wood tops go well beyond the standard maple butcherblock. And now sealed woods, both domestic and exotic, are used as counter surfaces.

Knobs, pulls, hinges and handles are getting more work than ever in the custom kitchen due to the increased use of integrated appliance systems. Dishwasher and refrigerator drawers require larger, easy-to-grip handles. Stone, metal, wood and glass hardware are strong elements in
Anchored by the original pine floors and ceilings of a 1920s lakefront log cabin, this kitchen remodel remains true to its history. While it retains the homespun look, it is decidedly modern in its function and capabilities.

For such a confined area, major and small appliances are tucked away as built-ins: a wine cooler is beneath the countertop; the dishwasher hides behind a golden beadboard cabinet door; and a microwave resides in a base cabinet on the island.

Color, style and texture mix happily throughout. Reclaimed red barnwood encases the range hood, while the small wall-mounted cabinet to the left of the sink emphasizes the whimsical rustic cabin theme – its narrow door is accented with chicken wire. Ample dish storage is in the adjacent hutch, a reclaimed furniture piece.

Hidden appliances: In this kitchen, you can play “find the dishwasher” with your guests. (It’s hidden behind the golden beadboard cabinet door.)
David Duncan Livingston
David Duncan Livingston
Rustic look: Unique features of the range area include the reclaimed red barnwood that encases the range hood and the handmade leaf tiles on the backsplash.
David Duncan Livingston

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