Kitchen Tour: Scott's Masterpiece of Organization

There isn't a cabinet in Scott's brand new kitchen that isn't a pleasure to explore. While the kitchen is part of a new construction condo, Scott amped up the bells and whistles on his own dime to make it all the more spectacular.
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Scott's last home was a house, with ample basement storage and a relatively spacious kitchen. It was a bit too quaint for Scott. His main impetus for selling that house and seeking new shelter was a better kitchen. In exchange for downsizing quite a bit, he updated his kitchen by 65 years! While all the shiny new appliances and clean lines came with the unit, Scott took the liberty of further refinements. He added shelving to every cabinet so as to make use of every inch. He added beautiful recessed halogen lighting in the ceiling and under cabinet lighting over the counter space. Scott even transformed one of the lower cabinets into a pull out drawer to hold his garbage bin.

Basically, it is a lean mean kitchen machine. It's incredibly user friendly. Anyone joining him in the kitchen should have no trouble finding what he or she needs to cook an incredible meal with ease.

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The Kitchn's Kitchen Questionnaire

What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
The design of my kitchen was at the top of my list when I was looking for my current apartment. I wanted excellent quality appliances but also a layout that was easy to both cook and entertain in. While a clean modern look was also high on the list, so was highly functional storage and layout of the cabinets.
My cooking is very much based on the seasons so having a neutral backdrop for 4 distinct season of foods suited my needs best. The best part of my kitchen might be the views of Manhattan….day or night seeing the Chrysler Building just seems both special and unique. I’m an architect and seeing great architecture from my kitchen is inspiring!

What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
Two things…I love my wood cutting boards — I have large wooden Boos boards (one for meats and a separate for fruits and vegs), and my pots/pans all have glass lids so I can see what's going on!

What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
I've only lived in the apartment a few months and most of the time has been spent setting everything up. My housewarming party was an all day affair with "semi-homemade" treats for the afternoon croquet match and a large family style barbeque for the dinner. I have a wonderful natural gas grill in my garden which I consider to be my "summer kitchen" (but I intend to BBQ year-round). A lot of the meats I prepare are cooked outdoors.

Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Fitting everything and keeping It accessible so that it is easy to cook. In my prior kitchen, I had a large pantry (but it was in the basement). Now everything is within reach, but sometimes I have to hop on the step ladder to access my high cabinets. When I was working on the kitchen, I would constantly want to see how other people arranged their cabinet contents. Because I often entertain and cook with others, I wanted to have a design that’s easy for others to use…it has to make sense.

Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
The whole apartment was a splurge…but in the kitchen I looked at a lot of under cabinet lights and the price ranges in the product category are great. I was frightened when I added up all the pieces but in the end I really did get what I paid for. The system has adjustable light levels and is segmented. The installation did the least amount of damage to the installed cabinets. My electrician looked at the first system I brought home and told me it was garbage, he was right and I'm glad I switched it out (I think he nicely refused to install it!).

Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen
My kitchen was largely fully laid out but I restyled and added a lot more storage and new lighting. There is one area above the refrigerator that could have been made into a cabinet for platters but that space got lost in the details of the upper cabinet design. Someday I'm going to break it open!

Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
I won't mind more storage but I'm out of room….I think just more time to enjoy it and to have people over for dinner more.

How would you describe your cooking style?
Seasonal…I'm going to need to go on a diet soon so it’s going to be mostly vegetables and chicken for the next few months.

Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Just make/cook, try things. Don't worry about how things go to together. Once you build your "File of Dreams" you will have a base from which to build/explore (and make better combinations). The only way you truly improve your skills is to just cook. Cook things that look good to you or you know you've always wanted to try. Cook things you know you can do better than your favorite restaurant! Also, I love watching America's Test Kitchen. The manner in which they work through a recipe until its perfect is fantastic.

What are you cooking this week?
I shop mostly at Fairway Red Hook and was wondering that same thing last night….I've got holiday parties almost every night this week so unfortunately I won't be cooking much. My family is coming for Christmas so hopefully we can have a meal or two in my new home.

Resources

    • My cookbook collection is my best resource for ideas….all the physical tools just make cooking easier. All 'Donna Hay' and 'America's Test Kitchen' titles are my most used books.

    • Appliances: Subzero, Viking Gas Range, Viking Convection Microwave, Bosch Dishwasher. The interior storage of the Subzero has truly exceeded my expectations.

    • Cabinetry by Craftline Cabinets (Clifton NJ) Ian (973) 777-8808 x103

    • Lighting by WAC (under cabinet Xenon), overhead Halogen. Gracious Home and Lamps Plus.com are both excellent resources for lighting assistance.

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• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here

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(Images: Jill Slater)

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