Who cooks and eats here: Eva Katz, her husband Philip, and their two sons
Where: Jamaica Plain in Boston, Massachusetts
Rent or Own? Own
If there's one thing Eva Katz knows, it's how to make your kitchen work for you. As a recipe developer, writer, and longtime editor at Cook's Country magazine, Eva is a consummate cook, and a busy one. Her home kitchen serves as the headquarters for both her personal blog, My Front Burner, and her freelance work for Cook's Country. It's also, of course, where she cooks for her family, including two (very hungry) teenage boys!
Given all the ways Eva uses her kitchen — and the hours she spends in it — it's always been very important to her that it be functional, efficient, and enjoyable to be in. "In a nutshell, my kitchen [had] to work for work but still feel like home," she told me. And so it does, thanks to not one but two different IKEA kitchen systems and a few strategic, space-and-sanity-saving touches. Let's take a look!
Want a Wolf range? Balance the cost with IKEA cabinets.
"When designing the space we were going for a super-functional kitchen but one that would still feel homey and welcoming," Eva told me. "The budget was a huge factor. I felt like the big money had to go towards a high-quality cooktop so I chose a six-burner Wolf with a hood that really works and looks good, too."
So where did she save? In the cabinetry! She customized her kitchen island using two different IKEA cabinet styles, one wood and one stainless steel. The wood side of the island features open drawers for pots and pans underneath the cooktop ("I need streamlined access to the tools I use frequently and this way I can get to them easily but they are tucked away out of most visitor’s line of sight") while the cabinet doors on the stainless steel side hide various appliances and small electrics.
Both ends of the island are also stainless steel. "I wasn’t crazy about the look of the veneer panels on the side of the island and on the side of the wall ovens," Eva said," so we covered them with affordable sheets of fabricated stainless steel."
4 Smart Kitchen Design Details from Eva's Kitchen
- "We opted for extra-deep countertops—30 inches deep instead of the standard 24. This is one of the simplest and smartest ways I discovered to maximize the functionality of the countertops. I have to keep a fair bit of equipment at my fingertips but still need to have substantial work surface."
- "My husband talked me into installing two dishwashers (possibly for somewhat selfish reasons...I wonder?) so we flipped the one that came with the house around so it is hidden under the island and purchased a stainless one for the main area by the sink. In retrospect I’m glad we did this, as I can’t imagine doing the amount of cooking - and constant cleaning - I do without them."
- "We have only two sets of upper cabinets just to utilize the storage spaces above the stove and fridge. We wanted to maximize areas for windows and art and keep the kitchen feeling spacious and open. Plus as professional cook I’ve found it is more efficient to reach waist-high or lower to get to what I need vs. over my head or stepping up on a stool."
- "I designed the pantry to be completely accessible yet out of the line of view, too. It’s a good-sized open pantry because I need lots of storage space."
The large island is also the perfect gathering spot. While Eva cooks dinner on one side of the island, her kids can sit and do homework on the other. With so much light pouring into the space from all the windows, I totally understand why it's the hub of the house. I'd like to spend all my time there, too!
Check out Eva's food blog → My Front Burner
Stay tuned for more from Eva this week, including the five things she, as a Cook's Country editor, always keeps in her kitchen, her love affair with her pressure cooker, and a very surprising kitchen habit. (It's something she does every two weeks. Can you guess what it is?)
Want to see more of Eva's home right now? Check out her Apartment Therapy House Tour → Eva and Philip's Art-Filled Wanderlust Home