“Why did you come up with the idea of using furniture for kitchens instead of cabinetry? What’s the point?”
I’ve often been asked these questions.
As an architect who had designed a multitude of homes in the South, modest to absurd in scale, I had found one common denominator. People wanted a more sociable kitchen. They knew that they spent most of their time in and around the kitchen, so I was always asked to blend it into a living area of some type.
David W. Beer, R.A. President
(the one with glasses)
“Create the ultimate family room for us, we really don’t use our living and dining rooms much anymore.”
My clients would say while showing me pictures from the latest magazines. But there was always the unavoidable dilemma: How would I blend my client’s heirloom furniture, artwork, and collections utilizing a kitchen design that looked much more like a laboratory than the ‘comfortable’ part of the room? Somehow, those black, white or stainless steel appliances just didn’t complement great-grandmothers’ portrait over the fireplace. And the endless countertops were in direct contrast to the antique secretary and dining table that had weathered the volatility of two centuries of design trends.
Picking up where Johnny left off
So following the lead of the English designer Johnny Grey who had developed a line of ‘Unfitted Kitchen Furniture’ for Smallbone, I created YesterTec to help our ‘living’ areas blend with kitchens more successfully. Why not make our kitchens as comfortable as the rooms that we ‘live’ in? Why not get rid of the horizontal laboratory look that our cabinet, appliance and countertop industries have produced? Why let the appliances date the design? Why not create something based on classic design that could endure the design trends to come?
Solving the design dilemma
As an outsider to the cabinet, appliance and furniture industries, I was able to look at this design problem from an entirely new perspective. I didn’t have the ‘baggage’ of working within a design department in a large corporation. But I also didn’t have their resources either – so I became very focused in defining what I was trying to do. I needed to design an extremely simple but flexible way of solving the design dilemma.
After months of design development and with the help of a few very talented technical consultants, we created Kitchen Workstation Furniture, a simple line of beautiful, well-balanced pieces of furniture that are as efficient as commercial kitchen workstations. Key to the concept was the development of our new, U.L. Listed technology that allows the ‘hot’ appliances like ovens and cooktops to be safely concealed when they are not being used. Now the furniture could really look like furniture, and the appliances would not compromise the styling. But it was important to make each piece more efficient than normal cabinetry since we had eliminated the continuous countertop. Ultimately, by separating the pieces with spaces, we allowed all the design elements of the adjacent room to infiltrate into the kitchen. We eliminated the boundary between the living area and the kitchen area. The floor, wall and ceiling surfaces flowed from one area to another. No longer did the family’s heirloom furniture, artwork, collections and the comfort that these items bring to a design need to stop where the kitchen began. Now the great room could truly become a wonderfully unified GREAT ROOM!
The “Not So Big House” Concept
As it turned out, since our workstations are so beautiful, we can actually create more formal settings by combining the kitchen with the dining room and living room. Eliminating the family room! Now there’s an about-face idea! But for those who cherish the comfort that a bit more order & balance can bring, our workstations can make it all work.
The “Not So Big House” concept – as promoted by architect Sarah Susanka of Notsobighouse.com promotes multifunctional rooms that can eliminate many seldom used ‘traditional rooms’ that increase a home’s size. These versatile rooms need to work harder for you. They need both functional and visual qualities that enrich your lifestyle. The beauty of our workstations and the functionality of each piece allows the kitchen to become part of these multi-task rooms. And multi-task room design is the most GREEN design technique available, since saving space saves resources. One client of ours recently wrote:
“People often stop over and marvel at our pretty cottage interior, then stop and ask, ‘Where’s your kitchen?’ We usually laugh and say, ‘You’re standing in it!'”
The popular “Tiny House” Concept goes a bit further and we developed a whole line of Mini-kitchens that are perfect for upscale “Tiny” living areas. When living in a tight, multi-functional space, do you really want to stare at appliances and see the dirty dishes piled high in the sink all the time? Our beautiful Armoires that hide EVERYTHING prevent that from happening! When you are done cooking, whether you want to clean up, or not, just close the doors and then you are looking at a great piece of furniture, (or a paneled wall if you have selected a Stealth mini-kitchen, see below).
So what does this mean for you?
The point is that now you have an exciting alternative to cabinetry when designing a new or renovated kitchen. It’s a very simple concept to understand so don’t be afraid of it, embrace it! It’s very simple indeed, Create a Beautiful Room, Then Furnish it! Remember, you’ve seen furniture all your life! So think of the most comforting room you’ve ever been in and chances are, you can create a kitchen using our workstations that will rival it.
‘Stealth’ Kitchens, à la YesterTec.
In 2008 we developed a revolutionary new line of workstations that can fit together to completely conceal all the functions of a built-in kitchen, large or small. Our Stealth Kitchen Modules can be used to create an extreme minimalist kitchen or even an extreme ‘Period’ style kitchen. All appliances, sinks, and counter tops are concealed behind door and drawer fronts that can be styled to compliment any design theme. Stealth Kitchens are perfect for ‘Rooms that Need to be More… and Less… Than a Kitchen’.
Just by visiting us here on the web, you have shown that you are somewhat of a Pioneer. You’re looking for something different. So please, spend some time with us and get comfortable with both our products and the concept of furniture for the kitchen. If you have any questions at all, please contact us! Let us help you discover how our workstations will allow you to create your ultimate dream kitchen.
Thank you for your time and interest!