Kosher Kitchen – Chicago, IL
Designer: Gladys Schanstra, CMKBD, Allied ASID
Multiple ovens, multiple workspaces, multiple sinks – when you think about it, non-jewish kitchens have been adapting the criteria of kosher kitchens for years.
Gladys’ clients in West Rogers Park are Orthodox Jewish. The house they bought already had a kosher kitchen – it just wasn’t done that well. It needed some more things to be duplicated for the dairy side and the meat side. Plus, it was dark and the configuration wasn’t very conducive for a family of eight.
It was time for a remodel.
- Improve kosher kitchen
- Add more storage in the island
- Better lighting
- More open, lighter feel
- Change the wood floor in the kitchen to tile
- We had originally planned on removing a wing wall by the breakfast area. During demolition, we learned it contained a support beam.
- The kitchen is a substantial size, but having two sinks, dishwashers, and ovens presented a challenge – how do we fit it all in and make it flow with the storage still accessible near the work areas?
- Where do you stop the materials for the new space? The right tile, paint, lighting, etc. would be needed to make the remodeled area cohesive with the rest of the main floor.
- An existing column limited cabinet options and thus, storage capacity. Could we conceal it without disrupting the cabinetry flow?
- We had to keep the wing wall, but decided to continue the tile on the sides of the cabinets and maintain the height of the tile to line up with the rest of the backsplash. This actually presented a very nice and cohesive look, especially since the opposite side has a wing wall to the left of the refrigerator.
- We used “L-shaped” corner sinks instead of the rectangular ones set on an angle. This gave us more of the legs of the triangles versus the hypotenuse, which allowed for the two dishwashers, and the pullout utensil canisters and spice pullouts while still keeping the 3-drawer cabinets on either side of the range (by the sinks). The old island had the recess for stools which the family never used. By extending the width of the island 6” and utilizing this leg space, we were able to fit 18”-deep cabinets on this side – adding lots of accessible storage. The family can now work simultaneously on the dairy side (the side with the fridge) and the meat side (opposite) without getting in each other’s way. We separated the cooking by using the range oven for the meat and a built-in microwave in the base cabinet. The wall oven with built-in microwave on top is for dairy. Corner sinks opened up the middle area for a wider range – we went from a 30” to a 36”. Removing all the wall cabinets (on the range wall) made a big difference. That opened up the entire space while adding some visual impact. (Not pictured: We also made the cabinets directly opposite the range wall tall and removed the countertop, resulting in more room for rollouts and even more storage!) The kitchen now has more storage than it did before.
- We ended up painting the ceiling of the kitchen into the hallway that leads to the foyer. The living and dining rooms were separated by a soffit, so that became a natural boundary. We kept the tile in the kitchen by stopping it short of the hallway and lining it up with the pantry wall. This creates a border between the breakfast area and family room. The rest of the existing wood floors were refinished to refresh and make the hue darker. We also painted a dark accent wall and carried it into the breakfast area to make the rooms look deeper.
- The in-the-way column housed plumbing and couldn’t be moved. We still built cabinets in that spot – we just had to build a chase inside it to conceal the pipes. There was still plenty of room for new storage. We also took the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. The continuous tall cabinets added a functional elegance to the space.
The Renewed Space
The client’s long-awaited dream of a better kosher kitchen has finally been achieved, beautifully combining enhanced storage solutions with adherence to the family’s orthodox dietary laws. The kitchen’s standout feature, an expanded island, now offers a spacious and efficient workspace. This allows several family members to cook together comfortably, without the inconvenience of bumping into each other, ensuring a harmonious and productive cooking environment.
Size of Space:
Kitchen – 15′ x 19′
Breakfast area – 8′ x 11′
Drury Select Custom Cabinetry
- Strictly butterfly workstation sink x 2
- Kohler faucets
- 36″ Bosch gas oven range
- 30″ Bosch Oven
- GE Microwave x 2
- Bosch hood
- Bosch dishwasher x 2