When food bloggers Josh and Maria Litchy had outgrown their kitchen and home, they called upon Salt Lake City-based design-build firm The Fox Group to help make them a new one. Of course, in building the pair’s new 4,500-square-foot home, there was one space that absolutely needed to work. Employing an open kitchen design, The Fox Group was able to create a space that could serve as a highly functional work area while also being able to switch to a comfortable family setting.
Bright, Open, Work-from-Home Functionality
To make the kitchen fit for their blog, and their lifestyle, the space needed to be fresh, clean and breathable. Photo opportunities were a big consideration, as Cara, owner and lead designer of the Fox Group said. “Every background had to be photo ready, well thought out and planned to let the food be the star.”
As such, the Foxes proposed a neutral palette. White and wood tones provide a clean backdrop for the colorful dishes the bloggers would prepare and capture. However, appearances weren’t the only thing the pair needed. The kitchen also had to be a workhorse.
This led the Fox Group designed a space with double the usual amenities — two islands, two refrigerators, two wall ovens and two dishwashers. All appliances were chosen from KitchenAid because the brand is a blog sponsor.
Maximizing Flow Throughout the Kitchen
To keep the workplace open, Cara and Tom made all walkways a generous 3.5 feet wide. The two islands, meanwhile, make it so that multiple people can work in the kitchen at once.
The first island features a centralized sink and six burner cooktop with counterspace on either side and plenty of storage. A nearby refrigerator keeps the wall looking clean and consistent. The same island also features two paneled dishwashers and a beverage color, in addition to a wood-block countertop at one end. The second island, meanwhile, comes with a smaller sink at one end and an area for seating along one side.
“The double islands are the biggest wow factor in the space,” Cara said. “They needed room for the two of them to work in the kitchen but also have it serve as their family kitchen. There are a lot of cabinets and storage, so everything they use as props for the blog is on hand but not out.”
And one big surprise – now that new clients have seen the dynamic double-island layout, they want it too!
A Classic Look With a Playful Style
Rounding out the functionality of the kitchen, Cara and Tom then worked with Josh on the layout, especially as it came to designing spaces for specific items.
To keep the white Shaker-style cabinets, white quartz countertops, white subway tile and paneled or stainless-steel appliances from looking cold, for instance, the designers brought in wood elements.
The flooring is a cozy white oak with a natural matte finish, while above, ebony-stained oak beams bring warmth to the space and planks between them add interest. Iron and brass light fixtures create contrast, and leather barstools infuse a bit of modern style.
Then, situated past the wall ovens and accessible through a barn door bearing the name of the blog, the pantry features the same clean look and white cabinets but with an added dose of fun.
Floating shelves provide storage for small appliances and a colorful display of KitchenAid mixers. Open shelves make it easy to view and retrieve items, while visually breaking up the all-white cabinetry.
Although not typical, this work-from-home kitchen meets the needs of the homeowners. The Fox Group achieved success by finding out from their clients how their life – and therefore their home – needed to function.
“When the client knows and is specific, it helps everyone be satisfied and happy with the end product,” said Cara. “The more you can take their need for function and add your beauty and style, you’ll be able to achieve both goals.”
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site KBB Online.