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Years of idea-collecting paid off in this small but efficient kitchen.

A Manila folder was the key to this kitchen's design. For years before Helen and Bill Gray built their retirement house in Hoodsport, Washington, they kept a file folder for each room. The folder marked "kitchen" gradually filled with clippings, notes, and sketches of ideas the Grays hoped to use. When the day finally came for the couple to sit down with an architect from the James Bryant Group in Bellevue, they laid down folders for each room and said, "This is what we want."

In every detail, the Grays emphasized efficiency. Because the kitchen is small110 square feet, not counting a walk-in pantry-they wanted to waste no space. But the high ceiling and skylights keep the room from feeling cramped. The open plan keeps the cook in touch with guests at the dining room table, which is just across the large island.

Strategies for efficiency

During planning, the Grays gave a lot of thought to the kitchen's layout, starting with appliances. They knew, for example, that standard refrigerators stick out beyond most cabinets. By installing extradeep cabinetry, they made everything come out flush and they also gained counter and storage space.

In addition, the Grays made cabinets and appliances work together by surrounding the dishwasher with storage space for clean dishes. They built breadboards into spaces beside the oven, refrigerator, and sink, and pot storage near the cooktop.

Finally, they thought of ways to use apparently wasted space. The Grays store small appliances on a lazy Susan that rests behind an L-shaped door in a 90[deg] corner. A tall, thin, triangular slot in the side of the island houses a fire extinguisher, and a switch panel for the kitchen and dining area fits into a 6-inch-tall space above an island drawer.
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Date:Apr 1, 1989
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