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Open plan, inconspicuous kitchens.

Mixed blessings come with open floor plans, especially when a dining area shares space with the kitchen. The good points are an increased sense of volume and the involvement of the cook with family and guests. The down side is the visual clutter of dishes and appliances, and the general mess food preparation can make.

At this house in Sebastopol, California, the kitchen, dining, and living areas all share space. But because of clean lines and careful planning, you hardly know that the kitchen is there.

The kitchen's long end wall consists of a food preparation sink and orderly arrangement of cabinets framing two square windows. Next to the dining room, another sink and a dishwasher hide behind a 45-inch-tall peninsula; a center island holds the cooktop, a trash compacter, drawers, and shelves. The appliances that demand wall space-the refrigerator, oven, and microwave-sit out of direct view in an 8- by 10-foot alcove. All cabinets and drawers are faced with horizontal panels of vertical-grain fir plywood; countertops are laminate.

Architect was Daniel Kallenbach.
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Date:Nov 1, 1990
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