I would like very much to welcome you into our kitchen. I was inspired by Ilva at Lucullian Delights to share with you the most important room in our house, and almost certainly the one we spend the most time in.
The panoramic view you see here (as photographed and composited by my other half) is the kitchen as viewed from the entry door. What you do not see is that, where the counter turns to the left, there is another six feet or so of counter that wraps around; this is where the sink and dishwasher are, as well as our espresso machine and the hyper-organized cabinet full of dishes. So if you can imagine the aerial view, our kitchen is either an L-shape with a little lump off to the side by the table, or a lopsided T, however you prefer to think of it.
When we first saw the place, the shape really threw us. We were immediately thrilled by the sheer size of the kitchen (it really is quite enormous) and of course the miles of granite countertop. But the sink is easily 15 feet away from the range and the fridge. That works out better than we expected — you can hide many sins in that left-turn nook.
At the time we were house hunting, debating what furniture would go
with us from the old place, and so on, I immediately assumed that our
kitchenette set would be the first sacrifice. Though it looks like a
vintage mid-century set, it is in fact custom made from a company here
in San Francisco. They sent us swatches of leatherette and formica, we
sent them dimensions, and voilà — what’s new is old. But the
dimensions were precisely measured to fit such room as we had in our
old kitchen. I never dreamed we would find another that could
accommodate exactly that size table and chairs. In point of fact, the
set fits perfectly in the nook created by that lopsided end by the
Of course, the star player in the room is the 36" Wolf range with grill. It was never our intention to go with a pro range. However, the range that was there when we bought the place was a 38" 1950s Gaffers & Sattler which, while very cool, was in a serious state of disrepair. Moreover, it had sloped edges which did not meet flush with the countertop that had been installed on either side. There were a lot of odd choices like that made by the previous owners. Anyway, we could have gotten a standard 30" home range, but that would have created an awkward space to the left of the counter. Ultimately we decided it was more sensible to invest in a 36" range to fill the existing space than to try to source matching countertop and cabinetry for that left piece. And when you start looking at anything over 30", your choices are limited to the professional stoves. Oh well!
An even more important feature for us is the window and by extension the view. Our kitchen faces due east, overlooking Potrero Hill to the north, Bernal Heights to the south and the Mission, the bay and Oakland straight out. We watch the planes take off from Oakland airport while we enjoy our morning coffee. A view wasn’t even on the list of priorities when we were looking for a place. But now that we have one, we can never live without it.
I hope you’ve enjoyed hanging out in our kitchen, as is our wont. No matter how often we entertain, and how much we try to steer the company into our living room or dining room, this is inevitably where we end up, chatting while something bubbles away in a Le Creuset pan.
Related: See the roundup on Ilva’s site.