The Post-Pandemic Kitchen: Deconstructing the Kitchen of the future

This year was a doozy, right?! We stayed home, we cooked, we cleaned, we worried, we spent time with family, but most importantly, we learned the importance of a clean and safe home.

Our homes are our havens; they are our safe places from the outside world. However, we bring in outside contaminants into our safe homes all the time; it’s just inevitable!

Oftentimes, the kitchen is the messiest spot in the home because it’s where everyone tends to gather, so we have to work extra hard there to keep it clean!

Honeycomb Home Design

I don’t know about you, but a messy, cluttered kitchen is the last place I want to be! Pre-Pandemic, it would have been an excuse to go out to eat.

Messy kitchen = “Where should we eat?”

We all know what happens next..

We all became a mean, cleaning machine in the kitchen. We had no option but to cook at home and truly understand the importance of nourishing yourself within your own four walls!

By doing so, we learned the ways our kitchen helped us in this endeavour and ways it did NOT help us.

For example, our kitchen has quartz countertops (engineered). This is greeeeaaat because it is super easy to clean, no grout joints, and very durable.

BUT we have cabinetry that is super detailed with lots of little grooves and places for things to get stuck in. Not so easy to clean…but looks nice!

Whenever we’re ready to remodel, you know I will be switching out those doors for something smoother and easier to clean.

Honeycomb Home Design

Cleanliness and usability were heavy on my mind when I was asked by Seasonal Living Magazine to participate in the World’s First Ever Luxury Designer Virtual Showhouse!

We were asked to design the Kitchen and the Solarium.

Below are the floorplans we were given:

We were given floor plans, still images of the home we would be designing, and a design brief.

Read our blog post here where we talk about the showhouse in length!

So, our team got together and wanted to really reimagine the way kitchens could be designed in the future.

We started with a collective brainstorm:

  • What is working about kitchen design today?
  • What is not working?
  • How do we help “germ-proof” kitchens?
  • What types of food are people cooking now?
  • How do we incorporate wellness in our kitchen design?
  • What is a solarium and how can this help us?

With that info to mull over, we started our Kitchen Design and layout.

With the amazing world of technology, there is so much we can do remotely, which is what this virtual showhouse is all about!

The kitchen and the solarium featured a beautiful koi pond running through it with an acrylic top. This of course was a huge focal point and we wanted to honor it while still designing a super functional kitchen.

We broke out the kitchen into three different zones: Chef’s wall, hydroponic storage wall, and a gardening island.

Let’s start with the Chef’s Wall:

We had such an amazing sponsor, Signature Kitchen Suite, and their line of appliances truly fit this client and this project, to a tee.

The Chef’s wall is the workhorse of the kitchen. It’s where the action happens.

When laying out the space, we thought this layout would provide enough space for at least 2-3 people cooking in the kitchen at the same time.

We started with Signature Kitchen Suite 48” Pro Range which features a gas cooktop, sous vide bay and induction cooktop… All in one! Talk about a dream appliance!

Here’s a peek at our planning process of the Chef’s wall. We centered the range, and then worked outwards.

We knew we wanted to incorporate Signature Kitchen Suite’s Combi Wall oven because it combines a steam function with the power of a speed oven! Perfect for a busy family.

Then, we added the wine tower to the right, because it would be closer to the dining room and also so beautiful to look at!

Here’s the final product!

Across the Chef’s wall, we have the sous chef island! This is a space where you can prep your food and also features an additional cooking area. We introduced Signature Kitchen Suite’s Induction cooktop, because it is super sleek in design and can be installed FLUSH with your countertop!

COOL right?!

Here’s another shot!

Across from the sous chef island is the prep island and the hydroponic storage wall.

It’s the wall that’s causing people to do a double take!

OK, well what the heck is it??

Let’s back up to the design process.

Remember our brainstorm session? We wanted to reimagine the way people could grow food IN their homes.

Not only that, we wanted it to look beautiful and something you would want to showcase; a focal point.

AND then we also wanted to provide some storage for this kitchen, but again, in a pretty way.

So, we thought: let’s see if a sliding hydroponic wall panel would actually work.

We did a little research on hydroponics (hydroponics: is a type of horticulture and a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants, usually crops, without soil, by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent) and learned that something like this could actually be feasible.

Although we’ve never seen this done before, it doesn’t mean it can’t happen!

Here’s a peek at one of our working renderings when developing the concept:

Sustainability within the home is going to be a major topic of 2021, if it isn’t already.

Being able to grow your own food and control where it comes from is such a powerful thing.

We started our gardening kick by watching Ron Finley’s Masterclass on Gardening! It was so empowering to see what he’s been creating for those who don’t have the tools to create their own food. So, we were inspired and started gardening ourselves.

The hydroponic sliding wall is such a fun and exciting concept… we’re excited to see how it develops in real life!

Lastly, we have the gardening island/bench! This island faces the solarium, which is basically a greenhouse! We wanted to make the island very functional with plenty of storage space but also increased the height of the island to 38” H so it was easier to stand at and work for periods of time. It’s a place where you can propagate your herbs, clean herbs, and prep them.

Across from the gardening bench, we have the solarium. Our directive for this space was a modern day “Garden of Eden.” We created designed planters made of Dekton material and space planned the layout. We thought it would be so cool to have pods that could be rotated up and down that would also grow food.

So now you’ve seen our Kitchen and Solarium, but let’s talk specifically about materials.

We wanted to create a space that was easy to clean and beautiful.

So, we started with Cosentino’s Dekton collection.

The Laurent slab was the first thing we selected because it was earthy, yet glamorous.

We chose to not only use this for countertops, but also for slab cabinet surfaces. Their innovation in material created a solid surface slab that is 0.4 CM, so we figured, why not?! This would be the ultimate choice for cabinetry surface because it’s SUPER easy to clean, no lines or grooves (remember earlier when I said that was our pain point??)

Solid surfaces on a cabinetry would eliminate areas for germs and bacteria to gather and something as durable as Dekton, would be an ideal material to use in a Kitchen of the future!

In addition to cabinetry, we used this material throughout our kitchen. It covers the countertops and the cabinetry of the islands along with creating custom planters for the Solarium.

If you are remodeling or building new, Dekton would be such a great material to use. We talk specifically about Dekton in our blog post here.

In addition to Dekton, we used Sherwin Williams paint for our cabinetry. The color we chose was “Black of Night” because it was the perfect compliment to the Dekton.

Sherwin Williams has so many different amazing paint offerings and we specified the Harmony Zero VOC Interior Acrylic Latex paint.

It’s really amazing because it contains antimicrobial agents which inhibit the growth of mold or bacteria on the surface. PERFECT for a post-pandemic Kitchen! Here’s a chart explaining more:

So much eye candy!

In addition to these finishes, we accented everything with little bits of brass.

From Robin Baron’s Linear Cabinetry Hardware to Minka Group’s George Kovacs beautiful Honey drip Pendant, we had a lot of fun adding luxe elements to the space.

Robin Baron Design: Linear

George Kovacs Honey drip pendant

We also accented cabinetry with Fabricut’s vinyl metallic wallcovering for some extra bling. We used this as an inset for the cabinetry panels of the gardening island/bench.

By using these finishes, we were able to create a safer, healthier space that nourishes you from inside out. We also intentionally chose colors that were darker to help “ground” you and calm your senses.

Let us know what you think about our Post-Pandemic Kitchen design!

To tour the entire home free of charge, visit Seasonal Living’s Website here.

Our home was originally built in the 60s and had already been through a remodel in the 80s. It had good bones but they were hard to see under the later revisions. Ariana’s team went straight to the elements that needed to be preserved and highlighted them. The kitchen/dining room has been opened up amazingly and we’re very happy with it. In addition to the design efforts, we really value the 3-D renderings. It makes it much easier to talk with tradespeople about what we want to be done and how, and prevents miscommunications. Five stars for the Honeycomb team!


MARGERY
Contact

805 . 202 . 8269
hello@honeycombhomedesign.com

Studio

132 W. Branch Street
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

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