Hub for Great Food and Gatherings

I GET so tickled when people see my kitchen for the first time. The oohs and aahs make all the long hours of planning worthwhile.

My husband, Eric, and I built our home 2-1/2 years ago in this little mountain community east of San Diego. When it came to designing the kitchen, we wanted a place where people could gather. Every Friday night, we host a Bible study with six to 15 people—and lots of good food! We also enjoy entertaining other friends and neighbors.

Touring Country Kitchens
Touring Country Kitchens

(Plus, in our old home, I made do with 2 feet of counter space for years. So I wanted lots of room!)

Mock-Up Is Helpful

Our builder, Ron, worked with us on the design and mocked up our kitchen with plywood nailed to the bare studs. We arrived on the building site one misty morning to tour the layout.

Thanks to the mock-up, we made a few modifications:

  • The distance between the butcher block and the countertops was increased to allow two people to pass comfortably.
  • Cabinets over the peninsula were raised so that when I stand at the butcher block facing the family room’s sliding glass doors, I can see the majestic mountaintop of Lyons Peak through the family room’s glass doors.
  • Countertop height was raised a little. I’m 5-foot-7, but I like the surfaces a bit higher than most.

The changes made it possible for several people to work in the kitchen at the same time. The peninsula and 5-foot maple butcher block are great for gathering and serving.