Tour My Kitchen with Lynette Sonne

Poke around this California kitchen and you'll find it's loaded with brilliant design ideas and clever planning.

Tour My Kitchen with Lynette Sonne

Tour My Kitchen with Lynette Sonne

When you've got years to plan your dream kitchen, a blank canvas to work with and expert help to execute your vision, the end result had better be what you intended: a dream come true. For Lynette Sonne and her boyfriend, Keith Morgan, this Paso Robles, California, kitchen is all that and then some.

"When building this house, I wanted to pair the warmth of an old barn with the convenience of modern appliances," says Lynette. "Since we host parties with anywhere from 12 to 40 guests, the room's scale needed to accommodate large, family-style entertaining. So the space was designed with workstations, as I needed a kitchen that allowed me to prep, cook, bake and welcome friends and family."

With that in mind, Lynette, with help from a designer and an architect, created several areas devoted to specific tasks:

Stovetop cooking: All pots and pans are stored within reach of the stove, as are spoons, spatulas and ladles. "That way, I'm not running all over the kitchen and between guests as I put the finishing touches on a dish," she says.

Baking: Drawers for mixing bowls, measuring cups and a stand mixer are located near the pull-out pantry, which is stocked with baking ingredients. "I host an annual baking party," says Lynette. "Having a designated prep space keeps the process simple."

Dish washing: "I love serving ware," says Lynette. "So I needed a large sink to accommodate washing delicate pieces. Plus, the dishwashing drawers make it easy to wash what I need when I need to."

Of utmost importance, though, was creating a kitchen where guests could mingle with the host. "Everyone ends up in the kitchen," says Lynette. "I wanted space for people to talk while I cooked. The island not only serves as prep space, but also lets traffic flow through and get in and out." And that traffic is often heading in the direction of the wine bar.

"We enjoy collecting local wines and sharing them, so the bar and wine fridge were a must. House rules are, 'We'll serve the first one, but after that it's self-serve.' This layout makes guests feel welcome, but also gives me space to work."

Photo Gallery of Lynette Sonne's Kitchen»