written by:
February 1, 2011

In this exclusive series for Dwell.com, Linda Taalman of Taalman Koch Architecture tracks the hands-on renovation of her and her partner's live-work space in Hollywood, California. Week 6: Re-evaluating the kitchen.

 

Our kitchen is a super performing space—a multi-functioning space for live and work that is constantly in use and on display. Here's how we make it work to its maximum potential.

When we first moved here, the kitchen was already established as a U-shaped counter that extended the original Craig Ellwood design. I am a big supporter of removing upper cabinets and having open shelving and space instead. However, this means that every
When we first moved here, the kitchen was already established as a U-shaped counter that extended the original Craig Ellwood design. I am a big supporter of removing upper cabinets and having open shelving and space instead. However, this means that everything you'd normally hide in your cabinet is now on display. The benefit of this strategy is that you eliminate anything that you absolutely don’t use or want. Everything has to be reduced down to essentials.
1 / 17
Since moving west we have designed a lot of kitchens, and I really love to use basic materials, like marble and wood. Marble countertops are great if you need a big prep surface, like for making cinnamon rolls.
Since moving west we have designed a lot of kitchens, and I really love to use basic materials, like marble and wood. Marble countertops are great if you need a big prep surface, like for making cinnamon rolls.
2 / 17
Our pot rack, espresso machine, cookbooks and jarred ingredients make the kitchen part lab, part library.
Our pot rack, espresso machine, cookbooks and jarred ingredients make the kitchen part lab, part library.
3 / 17
Even though space is at a premium, I believe a good part of the space should be left for interesting forms and found objects.
Even though space is at a premium, I believe a good part of the space should be left for interesting forms and found objects.
4 / 17
I love my under-counter recycling bin from IKEA.
I love my under-counter recycling bin from IKEA.
5 / 17
We relined the existing kitchen shelves and drawers with cork sheet material from Linoleum City.
We relined the existing kitchen shelves and drawers with cork sheet material from Linoleum City.
6 / 17
This is the baking drawer.
This is the baking drawer.
7 / 17
An entire cabinet of the kitchen is dedicated to art materials for our daughter, all arranged for her to reach.
An entire cabinet of the kitchen is dedicated to art materials for our daughter, all arranged for her to reach.
8 / 17
Here is our daughter and her friend choosing their supplies to make cards.
Here is our daughter and her friend choosing their supplies to make cards.
9 / 17
This is our favorite recent improvement: a water filter faucet.
This is our favorite recent improvement: a water filter faucet.
10 / 17
When we installed the Body Glove water filter, we finally got rid of our big Brita that hogged up counter space. Our plumbers also helped install the refurbished Miele dishwasher that we bought off a job site.
When we installed the Body Glove water filter, we finally got rid of our big Brita that hogged up counter space. Our plumbers also helped install the refurbished Miele dishwasher that we bought off a job site.
11 / 17
Here's a close-up of the Body Glove 3000 water filter. It's compact and effective—450 gallons before the next filter change!
Here's a close-up of the Body Glove 3000 water filter. It's compact and effective—450 gallons before the next filter change!
12 / 17
The eight people in our office drink a lot of water everyday, so we pre-bottle our own water so it's ready to go. Also nice to carry over to the dining table for meals.
The eight people in our office drink a lot of water everyday, so we pre-bottle our own water so it's ready to go. Also nice to carry over to the dining table for meals.
13 / 17
Other kitchen essentials: a good cutting board, a good knife, and a healthy supply of lemons.
Other kitchen essentials: a good cutting board, a good knife, and a healthy supply of lemons.
14 / 17
Our oven is also a toaster.
Our oven is also a toaster.
15 / 17
I have an 'import/export' policy: it's necessary to get rid of something if you bring in something new. I'm a supporter of purging, which requires frequent trips to the Goodwill if something isn’t wanted by others who happen by my 'free zone.'
I have an 'import/export' policy: it's necessary to get rid of something if you bring in something new. I'm a supporter of purging, which requires frequent trips to the Goodwill if something isn’t wanted by others who happen by my 'free zone.'
16 / 17
Here's another view of our organized, highly functional kitchen.
Here's another view of our organized, highly functional kitchen.
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When we first moved here, the kitchen was already established as a U-shaped counter that extended the original Craig Ellwood design. I am a big supporter of removing upper cabinets and having open shelving and space instead. However, this means that every
When we first moved here, the kitchen was already established as a U-shaped counter that extended the original Craig Ellwood design. I am a big supporter of removing upper cabinets and having open shelving and space instead. However, this means that everything you'd normally hide in your cabinet is now on display. The benefit of this strategy is that you eliminate anything that you absolutely don’t use or want. Everything has to be reduced down to essentials.

To see images of the project, please visit the slideshow. Click here to read past installments of the series.

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