If it feels like you never have enough storage or counter space in the kitchen, imagine how frustrated you’d be if your job depended on it and your space was lacking? Anna Barnett, cook, author, and food blogger, has turned her passion for food into a bustling career, and a recent renovation made her kitchen workflow even better.
“When we moved into our apartment, the kitchen was tucked in a small dark corner and there was hardly any countertop space, which was problematic when cooking for just ourselves, let alone larger groups of friends,” says Anna, who also hosts a series of cooking classes in her home. “It was lacking in light too, so reconfiguring our space entirely has meant the kitchen truly sits at the heart of the home now.”
To get the space into the most ideal configuration, Anna teamed up with London-based kitchen manufacturer Pluck. “The collaboration started by gleaning all we could from Anna about how she was going to use the space,” says George Glasier, one of Pluck’s founders. “As well as being home for her and her husband, Thom, the kitchen is also used for cookery classes, photo shoots, and dreaming up new recipes, so it had to be practical for her professional needs.”
Even if you aren’t creating meals for cookbooks, Instagram, or major publications, here are some ideas and products that might help you make better use of your own kitchen.
Organization and Design
Anna most looked forward to having an organized space where everything is on hand. “I was especially excited about the larder cupboard along with all new Miele appliances. I was just ready to get back to work in a calm and usable environment,” Anna says. “I make sure I clean up at the end of each day—it’s my workspace too, so it feels like a necessary must to start each day with a clear, clean space. My husband has a strong obsessive connection with the dishwasher and won’t let anyone else use it, which has proven useful too.”
Since Anna’s apartment is a converted Victorian schoolhouse in East London with double-height ceilings, Pluck was sure to maximize the space by designing extra-high cabinetry. “The island is also a large piece of furniture, so we were careful that visually these pieces didn’t feel bulky in spite of their size,” says George. Paying attention to space and scale helped make use of the unique interior.
Sustainability and Quality Products
In both the everyday kitchen items and the major design of the space, Anna and Pluck were conscious about sustainability and products that would last. “Over the past year or two, I’ve tried to really think about where I make my purchases from,” says Anna. “I think about the quality of what I buy and the longevity of it. We have a great zero-waste shop called Bulk Market where you take your empty jars and containers and stock up. I’m also a fan of using wax sheets instead of cling film, and I refuse to throw anything out. I’ll find a way to use up everything we buy and freeze it to prevent waste.”
The Pluck team has a similar sentiment when it comes to sustainability. As George explains, “Our furniture is designed and made to last and we have carefully chosen the materials we work with. The carcasses of our cabinets are made from birch plywood that is either FSC- or PEFC-certified, meaning the forests are sustainably managed. Our laminate suppliers have comprehensive environmental policies in place. We use wood veneers to minimize the amount of hardwood—in this case elm—in each kitchen too.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest