Don’t Forget About the “Other Wall” in Your Kitchen

Lisa Zompa, Kitchen Designer Blog

I’d like to bring up the subject of, what I call, the “other wall” in the kitchen. It is that wall that is most often an interior wall that either has nothing on it (is blank) or has a table or a piece of furniture up against it. There may even be a desk set-up against it. No matter what is there, it usually appears cluttered and is quite the eye-sore.

When visiting the client’s home to discuss the remodeling plans, I always spend time discussing this wall space. As the orphan child of the kitchen, it can often get left out of the plans and thereby ruin the look of a new kitchen. I encourage the customer to include it in the plans. It is valuable real estate for extra storage, desk areas, serving areas, etc. etc. and should be included in the kitchen plans.

The “other wall” offers many opportunities for the designer to be creative and offer the client some of the design elements that sometimes the rest of the kitchen space is too tight to allow. For example, a hutch can be built with a bumped out center cabinet (drawers are nice) with an arched toe space. Fluted columns could be added to each side of that and then build from there out to each side depending on the amount of space the “other wall” has. Glazed, mullioned doors could be used at the top over the bumped out bottom with the same fluted columns (fillers) to each side to mimic the bottom. Before I forget, I always flush out the toe spaces and add baseboard molding on these “other wall” designs. It gives the illusion of being a furniture piece.

If it is not possible to use full depth cabinets on the “other wall” then by all means reduce the depths on the cabinets and make shallow depth serving areas or hutches. How about a wall of 12” depth tall cabinets? Or, as there is customarily a doorway to the right and/or left of the “other wall”, start at that point with a shallow depth tall cabinet, add a transition cabinet and bump up to the 24” depth with a few base cabinets. Then, another transition and back to a shallow depth tall again. Now you have interest with several depths, you have storage and countertop area for serving or buffet space. Oh yes, don’t forget to flush out the base toe kicks and add the baseboard molding. Heights can reach the ceiling, or not… or even be staggered for interest. Here’s where some creativity can enter into the equation.

Yes, don’t forget the drop-off spot for the keys, phones and chargers, and the mail. (Could you imagine a world in which the USPS no longer exists!?) This is the place you can plan for that, along with, perhaps, the kids’ computer and homework center.

So, don’t forget the “other wall”. It is not only valuable real estate for more storage, but it can add that final design touch that puts the look of the new kitchen more-than-one-step above the ordinary.

Lisa Zompa
Kitchen Views at National
Warwick, RI

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