Prep Zone Solutions

Real Life Solutions for the Kitchen Prep Zone

Kitchen Islands for Prep

A kitchen island is the number one element that consumers ask for when having their kitchen designed. Planning your kitchen island as the main Prep Zone is a smart way to go. Adding a small prep sink to the island will double it’s functionality.

In this French Styled kitchen a round prep sink was chosen for the island to go with the curved lines of the rooms millwork and counter design. The round shape is also a shape that lends itself well to easily accommodating salad spinners and strainers inside the bowl. The Vestabul designer offset the sink to allow a large prep area to the left and an additional smaller one to the right. At the end of the prep island is a drawer that houses knives in a block and an utensil divider for prep tools. The extra deep drawers in the middle of the island store small applinaces like the mix master and food processor so that they can easily be placed on the counter.

The prep island in the dark stained cherry kitchen has a few additional features. The Vestabul designer specified a set of refrigerator drawers in the island to store fresh vegetables for easy access to the prep zone. An upper drawer was divided to organize small tools and a large pullout knife block houses the homeowners knife collection. The addition of a raised dining bar behind the prep sink gives guests a place to sit and visit with the cook without being splashed from the sink.

Prep Zones under Windows

Planning your Prep Zone under a large window is another great location for this zone. In both examples above the Vestabul Designer placed the prep zone under large windows that come down to the countertop to flood the working area with light.

In the first example an under mount sink was placed into a solid surface countertop at one end of the counter. By having the window come down to the counter , this location took advantage of a fantastic view to the back yard and didn’t enclose the cook with a bank of overhead cabinets. The long prep counter has ample base storage with interior storage accessories. Two wire baskets in the cabinet beside the prep sink store root vegetables with the open weave of the baskets allowing air circulation. The upper drawers were fitted with utensil dividers, spice inserts and a knife block insert.

The next example dropped the counter height to accommodate all cooks in the home. This 33″ counter height is great for mixing and rolling out dough and is more user friendly for the children in the home. By placing the sink on the end beside the standard counter height, different prep work can be accommodated by different cooks at the same time. The base cabinetry in this prep zone stores small appliances on lower shelves and the drawers have been divided for small prep tools. The three windows above the prep sink eliminate the need to turn on over head lights most days.

Custom Prep Zone Counters

In a truly custom kitchen a special prep counter may be a solution in the Prep Zone. In these examples each homeowner requested a specific prep center height to accommodate a individual or prep task.

In the knotty pine kitchen example the home owner wanted to have a prep area where she could occasionally sit down. A wide pullout wood counter was specified by the Vestabul designer. This allowed the counter to be accessed when it was needed. Across from the prep counter a pullout knife block was installed. After installation of the kitchen the homeowner found this was a great place to rollout bread. She also found it was a safe place to have her grandchildren do simple cooking tasks without having to stand on a chair at a standard counter.

The example in the maple kitchen evolved after the request for a work zone for a tall cook. The Vestabul designer’s solution was to specify a higher radius cabinet and top it with a round butcher block. This not only accommodated the taller cook it gained a fantastic storage cabinet for small appliances. To integrate the stainless steel look of the radius prep counter the designer inserted the same material into the two upper cabinets and installed a stainless steel utensil hanging rod on the wall behind the butcher block.

Vestabul’s blog, F.R.E.S.H. Kitchen has additional inspiration to inspire you to make your kitchen as functional as possible!