By ggfp. Kitchen. At Monday, March 05th 2018, 07:14:08 AM.
Put an upper counter 8\" above your countertops (i.e. 6\" wall, 2\" thick upper counter). In an \"open floor plan\" concept, this 8\" of height hides a \"messy\" kitchen counter from view to the other rooms. It also gives you plenty of room for multiple electric outlets in the in the 6\" wall areas. The 6\" tall wall is the right height for 6\" ceramic wall tile. The upper counter is 44\" (elbow height) a perfect height for \"leaning\". This allows your guests to \"lean\" on the counter (out of the kitchen) and talk with you while you're preparing food (in the kitchen). It's also a good height for serving food or for tall stools as a breakfast bar. Not all of the upper counters have to be the some width. Some sections may be 9\" wide (just a top to the kitchen partition, while other sections of the upper counter can be 24'' wide, for serving food or as a breakfast bar.
On the other hand, the family room, or the social area of the great room is designed in a completely different way. Typically, a beautiful empty room is created and then it is furnished. Instead of lining all the walls with horizontal bands of built-ins (and there are exceptions to this i.e. Frank Lloyd Wright's prairie homes) the wall spaces are interrupted with vertical elements like windows and doors or focal points such as a fireplaces. The walls of the room are separated into vertical segments instead of continuous horizontal bands. At blank wall areas and in the middle of the room, eclectic pieces of furniture create seating arrangements, while the wall-hung artwork and sculptural collectibles on display determine the room's personality. But the wall, floor and ceiling colors and textures permeate between all of these vertical elements acting as the 'glue' that holds the whole design theme together.
Put a pantry in the corner between your tall cabinets. It doesn't have to be very big (4' x 4') and being in the corner will utilize all the corner \"dead\" space. The pantry would have a 2' opening at 45 degrees to the adjoining cabinets. The pantry walls could be 2x4 framed with drywall or 3/4\" MDF, but the wall shouldn't be taller than the height of the tall cabinets. This allows for crown molding (if you use it) to also be used on the pantry. Have the pantry open at the top, especially if there is a skylight above, to allow daylight into the pantry. Have shelves from the floor to top of wall. Put a \"cabinet door\" (same as the rest of your tall cabinets) on the pantry entrance, not a frame door like you'd use in the bedroom. By having a cabinet door the pantry, and the pantry walls at the same height as the cabinets, the pantry looks like a cabinet rather than a drywall opening.