A Multi-tasking Kitchen For a Busy Family

 Janice Page, of PKsurroundings in Exeter, designed Heather and Eric Campbell’s kitchen to minimize clutter and create space for a busy family. The walnut-topped island adds warmth as well as seating space and additional storage.

With six children between them, family commitments, work and multiple community activities, Heather and Eric Campbell of York, Maine, lead full-throttle lives. When Heather and Eric built their home two years ago, they wanted a kitchen that could multi-task—whether it was Eric cooking the family dinner, entertaining Heather’s parents or just having enough space for their young sons to ride their scooters around the kitchen. “We wanted a kitchen where everyone could come together and had plenty of room for Eric to cook,” Heather says. “Low maintenance and easy use were important. Clean up needed to be simple.”

Heather worked closely with kitchen designer Janice Page, of PKsurroundings in Exeter, and builder Larry Hager, of York, Maine, to pull the details together; Rob Freedman, of Kennebunk River Architects in Wells, Maine, was the architect on the project.

The result: a spacious, bright kitchen that meets all the family’s needs. What’s more, the renovation received the award for Excellence in Kitchen Design at the New Hampshire Home Design Awards this past January.

Page created several work areas throughout the kitchen to make the space more efficient. “Everything has a specific space so the Campbells can easily put things away,” she says.

The thirty-six-inch gas range cooktop and sink are on one wall, surrounded by plenty of cabinet storage. The cooking area accesses a screened porch on one side as well as an outdoor patio and pool on the other­—both are areas the Campbells use frequently in warm weather. The galley area is close to the range top, featuring double ovens as well as pullout shelving for pots and pans (there’s also lid storage below the cooktop).

The large, eleven-foot-by-six-foot island does dual-duty as a secondary prep area, gathering spot and extra storage. Its walnut countertop adds an organic element, warming the space and providing a nice counterpoint to the quartz countertops elsewhere in the kitchen. In the island is an-under-the-counter microwave as well as a prep sink and warming drawer.

On the same wall as the glass-fronted refrigerator is a coffee/tea station, cleverly hidden behind a flip-top pocket door.

This end of the kitchen flows easily into the dining room, transitioning to a more adult space that includes a wet bar and glass-fronted top cabinets. A wine refrigerator frames the wet bar on the left; below is storage for extra beverages. An ice maker, built into the cabinetry to the right of the refrigerator, is close to another prep sink; a panel dishwasher for wine and beer glasses is under a cabinet tower on the right. Page designed the mullions on the cabinet fronts to mimic the diamond shapes of the porcelain tile backsplash behind the bar. Faceted glass knobs and chrome hardware add contemporary elegance.

The kitchen is a retreat for the Campbells. “When we were designing the space, we had to remember to stay true to what was most important to us,” Heather says. “That was a good lesson. The kitchen is a gathering point for everyone. People love it.”

Heather Campbell (second from the left) thanks members of her design team, who included Rob Freedman, left, of Kennebunk River Architects in Wells, Maine; and Deborah Karpiak (second from right) and Janice Page, of PKsurroundings in Exeter.

Left: Gray custom cabinetry, including the stove hood, creates a consistent look across the kitchen. The white subway-tile backsplash adds sparkle.

Right: Glass-fronted cabinets over the wet bar add a decorative element by repeating the design of the tile backsplash.