Situation room. Family headquarters. Science project laboratory. We depend on the kitchen for so much beyond just cooking up food—which is something designer Gretchen Krebs of the Bay Area interiors firm Medium Plenty understands well. “The kitchens we love to design are both multifunctional and beautiful, and often include flexible space for working and entertaining, such as corner banquettes, bars, or chef’s counters,” says Krebs, whose craft-led work has earned her Bay Area–based design firm a portfolio of notable new builds and remodels across the country.
Here, Krebs turns her professional eye to five Bosch-designed concept spaces, which have different looks but one thing in common: They balance form and function to elevate kitchen work from an everyday chore to a gourmet experience.
Scale and texture were kept in mind when planning this spacious, relaxed kitchen in a loft space. White cabinetry and subway tiles provide a clean, crisp backdrop for the polished, stainless-steel appliances. Wood details provide contrast to the metallic accents, lend some warmth to the space, and tie it all together.
Gretchen Krebs: “Our approach to creating a comfortable kitchen in a raw space is to include natural materials like wood and decorative lighting fixtures that cast a soft light. This adds warm contrast to exposed ducts or cool, concrete flooring, for example.”
Color blocking is about making a bold, graphic statement. Here, cobalt-hued laminate cabinets stand out against a pale-colored marble backsplash, adding a playful sense of vibrancy to the space. The abundance of svelte stainless steel in this kitchen heightens the overall effect.
GK: “Using a strong color for the cabinets or a rich, textural stone or tile for a backsplash are great ways to make a focused impact.”
Keep It Soothing
This kitchen maximizes the contrast between wood accents, dark-hued cabinetry, and slate-colored stone flooring to create a serene, seamless-looking space that’s ideal for intimate gatherings. The use of simple lighting and functional objects as decor keeps the look organic and subdued.
GK: “Balancing function and beauty can be challenging, but our recipe typically involves a combination of closed storage that hides clutter and designated areas to highlight decorative objects. We also believe in intentional spaces for working and entertaining, and layered lighting is essential for creating different moods.”
Celebrate the Small
For the small kitchen that’s short on elbow room, smart planning can have an outsize impact. This single-wall space hinges on multifunctionality and organization—only the most-used items are on display. Stacking the washer and dryer is a classic solution when separate laundry rooms aren’t an option.
GK: “In small kitchens, we often make full use of blind corners and take cabinets to the ceiling. Situating the major appliances smartly is important in any kitchen, but especially in small ones in order to avoid conflicting doors of dishwashers and ovens.”
The household with soaring ceilings and a generous floor plan should think big—and vertically, especially when it comes to storage, as seen in this kitchen with cabinets surrounding both the refrigerator and oven ranges. A large island conceals even more kitchen tools and gadgetry.
GK: “”We try to size the island as big as possible whenever the space is appropriate, and pair it with a beautiful light installation overhead—this really anchors a room. Islands are also key because they help define a wide-open kitchen and create separation between zones.”