I am not certain that Julia Child was the first person to think of peg board in the kitchen, but it certainly became a popular idea as seen in the recent movie, Julie and Julia and was the inspiration for this vintage kitchen. My client’s kitchen probably was a very satisfactory work space in 1930, with an ice box taking up some space and cold storage near the buffet. However, in today’s kitchen the refrigerator was a huge obstacle to get around and made an otherwise comfortable workspace for two or three people, a one person kitchen.
The answer was to move the refrigerator around the corner and into what had been a small pantry in the laundry room. This answer required the partial removal of a wall that separated the kitchen from the laundry room as well as the removal of the pantry walls in the service area. By removing about 18 inches of wall space behind the refrigerator along with the header above the door that lead to the laundry room, and adding a full glass patio door in the laundry area, the kitchen became a light filled, open and more modern work space. The refrigerator was rotated 45 degrees and moved into the expanded laundry room.
Moving of the refrigerator has been a long-standing plan for my client, and now that it has been accomplished, the floor space seems to have doubled, as three people can comfortably work in the space.
Storage was still an issue for this small kitchen, and that is where Julia Child’s idea to hang her most often used pots and pans on a peg board comes into play. My client had a contractor remove walls and extend the laundry room and add the full glass door, but the peg board was a fairly simple task to tackle with a drill, and some furring strips to allow space for hooks behind the peg board. While Julia’s kitchen peg board was the iconic aqua of the 1950‘s, today’s kitchen enjoys a practical application of blackboard paint; the plan is to outline the pots and pans, as Julia did, with a chalk pen. My client plans to experiment with pots and pans for a little while to make sure everything hangs in the most convenient place. One the two cooks has the reach of a typical six footer and the other, who falls far short of that lofty reach. The addition of trim around the peg board was a finishing touch, purely for aesthetics.
My client plans to add an additional work station below the peg board, but for now a narrow bookcase serves as a place holder as well as attractive storage for cook books and some bulky pots that have no place in the already packed cabinets. This is a clear case of using something you already have, in a new way. It is often beneficial to think outside of conventional uses for furniture pieces; bookcases can go almost anywhere, they are great storage units.