Designing a kitchen for today’s lifestyle can present many challenges for the homeowner. When we sell or buy homes for our clients and they have wish lists when rehabbing, we explore specific questions that can make all the difference in seeing their dreams become reality. Today, we will cover two key elements that are not often discussed when designing and creating kitchens that go beyond traditional surface beauty. We feel that these two questions will challenge traditional design perceptions and give you a serious advantage in creating not only a beautiful timeless kitchen, but a working kitchen that brings family and friends together through cooking.

In developing the Mise en Place kitchen line, we set the bar extremely high by asking two critical questions throughout all phases of design. The first question focuses on achieving Mise en Place.  In order for a kitchen to be beautiful, dynamic and functional, how does our design help homeowners achieve Mise en Place?  Mise en Place loosely translated means “everything in its place”, and through 1200 hours of research we have created a kitchen line that achieves a unique marriage by blending restaurant kitchen concepts with amazing audio, video and visual elements into the residential home.

Restaurants were used as a source of inspiration to understand Mise en Place in action. Some of our most memorable meals have been enjoyed at fine restaurants such as Bouchon in Beverly Hills, Frontera Grill in Chicago, Husk in South Carolina, Yardbird in Miami, Cochon in New Orleans and Le Cinq in Paris. Getting behind the scene tours of these dining shrines, it was apparent that their attention to detail in their pantries, prep, cooking and service areas allowed their staff to achieve a higher level of quality and productivity through achieving mise en place. Empowering this concept throughout our design, the Mise en Place Kitchen line allows homeowners to experience more confidence, capability, and greater levels of success cooking while entertaining their guests.

The second question we analyzed was did the Mise en Place design bring family and friends together through cooking. Can proper design foster more interaction to take place with family and guests, creating more quality time together? We challenged our kitchens beauty, function and ergonomic design to be as efficient and stimulating to cook for two as it is for twenty people. We reworked every aspect of the kitchen to become more user friendly for all ages to participate in cooking.  We incorporated extensive research into audio, video and visual experiences that would inspire and teach others how to become a better cook. We also paid homage to combing old and new world marrying of design  – concepts to create dramatic modern flair yet express the timeless beauty of a bygone era.

We felt quite confident that we uncovered some very interesting and new possibilities in residential kitchen design, but we needed to test and see them in action. We put the Mise en Place kitchen on trial runs with homeowners cooking in groups of two, three and four with blind menus, as on the TV show Top Chef, with set products and access to our Mise en Place Visual Pantry for inspiration to complete a dish. What happened from there was an amazing experience in watching how cooks became more creative, inspired and interactive with one another. The choices and styles of cooking were inspired by the visual layer concept incorporated in our pantry – which offers over 500 items displayed clearly to the eye, from region to region, in a 21 square foot space. The choices offered allowed creativity to flow, producing dishes from around the globe, sparking great conversation. The island design allowed more interaction to take place in prepping, cooking and plating meals. Some people grabbed cookbooks from the island library for inspiration as well, along with selecting from 150 spice compartments found in the island drawers. The island also offered a unique experience for guests, becoming the coveted “kitchen table”  at a restaurant to experience the chefs in action. The cooks were amazingly efficient and entertaining to watch from an island seat as they cooked and interacted seamlessly in their stations. When dinner was served, the cabinet candlelight lighting system set the mood for an amazing dinner to take place.

Finally, we researched how to make homeowners better cooks by incorporating interactive classes done through the Mise en Place Fireplace / TV. The fireplace houses a framed and recessed 77 inch TV with a 30 speaker sound system built into the mantle of the fireplace. We then hosted cooking classes for guests, watching Rick Bayless’s One Plate at a Time cooking show. It was a festive celebration, with all guests cooking in unison on the four station cooking island. The meals created were fabulous, and we realized that we were onto something special in how the audio/video/visual element can be incorporated into kitchen design not to be intrusive to family meals but as a tool to have better meals cooked together with family.

As you can see, we have great passion for real estate and designing amazing kitchens! We have many more topics to discuss detailing the Mise en Place kitchen line and its many unique features in the upcoming weeks. We welcome you to experience the Mise en Place kitchen in person and become inspired!  Please feel free to contact Jason at 847-401-1200 for any of your real estate needs and to learn more about designing a Mise en Place kitchen tailored with your unique vision.