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Kitchens for the Rest of Us: From the Kitchen You Have to the Kitchen You Love

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Kitchens for the Rest of Us emphasizes kitchens that place function, craft, and intelligent design over grandeur and extravagance. By showing you twenty newly remodeled and hard-working kitchens built within typical-sized spaces, you'll be inspired to pursue your own mix of dreams, hopes, and needs. Along the way, you'll pick up fresh ideas from the inspired minds of the homeowners who have been through the the professional cook in Wyoming who holds classes in his kitchen; the emergency-room nurse in California who designed her kitchen to replicate the efficiency of a hospital; and the Texas couple who got rid of the obligatory kitchen island to simply have more space. These kitchens represent a highly informative cross-section of what is happening right now in kitchen design, material choices, style trends, appliance selections, and clever new storage strategies. But more importantly, these stories give you a truer sense of what goes on in real kitchens and a clearer sense of what is truly possible in yours. The author has chosen remodeling projects where all of the choices have grown out of a desire to create smart, good-looking kitchens rather than out of a need to impress and awe the neighbors.

186 pages, Hardcover

First published November 1, 2005

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 reviews
Profile Image for C. .
324 reviews
July 28, 2011
As the owner of a period home, I tend to review every kitchen through the lens of 'will this look out of place in this home in forty years'. As I currently am living with an obviously 70s remodel that is utterly out of place in the rest of the home, I want to attempt to keep whatever I do to improve that from making someone in the future say 'I'm living with an obviously 2011 remodel that is utterly out of place...'!

I feel most of the kitchen books out there assume you have more money for your project than you do. Lemos suggests using no more than 10% of the homes value for a kitchen project and then continues to go on to say that most of the remodels in the book were around $30,000 - $50,000... which is more than that recommended 10% for many of us!

That said, I did find this book very useful. There are a wide variety of kitchens, including some from older homes. While there were aesthetic decisions recommended that I would not make based on some of my other readings on period kitchens, there were a number of suggestions for storage and cabinets that I feel will be useful.

Overall this is a good idea book, to get you thinking about how you might want to prioritize.

However if you're dealing with an early 20th century home as I am, I would recommend The New Bungalow Kitchen by Peter Labau, or Bungalow Kitchens by Jane Powell as essential reading. The former takes a more contemporary approach, the latter a more preservationist approach, but even if you do not take that route yourself, having an understanding of the kitchens of that time will certainly be useful.
Profile Image for Sonya Feher.
167 reviews10 followers
May 24, 2011
Kitchens for the Rest of Us: From the Kitchen You Have to the Kitchen You Love is totally misleading. The remodeling projects showcased throughout this book cost $30,000-$50,000. Kitchens for the rest of us? Really? I was hoping for a book that was going to tell me how to update my 1970s kitchen with laminate countertops and fake wood cabinets so that it would be more functional and beautiful. I don't want to hire a certified kitchen designer, an architect, and builders. The rest of us that Lemos is referring to sure don't apply to me. Still, looking through the photos might inspire one who is on a budget to make a wish list, get a higher paying job, or just throw up her hands then burn the house down in the hopes that home insurance might may for a nice rebuild. If you do have the money though, check out this book. The case studies explore a variety of possibilities, have "From Our Wish List" sidebars with innovative ideas, and offer many beautiful dream kitchen ideas.
Profile Image for April.
40 reviews
November 7, 2013
This book had a lot of great ideas for kitchen remodels- especially small kitchens. I loved that there were lots of examples of kitchen remodels sticking to different eras. For example, I want to stay true to the 1920s feel of my kitchen, and he had lots of examples of remodels with shades of the 30s-50s and of course remodels staying true to more modern eras. My only critique is that creating these kitchens for the rest of us are still really pricey. I would have liked to see not only how to create a kitchen in the space I have, but maybe how to do it on a budget. Maybe that's not fair- maybe that's a separate book, but it seemed like the cost to do some of these kitchens would be just as big as the cost of doing a kitchen for "them".
Profile Image for Rossie.
121 reviews
January 3, 2019
We’re planning a home renovation and I’m tearing through a lot of these books. This book shows a lot of good detailed ideas to put to use in a kitchen, but nothing unique.
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