I was browsing The Kitchen Idea Book (2001, The Taunton Press) recently, and it is full of fantastic kitchen ideas. I like the scrub top table in the eat-in kitchen; we have at least two of those, but our kitchen really isn't big enough. I don't like a cluttered kitchen. There's also a table with concrete block legs and a gray top, which is not very attractive.
Then there was a counter/table with two legs at one end.in the kitchen, which I think is ugly. Another counter/table has a zigzag leg at one end that looks metallic. It's certainly different. And there's a long, narrow, oval concrete island that looks like a traffic barrier.
There's also a pull-out table in a tiny kitchen. In another small kitchen, the island is narrow and moveable. And I love the diner-style built -in booth with a little jukebox on the table, which is nifty. Ordinarily I don't care for a banquette seating eating area. And you can have a lower table at the end of a counter.
One kitchen has an island and cabinets with contrasting finishes on each, which is interesting. It looks better than the four-panelled kitchen door that has one top panel painted red. And there's a kitchen over a garage that has a dumb waiter that brings up groceries from the garage.
A dropped soffit, which I like because it can be stencilled, is attractive. Or you can have a painted frieze. A double soffit is good for high ceilings. You can use a soffit for ductwork and/or lighting. Or you might prefer display space.
There are integral solid surface backsplashes. Stainless steel can be shaped to make a backsplash and nosing. Roofing slate turned upsidedown can be used to surface a counter. And there's a kind of marble that's as hard as granite. Or you can tile with pictures of fish or veggies. And, of course, you can use concrete though you have to have good support. Concrete floors can crack so you need joint cracks--cast or inset. I gather that countertops don't crack as often...
I love the big, old free-standing sinks and the attached drainboard(s). We had one when I was a kid. (We lived in an old four square.)
There are lots of cabinetry ideas in the book also, including drawer fronts in contrasting colors. One countertop has a pharmaceutical cabinet as a base with all the little drawers facing into the kitchen. That could be useful for spices.
There's a wide variety of cabinet handles, including an inset metal grid. Btw, natural red birch cabinets have the warmth of cherry, but don't darken over time. One kitchen has open pantry shelves in the kitchen so that it looks like an old general store. Old metal tins are among the food items.
And there's a kitchen with the dividers with columns (often incorporating bookcases) between it and the dining room. (We have those in our great hall, btw.) There are a number of useful ideas in the book. I was looking at it because I'm culling my books, which I do now and then. I think I'll keep this one.