Instead of frame-and-panel construction, we used solid slabs of wood for all the doors and drawer fronts. The wood grain is vertical in all the upper doors, and horizontal in all the lower. Each door and drawer front has a hand-carved handle, creating an uninterrupted flow of wood the whole length of the kitchen. It also made possible the curved coopered door in the corner of the upper cabinets.
The sink is nestled in front of a window with open shelves and a plate rail to display often-used pottery and a few favorite platters. In addition to the window's light, spot lighting in the ceiling and under-cabinet lights over the countertop make the cooking area bright and clean.
Below the wood-edged countertop, the space which in most kitchens might be used for cabinets has been replaced almost entirely by drawers and pull-out trays. The sacrifice was worth it, because these trays and drawers store every size and shape of cookware and utensil. As it turns out, they also had nearly twice as much room as an identically-sized cabinet space that had previously been used.
The trays also make pots and pans much more accessible, since they are simply lifted up and out of the full-extension drawers.
The single exception to this is under the sink, where a pair of doors opens to reveal cleaning supplies and a lidded compost container. A pull-out trash bin occupies the bottom drawers to the far right.
The refrigerator has its own custom cherry panel, and it, too, has hand-carved door handles.
Over the years, the wood will age to a rich, dark patina. Three coats of urethane varnish are proof against spills and stains for the life of the kitchen.