"In a professional kitchen, the clean-up area is entirely separate from the cooking area," says Olvia Demetriou, who, with her husband, Theo Adamstein, has designed 40 restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area, including Zaytinya and the forthcoming Zengo. When the couple recently renovated their 1923 Sears Arts and Crafts bungalow, they followed the same concept. Their open kitchen has two stations: a clean-up area in the old part of the house (with a new tile floor) and a prep area with oak floors in the new wing. That means dirty dishes get tucked away in a back corner, leaving the kitchen island clear. A good thing, since "my kids come home and unload their homework all over the island," Demetriou says.
The clean-up area is striped in dark brown and ivory Viva porcelain tile, which is easier to mop than a wood floor ($18 per 4-by-24-inch tile from Hastings Tile & Bath; 212-674-9700).