Best of the Best 2008: Decor: Kitchen: Poggenpohl

When German cabinetmaker Poggenpohl entered the U.S. market more than 30 years ago, Americans did not immediately embrace its contemporary European kitchen designs. "If you look at the auto industry, there are a lot of parallels," says New Jersey–based Ted Chappell, president of Poggenpohl U.S. "In the 1970s it was unusual to see a BMW or Mercedes in American driveways. Today, however, European style is now at the forefront of nearly every kind of design—especially when it comes to kitchens and cars."

With that in mind, it seems appropriate that Poggenpohl collaborated with Porsche Design to create a daring new kitchen line. Called the Poggenpohl Porsche Design kitchen, it carries Poggenpohl’s signature motion-drive, handle-free drawers and extra-deep cabinets, along with modified materials and new engineering that creates countertops that seem to float. "Since Porsche is not a cabinet company, they aren’t aware of the industry’s limits or restraints like we are," says Chappell. "They wanted something that would look like it was weightless, with 8-millimeter-thick aluminum detail around the cabinets, which we never thought would be possible, but they pushed us to make it work."

The Porsche kitchen, which starts at $80,000, is available with five different countertop materials and colors, including black granite and glass, two kinds of wood for cabinet fronts (a textured driftwood and dark oak), and an array of cabinet configurations and options, including completely transparent glass wall cabinets with aluminum hinges. "It may seem strange to allow a company best known for its automotive design to create a kitchen, but a lot of the defining characteristics of a Porsche car—the quality, the sexy profile, the overall sleekness—are easy to translate into the design of a kitchen," says Chappell. "The only thing we couldn’t do was make the kitchen go from zero to 60 in 3.4 seconds." —Samantha Brooks

Poggenpohl, 973.812.8900, www.poggenpohlusa.com

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