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Kitchen Encounters

If one room in the house best captures the spirit of its inhabitants, it is the kitchen...

<< Back to Robb Report, Robb Report Home & Style May/June 2015

If one room in the house best captures the spirit of its inhabitants, it is the kitchen. The truest character witness of them all, the kitchen reveals personal preferences and individual tastes through the distinct requirements of its users. Whatever the specifications—antique flooring, oversize windows, a range with just the right cooktop configuration—it is a space for gathering and feasting, for experimenting with new ideas or finding comfort in familiar rituals. Most of all, it is a place for every day.  

Not that every day means everyday design. As the center of our stylish domestic universe, the kitchen is also a well-appointed room, no longer an area just for cookery and machinery. Interior architecture and design bring endless options to the space, which might be dressed in cabinetry that borrows elegant details from furniture craftsmanship or be outfitted with appliances that either quietly recede or appear chic enough to stand on their own. 

Here, we present seven standout kitchens that suggest the wide array of possibilities. Featuring everything from unique materials and custom furnishings to must-have elements for the gourmand or the hostess, these interior designer–driven spaces exemplify why the kitchen is everyone’s favorite room in the house.

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“It’s just the right amount of clean contemporary mixed with warm traditional elements to create a comfortable, inviting, and sophisticated kitchen.—Rachel Horn

Mix Master

Located in Newport Beach, Calif., the 17,000-square-foot house—inspired by Cliff May’s California architecture—is a stylistic blend. Its refined kitchen and other interior spaces are contemporary with Spanish and Mediterranean influences.

Design Team

Rachel Horn, principal, Rachel Horn Interiors, 310.295.0100, rachelhorn.com; Brion Jeannette, AIA, principal, Brion Jeannette Architecture, 949.645.5854, custom​architecture.com; Tony Valentine, Tony Valentine Construction, 949.723.6449

Resources

Aluminum cabinetry by Bulthaup; stainless-steel hood, custom, by Coast Sheet Metal; stove by Capital; ovens by Gaggenau; plumbing fixtures by Dornbracht; refrigerator by Sub-Zero; granite counters and backsplash by Granite & Marble Works; copper fixtures by Louis Poulsen; floor, Maltese limestone from Neolithic Design; fireplace surround and hearth, butcher-block stone from Cyprus, sourced by Neolithic Design; walls, Venetian plaster; bar stools by Palecek; round table and chairs, custom-made by EVOS; antique clay pots from Turkey and Morocco

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“The client loves to cook with modern facilities and appliances; however, the design intent was to carry through the rustic cabin feel. Islands and cabinets are designed as furniture, while large expanses of windows let the outdoors in.” —James Rill

Setting the Mood 

The 385-square-foot rustic kitchen lies within an Emmitsburg, Md., log home. Custom-milled Douglas fir beams and butcher-block counters pair handsomely with the modern appliances and finishes to create a space for gathering and entertaining.

Design Team

James Rill, AIA, principal, Rill Architects; Richard Rossi, architect, Rill Architects, 301.656.4166, rillarchitects.com 

Resources

Cabinets by Quality Cabinets, with Robin Lynch; appliances by Viking; windows by Marvin

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“As a vacation-home kitchen, the 250-square-foot space was designed to be intimate and functional. It opens up to the family room on one side and outside to the terrace on the other.”  —Stefano Falbo

Wide Angle

One of the East Beach residences set within Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, near San Juan, Puerto Rico, this residence enjoys ideal year-round weather and Caribbean views. 

Encasement glass doors connect the kitchen to the outdoor space, and an oversize panoramic sliding window welcomes plenty of natural light.

Design Team

Ileana Palacios de Martinez, president and owner, Palacios furniture and interior design store, 787.620.7034, palaciospr.com; Stefano Falbo, vice president, SB Architects, 415.673.8990, sb-architects.com

Resources

Cabinets by Poliform; appliances by Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Miele; countertops, quartz; floors, travertine

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“I wanted the kitchen to be practical without having to compromise the grandiose architectural components of the space, so I repurposed the towering [9-foot-high] white columns as concealed storage units—ultimately creating the most luxurious kitchen pantry imaginable.” —Karen Williams

Inner Light

This 750-square-foot kitchen—ensconced in a plush country house in New York’s Westchester County—is suffused with natural light. A custom chandelier with a finish of satin brass and silver leaf is among the space’s bold but elegant touches.

Designer

Karen Williams, principal, St. Charles of New York, 212.838.2812, stcharlesof​newyork.com

Resources

Range by La Cornue; custom cabinetry by Premier Custom-Built; range hood, custom design by Karen Williams; chandelier, custom design by Alexander von Eikh; microwave by Dacor; wall oven, warming drawer, dishwashers, steam oven, and coffee machine, all by Miele; refrigerator and freezer with ice maker by Viking; instant hot water dispenser with tank by Franke

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​”The inspiration was a clean-lined aesthetic that needed to have a lot of function—utility—and at the same time be playful, because it’s a vacation home and the clients have young children.” —Lynsey Humphrey

Great Escape

Custom elements, such as premium walnut cabinetry, pendants by the Urban Electric Co., and the graphic marble-and-natural-stone backsplash, lend great character to the kitchen of this Deer Valley, Utah, home. The island’s design features a counter-height surface for food preparation and a bar-height area for casual dining.

Design Team

Heather Humphrey and Lynsey Humphrey, principals, Alder Tweed,435.487.8430, alderandtweed.com

Resources

Tile by Walker Zanger; appliances by Sub-Zero and Wolf; pendant lights by the Urban Electric Co.; plumbing fixtures by Waterstone

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“​My amazing clients let me do something different aesthetically, but function always comes first. The kitchen operates like a galley but is technically not. The entire design is very discreet and integrated, resulting in a unique and modern living space.” –Scott Dresner

​Modern Family

Located in Highland Park, Ill., this 1,000-square-foot kitchen combines with the home’s great room and was designed for a family with young children, as a place for the kids to do homework and for everyone to cook together.

Designer

Scott Dresner, principal, Dresner Design, 312.929.6444, dresnerdesign.com

Resources

Countertops, quartzite in super white with a Parsons-style leg; cabinetry by Stosa Cucine in Brillant white glass; faucet by Grohe; drawer organizers by Blum; refrigerators, double ovens, and cooktop with eight burners, all by Gaggenau; dishwasher by Miele; hood by Best; artwork by Fornasetti 

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“The kitchen was all ‘material inspired.’ The client purchased a grand old oak wood floor, which had 24-inch-wide boards. We decided to use the material in a more contemporary way as slab cabinet fronts. The slim custom hardware at the top of each drawer and each door is practical and understated so the wood makes a statement without any visual interruptions.”  —Mary Ann Gabriele Schicketanz

​Natural Wonder

Set in Carmel Highlands in Monterey County, Calif., this home’s 160-square-foot kitchen by Studio Schicketanz incorporates thoughtful references to the Western landscape while maintaining an unmistakable California sensibility. 

 

Design Team

Mary Ann Gabriele Schicketanz, AIA, principal, Studio Schicketanz, 831.622.9000, studioschicketanz.com; Larry Pearson, architect and founding principal, Pearson Design Group, 406.587.1997, pearsondesigngroup.com

 

Resources

Custom cabinetry by Thomas Lazarus; custom hardware designed by Schicketanz and made by Metal Specialties; Château range by La Cornue; motorized solar shades by Guy Cuccia, with Lutron motors; refrigerator by Miele; dishwasher by Fisher Paykel; apron sink and faucet by Rocky Mountain Hardware; backsplash tile by Artistic Tile  

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