A Recipe for Kitchens

For the heart of the home, these five designers share their inspiring ideas for making the busiest room in the home both timeless and modern. Today, there are many options for creating the perfect space for cooking and entertaining.

Cyndy Cantley
Cantley & Co.

Built in the 1940s, a classic Tudor home needed a kitchen update to be functional for daily use. The kitchen and laundry room were added on in the 1970s. Although the space was dated, kitchen and bath designer Cyndy Cantley was able to use the original footprint to modernize the kitchen. A key step in this renovation was relocating the laundry room upstairs, where most of the laundry originates. The newly expanded size of the kitchen allowed for a large island with plenty of seating and areas for more than one to help prepare food and cook. The central island is the perfect spot for homework, family breakfast, or cocktail hour with friends. The homeowners love to cook and entertain often, so the designer allowed plenty of space for a duel fuel Wolf Range. Refrigerator and freezer columns are located close to the range, as Cantley believes keeping the work area tight is important in a large kitchen. With casual entertaining in mind, the French doors now open to the pool area.

In terms of aesthetics, Cantley prefers a sink at the kitchen window, and she wanted the range and hood to be the focal point of the room. Wood panels were added to all the appliances in keeping with the glamorous style. She added wainscot panels behind the range area and inserted antique mirrors with fabulous Kate Spade sconces that mimic jewelry. Antique mirror tiles were also added in other areas to reflect the light from the windows for even more glam.

Image courtesy of Marie Flanigan Interiors Photographer: Julie Soefer

Marie Flanigan
Marie Flanigan Interiors

The kitchen is the embodiment of this architecturally interesting and timeless home, as it carefully balances tradition and modernity. Artisanal metalworkers created the metal-clad cabinets, framed with antique brass with exposed connections and screws, while brass-wrapped marble countertops add interest to the center island. A substantial limestone surround and hood houses the gas Wolf cooktop/stove and prep area, and a marble slab backsplash is crowned with a ledge to hold cooking oils and a row of antique mirrors. Aged brass hooks and an antique brass pot rack hold the owner’s collection of vintage copper pots, and stained oak cabinetry reveals the natural wood grain, contributing an organic feel to the space.

Above is a vaulted ceiling with a warm white plastered finish. The heavy burnishing adds a lustrous sheen and adds richness and depth to the walls. A checkerboard floor intertwines two different types of limestone, adding a rustic element.

A wall of windows bathes the room in natural light, while sheer draperies offer softness among the metal and stone. To contrast the masculine feel of the space, smaller corridors and arched openings create a more romantic and enclosed impression.

“WHEN IT COMES TO KITCHEN DESIGN, WE’RE CONSISTENTLY EMPLOYING DYNAMIC AND INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR OUR CLIENTS. CABINETS CLAD IN STAINED WOOD, NATURE-INSPIRED COLORS, AND METAL ACCENTS BRING A RICHNESS AND WARMTH THAT FEELS REMINISCENT OF A BYGONE ERA YET EQUALLY MODERN.”

Photography by Mali Azima

Matthew Quinn
Design Galleria, Principal

Just outside of Atlanta, this traditional Georgian home offers a large open kitchen that includes plenty of workspace, an area specifically intended for making daily fresh juice, a breakfast room that opens to a covered porch, and a walk-in pantry.

The floor plan came together quickly, because only one wall could accommodate a hood. Designer Matthew Quinn steered away from stainless steel or anything that felt too factory-finished, preferring something with an artisanal look, as if it had been hand-finished or even distressed with a hammer. To make the island to feel like a table, Quinn had custom steel legs made that have a slight taper to them. He picked a bleached cherry in a gray stain for all the cabinetry and Taj Mahal quartzite countertops.

The dining room and the kitchen are in the middle of the house and have no windows. At one point, the designer was so concerned about bringing light into the kitchen that he recommended hanging the hood in front of a glass wall. In the end, the team decided that the kitchen felt more authentic if there wasn’t a giant window behind it. They were counting on plenty of light coming in from the wall of windows in the living room and through the doorways that lead to the breakfast room and mudroom. The adjacent juice room, on the other hand, has a large window above the sink. There is a microwave in this room, as well as an ice maker, a dishwasher, and an eight-foot-long appliance garage that has all of the homeowner’s small appliances plugged in and ready to go. Everything is hidden behind doors that pocket back beneath the wall cabinets above.

This home celebrates the beauty of the imperfections of natural and raw materials, replicating the spirit of its community. Centerlines, viewpoints, transitions, and a mix of materials come into plays with authenticity top of mind.

Image courtesy of Christopher Peacock

Christopher Peacock
CEO of Christopher Peacock

This kitchen was designed for a more modern and clean aesthetic, but with very special details, hardware, and material selections. Christopher Peacock takes into account not only the cabinetry itself and the door style but the hardware—including metalwork and stone. “It’s lots of tiny little details about brackets and screws and metal edging on drawers and paint finishes, down to the countertop material and those selections,” says Peacock.

Peacock’s signature is traditional design, but this kitchen has been influenced by the demand for clean lines and simple, minimal cabinetry. The clients were looking for the couture version of this, where they could embrace a modern feel but at a far higher quality in build methods, materials, and detailing. The feeling of authenticity remains in this kitchen—a modern spin on the brand’s classic British look. Peacock sees this style also fitting in many different urban and suburban spaces, including a modern city apartment kitchen or a modern, contemporary mountain home. “We’re never going to try and be an ultra-modern company. For us, I tend to be more restrained in terms of how we do our version of modern. But people are coming to us—they want our quality but in a simpler style,” he says.

“I TEND TO BE MORE RESTRAINED IN TERMS OF HOW WE DO OUR VERSION OF MODERN. BUT PEOPLE ARE COMING TO US—THEY WANT OUR QUALITY BUT IN A SIMPLER STYLE.”

Photography by Haylei Smith

Jewel Centanni
Owner of Ivy Residential Concepts

Marrying modern conveniences and timeless finishes, the kitchen design unifies durability and elegance in a space that will stand up to the needs of daily living while acquiescing to the demands of entertaining. Hand-glazed backsplash tiles and Firerock Pavers provide a stone-like floor that accentuates this thoughtful kitchen layout, which draws upon an open concept that features a more traditional scullery space with entertaining and prep function in mind.

Every square foot of the kitchen design was thought out to be multi-functional, allowing for easy access to the appliances without imposing upon the dining and gathering areas. Equipped with oversized Visual Comfort Lanterns, the space offers the intimacy of everyday living without sacrificing any convenience.

Inspired by the beauty of timeless French farmhouse kitchens, the custom whitewashed oak cabinets bring warmth to the soft, white color palette of the home. The Thermador Appliance Package, which includes a wine tower, 60″ range, and two dishwashers, furthers our goal for day-to-day functionality. The lime-washed stone wall sets the tone for the separation between the front kitchen and scullery, and the mix of patinaed metals emphasizes the French inspiration. Another key to the design was to finish the cabinets with beveled Calacatta counters, which adds to the essential blend of timeless materials in this space. The large custom arched window provides plenty of sunlight to accent the room and provides the opportunity for washing dishes with a view. A thoughtful blend of form and function, the finishes play an essential role in bringing the plan to life.

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