Over the years, no room in the home has seen a more dramatic transformation than the kitchen. Once a utilitarian space meant solely for food prep, the kitchen is now the hardest-working room in the home. In addition to cooking, the modern kitchen has become a hub for a wide range of other activities. Need to conduct some early-morning business? Pour a cup of coffee and power up your laptop at the kitchen table. Kids need help with their homework? Pull up some bar stools and crack open the books at the island. Having friends over? Well, keep the drinks and crudités on the counters because no one is leaving the kitchen.
Modern vs Classic
Consummate hostess Nancy Hamon opted for three large islands in her Turtle Creek penthouse kitchen. Why it works:
The French farmhouse vibe keeps things feeling warm and inviting. September/October 2003
This kitchen designed by Laura Lee Clark features unadorned floating cabinets and floor-to-ceiling marble. Why it works: The herringbone-patterned wood floor and traditional table create a nice balance with the sleek cabinetry. January/February 2016
LEFT This kitchen designed by Laura Lee Clark features unadorned floating cabinets and floor-to-ceiling marble.
RIGHT Consummate hostess Nancy Hamon opted for three large islands in her Turtle Creek penthouse kitchen.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. But just as each home (and its homeowner) has a unique style, the design of a kitchen can vary dramatically. On one end, you have the French farmhouse feel of Nancy Hamon’s Turtle Creek kitchen, which boasts painted wood cabinetry, pot racks on either side of the vent hood, and multiple islands for party prepping, giving it a warm and inviting feeling that’s perfect for the classicist. At the other extreme is this modern kitchen designed by Laura Lee Clark, which features sleek and unadorned metal cabinets, slab walls, and streamlined appliances and fixtures with nary an accessory in sight. Whether your style lands at one end of the scale or somewhere in between, make this oft-used, multifunctional space a place you love to spend time.
Into the Hoods
Concealing range hoods is a growing trend in kitchen design, but you don’t have to hide these helpful home appliances. With the right imagination, you can make them the star of the show—or, at the very least, a scene-stealing costar.
Designer Jacklyn Caveny chose a mirror polished rose gold–plated metal for this kitchen’s custom stove hood.
Why it works: The rose gold plays off the room’s other metallic touches. Sept/Oct 2018
Two Ways To Work With Tile
Let It Be a Backdrop:
When you have a room filled with standout colors, furnishings, or accessories, it’s fine to let the tile fade into the background.
This Highland Park kitchen by Sees Design features Visual Comfort pendants and Lee Industries stools.
Why it works: The white subway tile sits back and lets the lighting and furnishings be the highlights of the space. Jul/Aug 2018
Make It Function as Art:
To make a space feel one of a kind, choose an eye-popping pattern worthy of framing.
Designer Lynn Sears drew the pattern for this kitchen’s 7-by-18-foot mosaic marble tile wall.
Why it works: The homeowner says it best: “I love the mosaic because it’s fun to look at. It’s artwork you never get tired of.” Sept 2008
Where to shop for tile:
Horizon Italian Tile
There’s no home feature more multifunctional than the kitchen island. It’s a prep station and dining table in one—and it’s even a workspace for busy parents and school kids who need to burn a little midnight oil. Done right, the island can also be the kitchen’s stylish centerpiece.
Clockwise from top left:
- Homeowner Regan Carlile chose emerald quartzite countertops for her kitchen. Why it works: The vibrant green complements the lively yellow of the Lacanche range. Jan/Feb2018
- Designer Margaret Chambers had a custom island made for this Kessler Park kitchen. Why it works: The island perfectly matches the sleek Bulthaup cabinetry. Jan/ Feb 2019
- This large island is fashioned as a farm table, with vintage lighting that designer Tracy Hardenburg sourced through Brendan Bass. Why it works: The stationary stools keep the space looking tidy. Jul/Aug 2016
- For this kitchen, the homeowners flanked the island with vintage Toledo stools. Why it works: The island could be a cozy spot for a casual family meal as well as a comfortable place for the kids to do homework. Sept/Oct 2012
Where to shop for stone:
Aria Stone Gallery
The Stone Collection