The Heart of the Home

Style or function is one choice you don’t have to make when designing a kitchen

Remodelers report that the appearance and atmosphere of a space is a stronger motive for remodeling than function, revealing that the kitchen may indeed be the heart of the home.

Homeowners’ most popular choices when designing a kitchen are an island, hardwood floors, soft colors, white cabinets and stainless steel appliances. The most important appliance is a “chef’s stove,” which could mean induction cooktop or gas, European or American. Some home chefs swear by Viking or Wolf, but the British Aga and French LaCornue are appearing in an increasing number of American homes. Retro appliances are adding a splash of color to the marketplace and kitchens.

A designer trend is the return of marble. Beautifully grained wood will always be on-trend as well, but white cabinets, whether in sleek laminate or painted wood cabinets, are resurging in popularity. Homeowners are storing everything from chips to china in drawers, which are replacing cabinets under countertops due to easy access. DLM chose five kitchens that marry these examples of style and function seamlessly, and certainly beautifully.

Retro Appliances by Big Chill, Boulder |


Neutral Territory

Photography: Emily Minton Redfield, EMR Photography

Photography: Emily Minton Redfield, EMR Photography

The homeowners told designer, Angela Otten, that they wanted to “live” in a kitchen-focused home, with the flow from the kitchen to the great room and into a lovely outdoor room. “The homeowners are a young active family,” says designer, Irit Waldbaum. “They enjoy cooking and entertaining, and wanted a kitchen that is casual yet elegant, with plenty of gathering space for their extended family and many friends.”

The result is a kitchen that functions as one large open area with four distinct work zones: prep, cooking, cleanup and entertainment. “We wanted to make the best use of the fabulous view from outside the large window, as well as have it be the focal point,” says Otten. “We found an extraordinary island hood to hang in front of the picture window and made that our range wall.”

The kitchen cabinets are from a William Ohs designer series featuring a rift oak door with a rift fir horizontally raked panel that is custom-stained and glazed. The raked panel is made by carefully wire-brushing the wood to create thin, straight grooves across the surface. Through modern design and natural, neutral materials, they designed a versatile kitchen-centric living space.

Designers: Angela Otten, William Ohs Inc.,; and Irit Waldbaum
Photographer: Emily Minton Redfield, EMR Photography
Cabinets: William Ohs Inc.,
Range: Wolf DF364G,
Hood: Zephyr Trapeze Hood,
Bar Stools: Charm Bar Stools, Costantini Pietro, Charles Eisen and Associates,
Bar Lights: Fili Pendats, Oggetti, Charles Eisen and Associates,
Island Light: Bulle, through Charles Eisen and Associates,
Backsplash Tile: Glass Marbelized Collection, Stone and Pewter, through Decorative Materials,
Glass Bar Counter: Custom Ribbon Glass, through Decorative Materials,


Seeing Red


Designer, Terri Rose, faced a major design challenge in the design of this kitchen. The stainless steel double ovens on the right, along with a large stainless steel refrigerator to the left of the stove, could have dominated the wall. “Balancing the five feet of stainless refrigeration on the left end, with side-by-side single ovens on the right, was something I felt strongly about,” says Rose. “To provide interest, we added open areas for display above each tall end stack.”

Rose collaborated with Patti Steelman, who guided the homeowner’s interior finishes on the project. Since the homeowner’s favorite color is red, the designers chose the Satchmo sticks in the “Red Hot Mama” shade and the sapele mahogany veneer on the cabinets. The red stools, from A. Rudin Furniture Style BS646, complete the red theme. Caesar Stone countertops in muted tones of Pebble and Raven balance the strong color. “The look now is more timelessly contemporary,” says Rose.

Kitchen Designer: Terri Rose, Exquisite Kitchen Design, e.k.d.,
Interior Designer: Patti Steelman, Patti Steelman Interior Finishes,
Cabinets: Green City Cabinets,
Range: Thermador,
Lighting: Hubbardton Forge,
Backsplash Tile: Artistic Tile,
Bar Stools: Egg & Dart, Ltd.,
Countertops: Caesar Stone Quartz,


Chef-Driven Kitchen Concept


Pete Marcyzk and Barbara McFarlane, owners of Marcyzk’s Fine Foods, are accomplished chefs. A marriage of function and beauty, their home kitchen is one any professional would be proud to call home. And it’s easy to see why the pair loves the kitchen they designed years ago.

Not surprisingly, the stove is their favorite piece of equipment. The six-burner cook top with griddle and double oven gas Imperial Range, usually found in restaurants, is perfect for cooking and entertaining. A broiler unit over the griddle expands the capacity. “Even though there are only three of us, it’s nice to know you can cook for a crowd too,” says Barbara. “And it always works!”

Right behind the stove are the sinks. “We love the multiple sinks and how deep they are. They are super efficient and time-saving,” Barbara says. Their dishwasher broke after a dinner party for 17. She used one sink and Pete the other; they had the kitchen clean in two hours even with tons of dishes, glasses, cookware and serving plates.

Another big plus is the layout; Marcyzk can cook and guests can mingle in the kitchen without getting in the chef’s way. The crowning touch is a practical one the couple discovered in a magazine while planning the remodel. The black countertop is Fireslate, a manmade wonder material from a small company in Maine. Like slate and other natural stone, Fireslate boasts deep, solid, rich color. Unlike slate and other natural stone, it has no veins or strata to crack or delaminate. It handles heat like natural stone yet weighs 40 percent less. “It is basically the same material used in a biology lab,” says Barbara. “You can’t hurt it. Acid does stain it, but Pete gas-sands and oils it, and it’s as good as new.”
Their joy in cooking in such a well-thought-out space may be proof of why certain appliances and features are not indulgences but investments in a room that must function efficiently.

Photographer: Raul Garcia
Island Countertops: Fireslate,
Range: Imperial,

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