Monday, September 6, 2010

Kitchen design: a change of heart

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I used to dream of a kitchen like the one pictured above, and in fact told Joni of Cote de Texas that this was my dream kitchen (back in January of 2009).  Our email conversation inspired one of my favorite posts from Cote de Texas - Kitchens 101: Elements to Copy.  In this post, Joni analyzes some of the most popular kitchens from the magazines over the past few years, and breaks them down element by element.  Joni thought that what really appealed to me about the kitchen pictured above (interior design by Christy Dillard) was the spectacular window as focal point, with a big sink underneath – and she was right. Architecture by Harrison Design Associates.

In that kitchen post, Joni noted that a trend that has gained in popularity in the United States is the use of a range with ovens underneath (as opposed to wall ovens), and the use of the range and range hood as focal point. As Joni noted, “Europe, with their less frequent use of wall ovens, has long made the range and hood the center of attention”.  I remember thinking that this was a very strange concept indeed – who would ever want a kitchen without a big window as the focal point?

Joni used this kitchen to illustrate her point.  This kitchen has the back wall as the focal point, with a beautiful limestone hood flanked by two windows, and cabinets designed to look like armoires. Based on the light pattern, I suspect that the area to the right of this wall has windows, so there is plenty of natural light in the kitchen.  But still – no big window with a sink underneath! Although I admired this kitchen, I remember thinking ‘no way would I ever have a kitchen with a range as the focal point’.  Kitchen design by Michelle Allman, image via House Beautiful.

Yet, there has definitely been a shift in the kind of kitchens that have become part of my kitchen files over the past few years.  Perhaps this reflects a change in the trends of kitchen design. Perhaps it reflects a more widespread use of the range with ovens underneath in the United States. Or, maybe it just reflects a subtle shift in what I like in a kitchen.  This kitchen, pictured above, is a favorite – probably because of the beautiful hood.  The kitchen gets plenty of sunlight (I went to this house last year for an event), but for this house it simply made more sense to place the range on the wall versus the the windows that face the backyard. Design by John Oetgen.

I looked through my inspiration file of kitchen pictures (428 pictures in total!), and noticed that very few (if any) of the older pictures of kitchens had this design.  Again, I am not sure if it is because it wasn’t ‘in vogue’, or if I did not gravitate to this look 5 or more years ago.

It is definitely a look that I love now.  This kitchen, by Victoria Hagan, is one of my all time favorite kitchens.  I love the natural light that floods into the room from the windows on either side of the range, and from the window on the side of the kitchen.  I would like to see the rest of this room, or the rest of this house – has it ever been published?

What’s interesting about this design is that it places the range and vent hood on the wall that is traditionally reserved for a big window with a sink underneath.  Also, in most designs, the sink is placed in the island.  Of course, the architecture of the home, the quality of the view, and the shape and size of the space all dictate what is best placement for a window and a range. Kitchen design by Christopher Peacock.

With the hood as a major focal point of the kitchen, all sorts of design possibilities are opened up.  This plaster hood was designed by architect Steve Giannetti, interior design by Brooke Giannetti, image via Brooke’s blog Velvet & Linen.  Note that the ovens are not under the range in this kitchen).

Love the solid slab that is used as a backsplash in this kitchen, along with the glossy hood that matches the La Cornue range. (Sorry, don’t have the source on this one).

This kitchen really caught my eye last year.  It was designed by Design Galleria, with interiors by Suzanne Kasler.  The hood over the range is definitely the focal point of this room.

This charming kitchen, by designer Tammy Connor, shows another great layout for the range in the center of the wall – two cabinets that flank the hood.

The cover kitchen from the At Home in Arkansas Kitchen and Bath issue featured a kitchen with the range and hood on the main wall of the kitchen.

When a kitchen is in a corner, it is possible to have both a range as a focal point, as well as a sink under the window.  Note the sink on the right side of the room – placed under a window.  Interior design by Scott Laslie.

One of my favorite Atlanta kitchens (designed by Gwyn Duggan) has a great range hood as a focal point,  but because the kitchen is positioned in the corner of the house, there is also a window that is placed over the sink.

The kitchen featured in my recent post (image via AH&L) has a central range flanked by windows, but notice what is on either side of the range: dual sinks.  So, this kitchen gets not one but two sinks under the windows.  This house is fairly close to its neighbors, so it made more sense to create a kitchen with more privacy – a big central window would have made the kitchen feel very exposed.

Personally, I prefer when the sink is placed in the island across from the range (when this kitchen layout is used).  It is interesting how many of my current favorite kitchens utilize this design.  I have definitely had a change in heart about what I like in kitchen design!  Image via House Beautiful, kitchen design by Mick De Giulio.

Another one of my favorite kitchens has all of the key components: interesting hood, flanked by windows, with mosaic tile on the backsplash, and a beautiful gooseneck faucet on the island across from the range.  Image via Traditional Home.

Finally, I have been wanting to use this beautiful image from Tracery Interiors on my blog – such a great kitchen in so many ways.  I really like the layout – a ‘U’ shape of the design, with a range and beautiful hood centered on the wall, flanked by windows, a great faucet in a large island, built in cabinetry (and no overhead cabinets), a striking fridge. Perfection.

So, what do you think of this design? Do you prefer to have a traditional sink under a big window, with wall ovens, or do you like the range and hood as the focal points?  In the end, it all comes down to what fits in the particular space, taking the architecture, the interior, and the exterior environment of the space into consideration.   

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  1. Kitchen design is so much fun! It's interesting how our tastes change subtley over time. When we built our house I thought I had picked kitchen elements I would never tire of...Now, I have lots of little things I want to add or tweak.

    The layout in my kitchen was designed by architect Brad Heppner and he did a great job. I have a focal window/sink and a focal point with the stove top/hood. I do love having wall ovens b/c you don't have to bend down to get things out. My two focal points face each other over the island.

    The European kitchen look is very classic - and many of the images above feel that way. The two windows on either side of the range is a beautiful way to go and looks especially good when using a large stone hood like in the Gwynn Duggan kitchen and the Design Galleria kitchen above. That would also suit the style of your new house so well.

    Love all of these images!

  2. Helen - you have coined a new term for me - 'the European kitchen look'. That is exactly what we are doing in the new house. Plus, the wall that made sense for either a sink or a range faces the least private side of the lot (looks onto the neighbors), so it really made a lot of sense from a privacy perspective to put the range in the middle of that wall.

  3. Beautiful and informative post! I always learn something from your posts, as well as Joni's and Brooke's

  4. That was a beautiful and comprehensive post. I like the look of the big stove and hood, but wall ovens are more ergonomic. I don't have to bend over to deal with them. Subway tile, marble and white traditional cabinets seem to be here to stay.

  5. Oh my goodness..that was like visiting kitchen heaven! The kitchen by Victoria Hagan would have to be my favourite..have had it filed for the one day house...those pendant lights are divine!

  6. When it came down to my new kitchen I preferred the window over the sink since I have such an amazing view. I have always preferred the oven under the range. Like you said it really came down to the space. Love Victoria Hagan’s kitchen, she has a new book out this month sometime and you might be able to see more of that house. Have a wonderful long weekend!

  7. I have had several people ask me about whether it will bother me to bend down for the oven. Although I cook a lot, I don't tend to bake a lot - so I use the oven only a few times a week (I can handle bending a few times a week - and in fact, love my lower oven of the double oven on my wall in the current house). My 12 year old daughter is quite the baker, but she is also 4'10" (and, alas, probably won't get that tall), so a low oven is a distinct advantage for her!

  8. That Joni is smart as a whip!

    Amazing how those "Tuscany Mediterranean" kitchens look
    so dated and I don't think it has been 10 years has it?

  9. Reminds me of a villa I saw in Italy, on an island in a lake. All of the rooms had outward focal points thru the windows. Except one.

    The dining room. It was meant to foster conversation & enjoyment of the meals. The table was the focal point.

    A potent, unspoken, tableau.

    Each of the kitchens you show just as powerful in what is not said.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  10. Bravo. So many ways to have a great kitchen. If you are working from scratch, you should be able to have you cake and eat it too.

    I do like the "fireplace in the kitchen" look but I don't like the "heroic hood" look. As with mantels and door surrounds, hoods can be quiet and look great.

    What I want in a kitchen is comfort, clarity, light, air, and lots of happy people - especially comfortable happy people. In my rambles I'm leaning towards kitchens with a more modern, lean look, where kitchen lends it look and volume to the rest of the house.

  11. I would take any one of these kitchens... wall ovens or not... they are all just gorgeous! I love the work by Tracery Interiors... they are genius!

  12. I agree, Terry - possibly the most important aspect of kitchen design is that the 'kitchen lends its look and volume to the rest of the house'. It is not necessarily about 'the traditional rules' - the work triangle, the thought that you must have a window with a sink underneath, you must have this countertop, you must have that appliance.

    Tara - thank you for this lovely comment. 'Each of the kitchens you show just as powerful in what is not said' - I am now going to go through and look at every picture once again with this quote in mind!

  13. I love the Victoria Hagan, Gwyn Duggan and Christopher Peacock kitchens but that very first one is hard not to wish for as my dream kitchen. What scares me the most is how much I change my mind about what I like and want. How will you ever decide which way to go in your new house?

  14. You don't post often, but your posts are the best. I learn from your blog, see things in a new way.

  15. The design for the kitchen in my new house was locked in fairly early on - as it had to be designed for the shape and style of the house, as well as the limitations of the lot.

    The design has a range on the wall with a plaster hood over it. That side of the house is the least private, and having a large window over a sink would not have been the optimal layout.

    Looking through all of these pictures, there is not one picture that is exactly like what we are doing, although my kitchen will certainly have the look and feel of some of these examples.

    This might be the start of a few kitchen posts...I just thought of another post idea!

  16. Hi Holly,

    Sorry so absent from the comments! Great post. So much must be considered when planning a kitchen design besides the work triangle. My own kitchen's layout is very similar to these... sink in island and windows flanking hood. I do have wall ovens on a wall opposite the hood (where there is no view) and thought it was a good idea 7 + years ago when we remodeled. If I had to do it over I would go with a nice big range instead of the wall ovens. Smart choice!


  17. Windows and custom hood details are 2 elements I try to put in every home and kitchen design that we do. For me the custom hood detail is a great focal point and I want it to take center stage in the kitchen. Since all of our cabinetry is built-on-site by true craftsman I want every clients kitchen to have a true show piece.

    With the comment on the wall oven / range top combination vs. the range option there are pros and cons for each design in my opinion. I personally for our current home and our next home (just selected the appliances) we will have a large 42" range top and double wall oven. I went with this due to cost and also the fact that I have 2 young children and at our cabin we have a range and they just seem to hang all over it and that worries me since I do cook and bake a lot. Also the cost was a factor. Up here a 48" Wolf range runs about $18K, where as the 48" Wolf rage top + double wall ovens cost us $13K. Also with the range I am losing some valuable oven space that I know I would miss when it comes time to entertain and cook up a storm.

    Now with the hood top and window combination, while I love this look...most kitchens are just not large enough to accommodate that style where we are, between the high cost to build and the restrictions on the uber small lots a 'large scale' kitchen would be 15X15 and 99.9% of my clients would rather have more cabinet space than additional windows.

    I love this article and most of the images you have posted I have saved or have posted on my blog as well in the past week. Since I am in the midst of appliance selection and cabinetry design on 4 homes right now including our own I feel like I am in a vortex of kitchens right now. It is your home, you have to go with your gut, but you also have to think about functionality and design. For ourselves we have to think about re-sale, the life of being married to a custom builder I guess, build-move, build-move.
    Great post, keep the inspiration coming and best of luck with your new kitchen!

    BTW, the 8th image with the stunning fulls slab marble backsplash I found on DecorPad, but no link to designer or builder.

    Melissa xo

  18. We're honored, as always, to be included and to be in such good company...each of these kitchens are beautiful. Someday I'll write a post about the beautiful images that inspired our clients' kitchen that's posted here. I do find, increasingly, that the range takes the focal location in kitchens that we design although often we'll still end up with a wall of windows somewhere to compliment the heaviness of a range/hood wall.

    Another beautiful and well research post, Holly!

  19. I love your kitchen inspiration photos...
    I prefer a sink at a window, not in the island! I also love a range hood made of wood for a focal point.
    we just did our kitchen and had no window to put the sink in front of,but I love it, and it works. Check out my blog and go to my post calle My Kitchen. It's not as fancy, but I think it's perfect!


  20. Holly,
    This design style definately has it's roots firmly planted in European sensibilities. If you can still incorporate most of the other elements you desire, it's a stunning and practical choice!

  21. Such gorgeous kitchens, but the one by Victoria Hagan is fantastic-might add wooden blinds to the windows, but love how bright and charming it is!

  22. Holly,
    These are some over-the-top beautiful kitchens. Thanks for sharing.

  23. If we had redone the kitchen in this house we would have put the range on the wall for just the reason you are describing. I think Victoria Hagan does especially great kitchens for families - and, don't be so sure about your daughter. I don't know how old she is, but I was 4'10" in eighth grade. I'm almost 5'9" now.

  24. I love all the kitchens in this post. (What's not to love?)but my personal favorite is Suzanne Kasler's with the beautiful plaster or limestone hood, the darker cabinets and beautiful stone floor. It's just warmer and more to my taste. We recently built a new home (it's going to be featured in At Home in Arkansas in November, you'll have to check it out). I have a 48" Viking range with the ovens underneath and I love it. My husband is a Viking distributor which makes it nice for us. Years ago I had a similar range and really liked it. We sold that home and moved to a smaller one. There, I went back to wall ovens and never liked them as well. I'm like you, I always used the lower oven. The bending is just not an issue for me. Great post. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

  25. These are beautiful images Holly! I am always partial to the range and hood flanked by windows on the focal wall. I believe that the windows are a key component in this recipe...love the separation of light, the symmetry and sense of space it creates.

  26. "design for the kitchen in my new house was locked in fairly early" That's what I remember most in our remodel. "This is the spaces we have for the kitchen." Then the kitchen design problem was fitting all we could into the space on our budget.

  27. I loved reading through this post.. eye candy as well!

  28. Suzanne Kasler - Love her kitchen!
    Great post!

  29. Of course I love all of these images (and have blogged about some of these kitchens, too). I have a plate shelf on our vent in our kitchen, and I love it, but this was only my second choice to a window being a focal point. (We would have had to rework everything to get a window there.) I don't know if it is the southern girl in me, or what, but I I love looking out a window while doing dishes!

    Great post!

  30. Interesting, I had never thought about the focal point in a kitchen. My two favorite kitchens (Chatham and Harris Trail) have both - wall of windows and striking hood/range combo. I just noticed they both have a sink in the island and at the wall of windows. Good point about not wanting a wall of windows facing a close-by neighbor.

  31. I love the best of both worlds solution--the window over the sink and a hood/range as a focal point. If I had to decide between the two, because the kitchen was not in a corner, I would opt for the window above the sink--because that is where you spend the most time in a kitchen. I for one, don't spend lots of time over the stove. I put food on...and let it simmer on its own. But, prep work and washing dishes is done over the sink...So, that gets my vote. Great post!

  32. First: blush, humiliation. A quote? So embarrassing!!!!!!!!

    I still love the Atlanta kitchen with the check curtians.

    The one with that gorgeous slab of carrier -no source-is stunning.

    The Victoria h leaves me a little cold for some reason.

    I can't wait to see your finished kitchen! Thanks again for the shout out. That was over a year ago?????? Wow.

  33. As someone else noted, I think that a kitchen with the range as the focal point of the main wall works best when there is a wall of windows or a door or something that is a major source of natural light in a house - and this often happens when the kitchen is in a wing, or when the kitchen is tucked into the house and the perimeter of the house is reserved for windows and light. My sister in law's kitchen is designed this way. Her architect originally designed the kitchen along the perimeter of the house, and she changed it so that the kitchen is more on the inside, and the breakfast room (with lots of windows) is on the outside - and it was a great decision. She gets to look out at a great view while she is at the sink dealing with dishes and clean up.

  34. Love this post! I also gravitate to kitchens that have the range & hood as a focal point. An island with main sink across is ideal too. You have included some beautiful examples here. Love the last kitchen (bench seating at the counter seems so cozy), but am not sure about the glass front fridge... Not sure if I want all my food on display.

    Lovely post!


  35. I love the look of a big window in the kitchen that comes right down to the countertop. The kitchens in you inspiration pictures are beautiful, but I'd prefer a big window as the focal point -- as long as it looks out at something that's nice to look at :-)


  36. This is such an interesting conversation and Steve and I are honored to have our work included!
    Coincidently, Steve and I were talking about kitchen design last night. I said that for our next kitchen I would like to create a room that didn't even look like a kitchen. Yes, it would have a range (no wall ovens) and a sink, but I wouldn't want any "cabinetry" or a hood. I'd like it to feel like a room that just happens to be where we cook. Recently, Joni has been featuring kitchens with a similar feel: open shelves above, skirted shelves below, a large antique piece in the middle that acts as an island, a relaxed seating area...
    In my opinion, this would be the epitome of a "European Kitchen".


  37. I have always liked euro style kitchens that use living room elements - soft furnishings, drapes, rugs - all used within reason.
    Funnily my humble house in the hood, has the hood and stove as the focal point. Who knew I was so in vogue.
    I don't know how you keep so sane and calm with all these big decisions to make.
    xo xo

  38. I so enjoyed this kitchen post! I esp loved reading about ranges as 'focal points'. I had always looked at that aspect of designing a kitchen as purely utilitarian, ie - if you were a cook, the range was the focal point, rather than from a design point of view. If not alot of cooking, seems kind of odd to make stove focal point, don't you think?

    I would love to see you break this topic into 2 posts -one on hoods and the decorative options and the other on cooktops w/ separate wall ovens vs ranges. You always present both options so thoroughly - just a thought!

    Another thought - whenever I see kitchens with tile backsplashes behind the stove, I can't help but think cleaning nightmare?

  39. Great Post! Too often, I think kitchens are all about the surfaces/materials used and less about the best layout for function and overall impact. I loved reading your thoughts on both! Mandi.

  40. Love your blog! - and this post! - so much that I couldn't help but feature it as one of my favorite Labor Day weekend posts on my blog, "It's So Fabulous!". Hope that's ok! Here's a link to the post.... http://www.knottinghillinteriors.com/blog/?p=2777 . Hope you are having a great Labor Day!

  41. In your new home, if you design the sink to be across from the range in your island, keep in mind that if you have a counter height bar you will be able to see all the dirty pots, pans, cookie sheets, etc. in the sink from whatever room your kitchen opens up to, witch I assume is the entrance to the kitchen. This can be extremely unattractive and no matter how beautiful the kitchen is, it will be the first thing you notice when you walk in. Trust me, we have this in our home. Just a thought.

  42. Holly
    All of these are fabulous. Really though if I had to choose, well I couldn't! Each one is superb in design and I could make coffee in any of them!

  43. i can't wait to see the results of your online decision making process- you have us all eagerly anticipating! gorgeousness to be sure...

  44. I would have to say the tammy connor kitchen won me over, simple and perfect.

  45. Great post! That Victoria Hagan kitchen has been in my files for quite some time - I do know you can see additional pictures of the house on the website of the architect - Oscar Shamamian....it is the "Nantucket" house in the portfolio! (Unfortunately no other shots of the kitchen, though!)

  46. Holly,

    Hi. How are you? I LOVE your last image. What a beautiful inspiration for a kitchen! My hood is a focal point & I love it. How is the house coming? I hope well. Glad to be back after my blog break.


  47. Great post. And as I am planning a kitchen remodel in a our new (to us) home that we are moving in next year... this gives me a lot to think about (even though I am limited by existing walls).

  48. I am absolutely blown away. Like breathless.

    Anna :)

  49. Great discussion. The rangeL(hood) as the focal is definitely not an eye sore. Love the European influence and so many interesting architectural styles to choose from. Oh which one will you choose?

  50. I'm laughing here, because I always thought the range/hood as a focal point was part of West Coast design. *cough* It also helps to have those high ceilings too, doesn't it? Wouldn't work half so well (okay, at all) with 8 foot ceilings.

    Love seeing them all, and seeing how you changed your mind! Glad to see I'm not the only one! *grin*

  51. Love all of your inspiration pictures. In fact, several are ones that were in my files as well. I have the range/oven combo but the window over my sink is probably the focal point. I'm not sure which direction I would go if I could have started from scratch. I think in the end it is what works with the space...and in my case the window was already there. So, we went with that! Enjoy the planning and dreaming phase!!

  52. I notice in the kitchen by Mick De Giulio - which is one of my favorites - that the tiles are horizontal. Have you noticed, though, that there's a trend to install tiles vertically? It has a very striking effect, particularly in more modern schemes.

  53. I love my wall ovens on the wall ha!
    These kitchens are so grand ...love them all.


  54. Beautiful kitchens! We're starting a remodeling project Thursday, so kitchens have been on my mind. The range as a focal point looks good,but I really wouldn't want the main sink in the island. Dirty dishes seem to pile up around the sink, so I think putting it along a wall is preferable. A vegetable sink in the island would be nice.

  55. This is such a wonderful post and I loved reading all the comments. I adore the look of a more pieced together "European" kitchen. I think the reason they always look so chic and not sterile/uniform is that they tend to move cabinetry and furniture from home to home - the cabinets, etc. are truly furniture. Such an intersting concept - I wonder if it will ever happen here. That Victoria Hagan kitchen is one of my faves! Thanks for all the eye candy!

  56. Great images. I'm still clinging to some of my kitchen file favorites, but I do admit that I have gravitated to, and collected a few examples of, the newer look of the range/hood framed by windows.

  57. i love that last one...it is modern without trying to hard to be.
    and the symmetry is yums. i could just stare at it all day.
    but for my taste i like smaller kitchens...caves. but i want these caves to be outfitted with furniture style appliances and cabinets.
    we are all waiting with baited breath to see your shit!!!!

  58. Our house was built 10 years ago...when I knew nothing about any of this, or what I wanted! So, I ended up with a range in the center island, it has a pop of vent that comes up with the press of a button when you cook...its the worst. My sink is under a window, the focus of the room, this is actually very pretty. So jealous that you get to thoughtfully and intelligently pick out all these components...love the marble back splash kitchen, and all of these gorgeous vented hoods...and like Jenny, can't wait to see the house when its finished! :)

  59. You might be one of the smartest people I know. How wise to think through things so throughly. The only thing I can add to what you said and to the comments is that I would choose the wall with the most light, and I would put a huge window there... I love light kitchens, and I would try to get it as bright as possible. I'm sorry I am no mire help, but I trust you will make a very wise choice that will be the perfect one. I can't wait to see you tomorrow!

  60. Although the photos with the range and hood are nice, I still prefer the first photo with the window as the focal point. I think that is the ideal, but few people have the ideal kitchen layout, so the second vision of having the stove as the focal point is also nice.

  61. These are some absolutely glorious kitchens, but I cannot say that I necessarily like the idea of the oven by the window. Although that may have a lot to do with the fact that we do not have a window in our kitchen, and never will. It originally had a sliding door right next to it that gave light, then the original owners added a family room right where the original sliding door opened into the yard. So if we were able to put in a large window, that's what we would do. But I guess you always want whatever you don't have!

  62. I love that you take design seriously enough to post information, sources, and reason with your pretty pictures. It helps those of us who aren't professionals understand why something works. Not only was every one of your kitchens beautiful, but it was interesting to see the differences you pointed out. I LOVE a good range, but also lots of windows so the idea of putting it between 2 windows is perfection. Hopefully when I buy a house someday it has the ability to do just that. Might have to resort to building my own dream house though. Thank you so much for this post!

  63. Your first picture, with the window featured prominently, is a kitchen that reminds me of one in the movie "The Big Chill". So many scenes of that movie were filmed in the kitchen. Back then I loved that the big table was in the middle of the kitchen, not something we ever experienced growing up, living in apartments. Really like your pictures.

  64. I love all of these kitchen designs! My favorite thing in them is having an island large enough to fit several chairs. When I was remodelling my kitchen, I tried to design it so that I would have 3 -4 chairs around it, but we just couldn't do it. I would have had to sacrifice storage in the island which I didn't want to do.

    We were conflicted about whether to have 2 sinks -- one main one under a window and one at the island. We ended up installing 2 and I'm very happy that we did. We use both all the time!

  65. I agree with having the range with hood the focal point. It sets the personality of the room. We went around and around with the same decision, Do we do a range or stove top and wall ovens? I am 5' 10" and husband 6'. I design kitchen everyday but it is always harder when it is your own. Our final decision, We went with the range and love, love, love it! Now I am Designing our new house that were are going to build and because I have plenty of building space I get to design the entire house around the kitchen. I will use a Range this time around.

  66. Kitchens, in my opinion, are one of the most important rooms in the house and used to be so overlooked. I love a separate kitchen from the Dining room. I tend to prefer modern with character and great architectural elements. the last kitchen is just perfect! I wished I had space in my house for an old fashioned butler's pantry....

  67. Very informative post. I just happen to love the kitchen sink under a window to the backyard--maybe because I grew up with this image in mind... washing the dishes whilst watching the kids frolic in the backyard: a domestic bliss! Also for me its practical not ot have the island covered with drying pots pans and dishes...likely to be the case in "real-life" working kitchens. Just my 2 cents. Love the blog...Ann @ housefinally.blogspot

  68. Dear Holly,
    What a great post! I love how thoughtful you are about every facet in creating your new home. The new designs make the back splash, hood, and windows - all three - into focal points for the kitchen. I bet it's better from a construction standpoint as well, as the exhaust from the hood would go straight out. Thanks for sharing!

  69. This is truly inspirational. Great looking kitchen designs where everyone can get some great ideas. The designs are just lovely!

  70. Very creative. You did an awesome job!

  71. I am so grateful I stumbled upon this site! I absolutely love your aesthetic. I had pulled a magazine photo of the waterworks egg and dart faucet years ago. I am in the process of a kitchen renovation and have to select counter tops imminently. I too, love marble but with 4 children I just can't use it. I found a beautiful corian by Martha Stewart called Sea Salt, but my husband is concerned about scratches and he thinks it has a 'plasticy' feel. With this particular sample, I disagree. It is just gorgeous and reminds me of a white beach with subtle movement. The other option at this time is a Silestone product called Lagoon. Unfortunately it is brand new and I can't find a decent sized sample anywhere. Silestone doesn't even have them to send. I may drive 3 hours to Michigan to see a slab at the nearest fabricator I could find. If anyone has photos with either Sea Salt or Lagoon Silestone counter tops I would be so appreciative!



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