•Design your kitchen with form and function.
•Mix professional-style fixtures with handcrafted details.
When it comes to kitchens, good looks and efficiency needn’t be mutually exclusive. In their quest for the perfect marriage of beauty and convenience, today’s savvy designers are creating kitchens that are meant to do more than just cook.
"I approach a kitchen in a very holistic way. It is equivalent in importance to a living room or a library," says East Coast designer Mary Douglas Drysdale. "As the center of the home it must be an effective place to entertain, to dine, to sit and enjoy moments with family."
This Drysdale-designed kitchen, like an admired and envied best friend, seems to have it all: classic good looks, up-to-the-minute appliances, an affinity for company and custom features that make it refreshingly unique. Materials use contrast to advantage: Wood and natural stone elements juxtapose with stainless steel. Special handcrafted touches on the cabinets and center island add layers of detail and interest. And the mirrored wall and coved ceiling provide a sense of added dimension.
The sandstone-hued center island and cabinets are hand-painted and stenciled, for a sophisticated yet playful touch. The addition of crown molding on the cabinetry adds architectural detailing while concealing the indirect lighting. Limestone countertops and custom mosaic flooring lend elegance to the room's character.
The island, conveniently located for ease of use and traffic flow, has space for seating, as well as storage and a stove. A large wine storage and display unit, with stainless steel wine cooler and wine racks, complements and adds continuity to the professional style of the appliances and fixtures.
The sunburst mirror, lightly hand-painted, draws the eye to the sink and stove, emphasizing the functional order of the kitchen. The handcrafted forged-iron pot rack does double duty as another stunning focal point. As Drysdale describes it, the pot rack serves as "a wonderful chandelier that is expressive artistically and also useful."
Drysdale's expert use of color and texture shines throughout the space. Her signature touches include the hand-painting on the cabinetry and chair; the tactile appeal of the forged iron in the pot rack , trivets and pot handles; and the unifying thread of color in the accessories, custom-made aprons and potholders.
When beauty and efficiency blend and join forces, the result can be a partnership that serves the needs of a solo chef or the whole family equally well. Call it the ideal kitchen relationship.