Magazine article Sunset

Great Kitchen Solutions: What Is Your Vision of the Perfect Kitchen? We've Found Three Inspiring Designs with a Wealth of Ideas for You to Borrow

Magazine article Sunset

Great Kitchen Solutions: What Is Your Vision of the Perfect Kitchen? We've Found Three Inspiring Designs with a Wealth of Ideas for You to Borrow

Article excerpt

Artful environment

It's no surprise that the owner of this Denver kitchen is an artist who works with a mix of materials. Meg Miller wanted the kitchen in her new house to be a feast for the eyes, as well as a central gathering place for family and friends. "I wanted innovative ideas, not just the usual granite countertops," she says. So she and her design team dreamed up an L-shaped space with back-painted glass cabinets and a large concrete- and mosaic tile-topped island at the center. According to Miller, the new kitchen functions as "a living room--it's where we hang out, where my kids do their homework every night, and where we have casual meals." There's even wine storage built into the cabinetry. "Everything about the space is purposeful," she says.

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DOUBLE-DUTY ISLAND The kitchen is designed around a 6- by 10-foot island with a range on one side and a spacious breakfast counter on the other. A curve in the island makes it easier for the family to see each other when they're seated.

MOSAIC-TILE SURFACE Strips of pearlescent mosaic tile (in hues ranging from amber to seafoam green) run across the top of the island, adding texture while covering seams in the concrete. The tile strips continue up the posts supporting a glass shelf that serves to divide the space.

GLASS-CABINET COLOR Miller used back-painted glass in a lively green for upper cabinet doors to reflect light and pick up the greens of the mosaic tile.

EFFICIENT STORAGE Countertop appliances like mixers and toasters are stored in the glass-fronted cabinets; garbage and recycling receptacles are below the sink.

STEALTH APPLIANCE The refrigerator is hidden behind back-painted glass cabinet doors to the right of the double ovens.

WOOD FLOORING To avoid a cold, austere look with all the glass and concrete, Miller chose a floor of engineered wood in antiqued hickory, which is a rich, nutty brown.

INFO Architect: Kevin Stephenson, Semple Brown Design, Denver (www.sbdesign-pc.com or 303/571-4137). Kitchen design: Donna McMahon, the Open Cupboard, Lakewood, CO (303/232-0755). Resources: See page 122.--DANIEL GREGORY

Multitasking family zone

Like a memorable recipe, a great kitchen remodel starts with key ingredients. "We asked the designers to squeeze a lot into our slender 12 1/2- by 19-foot space," says Amy Fleisher. She requested a center island, a generous counter for food preparation, a breakfast nook, and a mudroom (since the back door opens right into the kitchen) for her Seattle home. The new layout gives Fleisher the work area she needs while providing plenty of space for 5-year-old Jack and 1-year-old Peter. And it's all integrated seamlessly into a 1905 Craftsman-style house. "Although the remodel was a big change from the old kitchen, people who haven't been here before think it's all original," Fleisher says.

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FRESH COLOR SCHEME For a subtle contrast to the white trim, walls and a niche above the range are painted a soft yellow-green.

FLEXIBLE LIGHTING Ceiling-mounted can lights, lights below cabinets, and pendant lights over the island and nook create multiple options for a variety of tasks.

DURABLE FLOORING With active children and a lot of in and out during wet weather, a tough, easy-to-clean floor is essential. …

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