Best Kitchen

An Expanded Galley  |  Konstrukcio Studio
When a breakfast nook can be transformed into a glorious walk-in pantry, talented designs skills are in play. Such was the case with local architect Marta Rozanich and her client’s kitchen makeover. “The most challenging thing was the original galley kitchen wasn’t wide enough to allow for an island, which was on the client’s wish list,” Marta explains of the four-month project. “As I was taking measurements, I found what I thought was a bit of a cavity between the fireplace on the other side of the kitchen and the kitchen wall.” A bit of explorative wallboard and ceiling removal and Marta and her team were able to push the kitchen wall out enough — and also remove the existing chimney, converting the wood fireplace to a vent-free gas version — to allow room for an island with seating. The floors were Reclamation porcelain stone tiles by Crossville Tile, and custom white and walnut cabinets coupled with quartz countertops made a clean, contemporary space. “Counters that are too close together make for a congested kitchen, while if they are too far apart you lose efficiency,” says Marta. “And counter space next to the cooktop or range is huge. You need at least 24 inches to the side for a large cutting board.” A set of sleek Metro pendant lights in antique bronze and gold by Kalco hang above the island, while a set of open walnut shelves highlight dimensional Iris pattern, handmade ceramic tiles in black matte from Bottega Design Gallery.

A Family-Style Kitchen Reno  |  Paxton Place Design
In the process of converting a client’s residence from traditional to more modern, Paxton Place Design principal Stacie McCans took on a major kitchen reno for a busy family with four children. “We tore out a few walls and sealed a doorway,” Stacie says of the massive overhaul. “We also took a closet from the garage and used it for part of the pantry and enlarged the island.” A sophisticated color palette of black and white kept the look simple but contemporary, with a charcoal porcelain floor tile throughout and Benjamin Moore Black Beauty on the lower cabinets to help anchor the floor. The walls and upper cabinets were kept crisp white. “I wanted your eye to look up,” says Stacie, adding she always ensures upper cabinets meet the ceiling. “Every time. It adds height, drama, elegance and sophistication to any style.” The bright white was the ideal backdrop to highlight the black-and-white stone countertops and hexagon-shaped mosaic tile backsplash. “This was the jewelry of the project,” adds Stacie of the latter. “It was more expensive, but it gave the pop and drama we needed.” Oversized nickel hardware also added extra shine, as did the gleaming silver bar stools and oversized pendant lights, all from Paxton Place Design. And the client’s love of royal blue made for the perfect pop of color on the sliding barn door that partitions the laundry room; then Stacie incorporated orange cubbies to break up the gray-and-white striped wall. “It was fun and electric,” she says. “I wanted to keep it unexpected.”

Charming in Blue  |  Beckley Design Studio
Pretty is as pretty does with this amazing kitchen makeover — another project by Beckley Design Studio. A little blue and a lot of white resulted in a beautifully charming space, one that hadn’t technically existed prior. “The old kitchen and dining room were completely gutted to allow for the new larger kitchen layout,” says Kelley. “We also added a pantry and a butler’s pantry that open up into the new dining room.” Stained oak wood floors created a warm base — and also tied together the open floor plan — for the otherwise light and bright palette. The cabinets were painted Sherwin Williams Pure White and the island in Van Deusen Blue by Benjamin Moore. The blue hues were echoed in the bar stools from Design Master Furniture that were upholstered in laminated Schumacher Fabric for easy cleaning for the young family of four. “This client loves blue and white and was willing to take a risk with a bold backsplash,” adds Kelley of the visually stunning painted concrete tiles, “and it worked out beautifully.” The unique rounded island countertop was also perfectly suited, as it’s one of the most used areas in the home where the family often sits for meals, snacks and homework. For a unique and warming detail, bronze accents were added. “It all started with the faucet,” says Kelley. “We took the client to a local plumbing showroom, and she fell in love with both its function and aesthetic.” The design team then matched it to other metal finishes, such as the antique burnished brass light fixtures from Visual Comfort and the hood in a metallic paint by Scuffmaster.