Tour This Classically-Chic Chef's Kitchen
Move over family room, the kitchen has become the undisputed hub of today's homes. But, unlike formal rooms whose primary purpose is to look good when guests arrive, the kitchen is a functional space where feeding hungry hordes is on the menu daily. Designing a kitchen that works hard while looking stylish can be challenging, especially when that kitchen is for a family of four who love to cook large Italian meals for themselves and lavishly entertain guests.
San Diego, California-based designer Tatiana Machado-Rosas was up to the challenge, creating an award-winning chef's kitchen that serves up plenty of hidden storage for both everyday and entertaining essentials. The space's durable surfaces stand up to wear and tear, all wrapped up in a timelessly tasteful package that will look just as stylish 10 years from now as it does today.
Before the remodel, the kitchen was in an underused area of the home cut off from the family's main living areas. Tatiana convinced the homeowners to relocate it to better take advantage of sweeping views of the property and to connect it to the family room and an adjacent breakfast nook.
So the homeowners could better appreciate the natural surroundings, Tatiana installed 11-foot-high windows that wrap the corner, flooding the space with natural light.
But don't let this kitchen's star-worthy good looks fool you; it was designed to stand up to the real-world demands of feeding a family while being stylish enough to serve as the gathering spot for party guests. Tatiana's tip: "Space planning is key. There should be adequate space between the cabinets and island to ensure easy traffic flow and careful planning of storage and appliance placement to make cooking, cleaning and entertaining easy and enjoyable."
Focusing on how the space will be used when entertaining, Tatiana worked in double ovens, two dishwashers a large farmhouse sink under the bank of windows and a small prep sink in the island. Knowing that guests inevitably congregate in the kitchen, she also considered safety. "In kitchens with islands, it's important to plan the layout so guests gather on the opposite side of the countertop from the chef so cooking and socializing can happen easily and safely at the same time," she suggests.
Speaking of the chef, Tatiana didn't skimp on the range area which includes a custom stainless steel vent hood, Viking gas range, built-in spice niches and gorgeously veined Calacatta marble countertop and backsplash. Because the family loves to cook Italian food, which is typically acidic and can etch marble, Tatiana chose a honed finish rather than polished so any splatters will be less visible.
She also kept the kids in mind, carving out a sunny homework niche in the breakfast area. Around the corner, a bank of built-ins is handy for storing afterschool snacks while the X-style wine rack keeps Mom and Dad's favorite vintages within easy reach.