High Style in a High-End Kitchen

It's all about elegance in David McNulty's kitchen design for a sophisticated and expensive Chicago kitchen, from hand-carved friezes to fabulous freezers.

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High End Contemporary Kitchen

Most aspects of large-scale, luxury kitchen design are not something a layman should take on, says certified kitchen designer David McNulty, who has designed and produced kitchens for 16 years.

"I still run into trouble on some technicalities, 400 kitchen designs later," he says. "When you're working with dramatic carvings, custom stove hoods and other items you can't buy pre-fab, it's really beneficial to work with the experts who can do the work for you, people who specialize in kitchen design."

David worked with any number of those experts when designing this elegant kitchen for clients in this Chicago North Shore neighborhood, adding luxury touches such as a hand-carved frieze, hand-brushed glaze and crystal knobs on the cabinetry. He recommends having specialists do the work, but only after the client and the designer set the tone.

"On this job, I worked so closely with the clients to really personalize the space that we became friends," he says. "Now my wife and I go out with them every couple of months and I've done many more projects for them since that kitchen because I've gotten to know them so well."

David has these tips for those approaching (or just dreaming about) a luxury design:

Think luxury, hire locally: "The idea behind hand carvings like the molding I used in this kitchen is to employ an art form that you like or enjoy. It's not something you can find at a mass merchandiser," says David. "You can browse carvers from all over the globe on the Internet, but you really want someone in your area to do your work, a local craftsperson who is up to the challenge. I recommend calling five or six designers near you to get their recommendation and soon you'll start hearing the same names over and over and you can narrow the choice that way."

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