French Touches Translate Nicely to Kitchen

A fireplace, white marble and La Cornue range are just a few of the distinct details in that make this kitchen design fresh and upscale.
By: Rose Kennedy

Mick De Giulio used fresh details and approaches in an open and luxurious kitchen he designed for clients with a world view, from a pristine, sink- and appliance-free island topped with white marble to a substantial, room-defining fireplace. His work is always innovative, but he never thinks in terms of setting trends or following them.

"For any design, I consider only what is the best thing to do in that particular space, making sure it will have a long life of classic beauty in your kitchen," says the 30-year design veteran, who founded de Giulio Kitchen Design in Chicago in 1984. "The pot rack, for example, or the island, are both very important elements, but they're not done for trends' sake but for function. Each component was done very carefully and designed responsibly with an aesthetic that held true."

If you're considering a kitchen fireplace, naturally all the safety issues have to be addressed, but you should only indulge after careful consideration of your space, De Giulio says. "Look at in terms of the way the room lays out, how people will cluster around it, how it feels comfortable," he says. Because it will likely be a centering point in the room, it will only work in a spacious kitchen; make sure to leave several yards between the fire and any seating and additional space to accommodate traffic flow.

One of the special choices De Giulio made for this special space was a handmade La Cornue range, which hails from France. "It's the only range line I know of with both electric and gas ovens," he says. "That makes a big difference because each type of fuel gives better results for certain types of cooking. The gas is better for cooking that requires a bit of moisture in the heat, like roasts, while the electric is better for dishes that require a dryer heat — flaky pastry, for example."

De Giulio emphasizes that while this naturally vaulted oven dovetailed nicely in the French-influenced kitchen, "there are many other great products out there," he says. "Another great choice is the Wolf convection oven with its sealed gas cooktop; it offers more of a stainless-steel element. It all depends on the kitchen and the client."

Mick De Giulio
de Giulio Kitchen Design
Chicago, Ill.

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