Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Real Living Room: Part I

Design by Peter Dunham

I will go ahead and admit it: I am no chef. Not even close. I make coffee and that's about it. But, since my move to a home with a kitchen that is less than six feet wide and counterspace at a premium, I have come to appreciate this room quite a bit more.

Design by Phoebe Howard

Many kitchens (especially those exceeding 42 square feet) are truly the heart of a home, where the family congregates and meals, stories, and laughs are shared. In that way, they seem to be the truest living rooms of all.

Design by Krista Ewart

I think what I appreciate so much in these featured kitchens is that they look like actual rooms. It seems so often that the style of the kitchen is disjointed from the rest of the home. It is understandably hard to create that synergy between the kitchen's modern appliances and materials and other living spaces' more traditional (or, sometimes, antique) furnishings.

However, I believe these designers have created rooms that carry the feeling, colors, and style from the rest of the home into the kitchen just beautifully. (Isn't that little pink fridge above so fun? It is a line called Smeg, carried by Sears. Even cooler is the fact that for every pink fridge sold, Smeg will donate $100 to the American-Italian Cancer Foundation.)

Kitchen by Phoebe Howard

Design by Katie Ridder

I think the use of color and accessories, like rugs, aides in creating warmth and carries the style of the home into the kitchen. I love the rug in the kitchen by Peter Dunham at the top, the cabinets in the kitchen by Mrs. Howard (they look like beautiful French doors), and the chairs used by Miss Ridder above. All of these items bring texture to the space that typical cabinets and countertops alone could not.

Design by Hal Williamson

Even limited space is not an issue for these talented designers. The narrow kitchen above becomes an exotic and sunny sitting area due to large windows and the whimsical banana-leaf wallpaper (a Beverly Hills Hotel signature), while the one below is made cozy with warm colors and interesting details, like the round window, vintage pendant fixtures, and checkerboard floor.

Design by Cathy Kincaid

I think this is a perfect room to end with today. It is elegant, comfortable, and efficiently functional. Great design all around!

Have a great day! 

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