2021 Best Kitchens $75,000–$150,000

by Tracy Hegg


Sleek & Functional


Kimberley Harrison Interiors, Moraga, CA

Photos: Mark Gebhardt, Mark Gebhardt Photography

By incorporating an underutilized adjoining family room, designer Kimberley Harrison was able to expand the footprint of this Moraga, CA kitchen and dining room in order to create a more functional space. The finished remodel features a sleek neutral palette with three cabinetry colors and a textured tile backsplash. 

The custom European frameless flat-front cabinetry in a pale taupe was used to anchor the space and complement the Silestone Eternal Statuario honed countertop from Cosentino and textured Laja Blanco backsplash from Porcelanosa. Richelieu Hardware’s contemporary metal pull in Matte Black provides a sharp and stylish contrast to the cabinetry. The extra-long island yields ample storage and even a dog cabinet, and houses an Elkay Quartz Classic Sink in White paired with the Litze Smart Touch Pull-down Faucet in Matte Black and Luxe Gold from Brizo and Bosch integrated dishwasher.

A Fisher & Paykel 36″ French door refrigerator/freezer was integrated into the design and placed next to existing plumbing that was hidden by a complementary cabinet. Along the wall, a GE Profile 36″ 5-burner recessed gas cooktop coordinates with a Zephyr 36″ undercabinet hood. On the opposite wall encased in deep green cabinetry, a GE 27″ Smart Built-in Convection Double Wall Oven and Panasonic Compact Microwave deliver a stylish cooking station.

Across from the seating area of the island, a bar section showcases Iron Abode Custom black steel frame cabinetry with glass insert with Forge Matte Black Knurled Peg Knob. An Elkay Quartz Classic Sink in Black and Brizo Litze Bar Faucet with Square Spout in Matte Black and Luxe Gold play off the black and brass Texturo D’Oro Nero Italia Textured Tile from Artistic Tile.

The red oak flooring was given a custom refinish in order to create a less pink hue in deference to the remodeled kitchen’s modern style. Modern lighting includes the Oly Studio Merri Bowl in the dining area and Savoy Pendants in Bronze from Arteriors.


Historic Update


Behin Ha Design Studio, Jersey City, NJ


Suzumori Architecture, Brooklyn, NY

Photos: Cheng Lin 

This kitchen, located in an historic Brooklyn, NY townhouse, was designed with an eye toward honoring and working with the vintage character of the building while incorporating a clean, modern aesthetic. Featuring a layout open throughout the space, the new kitchen location takes advantage of the townhouse’s front and rear windows, providing plenty of light. 

Ann Ha, working with Shuji Suzumori, used custom ash veneer cabinets from Pure Kitchen to add to the light, bright feel of the space and provide significant storage in the 250-sq.-ft. space. Black metal open shelving poses a dramatic contrast to the light cabinetry and Leadstone C1 Bianca white quartz countertops and backsplash.

A kitchen island provides ample work and gathering space, along with a new sitting niche tucked into the south-facing bay windows. An ash-clad opening in the cabinetry provides access to the pantry, laundry space and a new powder room. Tall storage cabinets and a built-in French door refrigerator with bottom freezer from Fisher & Paykel flank the opening to the pantry area.

On the opposite wall, the Fisher & Paykel integrated dishwasher sits near the sink and faucet, along the same run as the Bertazzoni Italia Master Series range and range hood with Miele insert. Finishing the space and continuing the bright, open feel is flooring in white oak.


Bright & Brilliant


Marks-Woods Construction Services, Alexandria, VA


Braemar Cabinetry, Alexandria, VA

A bright and airy atmosphere was at the top of the client’s wish list for this kitchen update, along with white cabinets, a full-service
eating area, coffee station and plenty of prep and cook space. COVID-19 restrictions necessitated restrictive work schedules, safety protocols and watertight organization for lead designer Danielle Steele and cabinetry designer Nadia Wall, who worked with the architectural design team at Stoiber Associates. The location of the home, on historic Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, also posed a challenge for workers with regard to parking and dumpsters.

Even through adversity, the design team delivered an eye-catching space full of natural light, accentuating the high ceilings with the height of the cabinetry. Details shine throughout the space, including the glass globe hanging pendant lights that showcase an iridescent quality and the herringbone-patterned backsplash. Gold-toned hardware and faucets add warmth to the bright white space, as does the metal bar seating and rich wood floors.

A full wall of windows was added to further increase the flood of natural light into the space, which plays off the bright white of the cabinetry and the island with waterfall edge. The kitchen now delivers the sight lines the homeowners were seeking.


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