2021 Best Kitchens Under $75,000

by Tracy Hegg


Warm & Moody


Mia Tessa, Chatsworth, CA

The challenge driving this project was the need to deliver a visually striking modern kitchen at an affordable price, utilizing innovative materials and technologies to create modular storage solutions. Sleek dark cabinetry combined with wood tones creates an ambiance that is at once dark and moody yet warm and inviting. “We skillfully balanced form, style and function, weaving materials, textures and finishes to transform a simple room into a purposeful space that has heart and soul,” notes Zack Kami.

The contrasting cabinet tones and finishes are achieved using a combination of Stylelite Carbon, Colombia Classic Core and Lioher Pacific Roble Golden. Aventos and Tip On hardware and drawers from BLUM add to the overall functionality of the space.

The mixed wood shades of dark and light continue in the island, which features a darker higher base with prep sink, dishwasher and drawer microwave. The lower table extension sports the paler wood finish. The extended island offers plenty of prep and seating room, ideal for entertaining friends and family.

Along the perimeter, a 48″ Wolf Range with pot filler, integrated Sub-Zero refrigerator and Elkay black quartz sink add function, with a textured countertop and backsplash adding visual interest and overhead lighting providing illumination for tasks. Glass globe pendants hang above the textured dark countertops of the island, adding a modern sparkle.


Chic Blues


RS Mannino Architects + Builders, Rutherford, NJ

Photos: Julie Blackstock, Blackstock Photography

For the clients, a young family of four, a functional yet welcoming kitchen for both cooking and socializing was a necessity. In order to brighten up the space a skylight was added, which was centered over a custom hood by Stanisci Design & Manufacturing. 

Rosario Mannino also chose a cheerful color palette for the frameless full overlay cabinet from Mannino Cabinetry to bring vibrance to the room and highlight the clients’ modern style. The base cabinets and island are finished in Benjamin Moore’s Newbury Port Blue to coordinate with the design of the adjoining living area, while the upper and tall cabinets are white to add brightness. Silestone Eternal Calacatta Gold countertops in a Suede finish from Cosentino add to the clean modern look, as does the 3″x12″ Wall Spike white tile with gray grout backsplash.

Dacor appliances include a gas range, microwave drawer, French door counter-depth refrigerator and panel-ready dishwasher. In order to maximize storage, two flanking pantries were created in the L-shaped eat-in kitchen. Warm finishes, such as the Champagne Bronze on the Trinsic faucet from Delta Faucet and the honey bronze of the Channing hardware from Top Knobs, coordinates with the globe pendant lights and red oak flooring.


Timeless Transitional


Hannesson Home, Billings, MT

Photos: Nathan Satran Nathan Satran Photography 

The goal for this kitchen was to create a space that was both warm and timeless, featuring a transitional style with clean, elegant lines and an inviting color palette. Jessica Hannesson and Alexandra Shrauger chose inset cabinets from Omega Cabinetry in a soft, pale neutral for the back wall of the kitchen, finished with crown moulding for a more formal effect.

A contrasting warm brown shade was selected for the island, with all of the cabinets topped with a creamy slab with warm brown veining and finished with hardware from the Grace Collection from Top Knobs. The island features seating on one side, with a white apron front sink and classic bridge faucet on the other. A dishwasher is strategically placed to the right of the sink. Classic black and white pendants hang above the island, coordinating with the black framing on the windows throughout the open space.

The back wall includes wall ovens, a gas cooktop and French door refrigerator. A custom hood went through several designs before one was chosen that balanced with the cabinetry and overall aesthetics of the room.


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