Best Kitchen $75,000-$150,000
Sandra Diaz-Velasco, EOLO A&I Design, Miami, FL
Creating a space for entertaining that capitalized on the spectacular view of Key Biscayne was the assignment for Sandra Diaz-Velasco of Eolo A&I Design. Diaz-Velasco partnered with Sanandres Construction for the gut renovation of this outdated, 1960s-era condo in Miami and created a kitchen that seamlessly integrates with the living and dining areas.
While an open floorplan and island were requested, constraints with the aging building included structural columns that could not be removed and a laundry area that had to remain in the space, limiting what could be done in the 365-sq.-ft. area. As a result, the design had to be built around existing elements, limiting the flexibility of the plan.
Diaz-Velasco addressed the narrow kitchen entrance by installing a curved wall connecting the foyer and living area to the kitchen, laying the groundwork for a motif of curves and circles throughout the design. She eliminated the kitchen island altogether, opting instead to maximize storage by hiding appliances behind false doors and grouping the tallest appliances together to achieve balance and flow.
The back wall includes custom contemporary cabinetry with glass front doors and open shelving. A Franke Cube stainless steel sink with Franke Planar 8 polished chrome faucet sits in the corner, paired with a paneled Bosch 800 Series dishwasher. A floating Cambria quartz countertop moves from the sink, curving along the wall to the cooking area and beyond to the bar that overlooks the ocean view. In the cooking space, a Cylindra Isola Island Range Hood from Faber sits above the cooktop, complementing the curves of the space. A Thermador 30″ Single Built-in Oven and Thermador 24″ Microdrawer Microwave were incorporated into a space just beyond the central kitchen, along with a 36″ Fully Integrated Refrigerator and Freezer from Liebherr.
In lieu of an island, a dining table was added in the center of the design, providing space for eating and entertaining while integrating into the social spaces of the living area. Above it, a delicate sculptural chandelier continues the theme of curvature and transparency.
Paul Bentham, Lauren Levant Interior, Pittsburgh, PA
While more traditional in design, the new kitchen in this historic home in the Pittsburgh, PA area provides a fresh and updated appeal. Designed by Paul Bentham of Lauren Levant Interior, the kitchen was created as a space for the family to connect at the beginning and end of the day. Distinctly separated from the formal dining area by pocket doors, the 310-sq.-ft. kitchen functions as a cooking and conversation hub.
The available space for the new kitchen was narrow and limited in size and had the additional challenge of a central and sizable structural post. It was decided that the beam would work best if situated inside of a centralized island, and, as a result, the island became a creative arrangement, including a work side incorporating a white Kohler prep sink, Newport Brass faucet and Wolf microwave and an entertaining side with beverage storage, topped with Dekton Entzo countertops from Cosentino. A dining side with a custom countertop in Rift Cut Oak with Espresso Stain from Quality Custom Countertops is featured opposite the prep space. Below, a bank of QCCI cabinets in the Lavelle door style in white provide significant storage and match the cabinetry opposite, which features a full-size white Kohler sink, Newport Brass faucet and Miele dishwasher situated under a bank of windows framed in black moulding. Hardware from Omnia Industries and House of Antique hardware is featured throughout the space.
To the left of the sink sits a Pro 48″ range, topped with a range hood, in black with brass details, both from Bertazzoni. A full wall of three-dimensional sculptured subway tile from Myorka leads around the turn to a full-height pantry cabinet in QCCI’s Lavelle door style in a black painted finish. On the opposite wall, a large refrigerator and freezer from Miele were integrated in a decorative armoire to honor the home’s historic setting.
Mike Brown, Paragon Kitchens, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Resale was top of mind for the design of this kitchen, as it was part of a new-build in an executive town home located in Guelph, Ontario. Mike Brown of Paragon Kitchens was tasked with creating a warm, transitional space that would appeal to a wide audience.
While Brown was given a blank slate with which to create the 300-sq.-ft. kitchen, there was a specified space in the layout for its placement, and set parameters – such as the patio door and HVAC locations – had to be dealt with.
The HVAC location was hidden behind the upper cabinetry and a triple-stacked beveled crown moulding application, all by Miralis Fine Custom Cabinetry in Nimbus gray. The upper cabinets included glass fronts and open shelving to be used for display. The overall greige perimeter cabinets lend a classic yet modern appeal to the space, and are complemented with hardware from Berenson in a Graphite finish.
Opposite the window wall is the main appliance area, which includes a Bosch refrigerator and wall ovens, as well as a Panasonic built-in microwave. Along the back wall, a 36″ Bosch gas cooktop is set into a Cambria quartz countertop in Carrick, with a Faber Tratto range hood above. The backsplash provides a bright white contrast to the grays along the wall, finished in Ona Blanco tile from Porcelanosa. A Marvel 24″ bar refrigerator sits at the end of the run of cabinetry.
Miralis also provided the island cabinetry – a solid maple with Portabello stain for a warmer complement to the perimeter. A waterfall quartz countertop in Brittanicca from Cambria adds a modern element, with stools tucked underneath on one side. A Blanco Precis Cascade sink is paired with Trinsic Brushed Nickel faucet from Delta Faucet, with a Bosch dishwasher aiding in clean up.
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