Best Kitchen Over $225,000



Modern Drama

Krista Agapito, S&W Kitchens, Longwood, FL


Creating an open floor plan for this Florida kitchen was especially challenging for designer Krista Agapito of S&W Kitchens, due to a range of elements. Working within the style of the 1980s build, the designer needed to tie the kitchen design into the adjoining living areas, which boasted cedar ceilings and walls as well as a stacked stone fireplace and foyer.

To begin to give the client the modern, warm look she desired, Agapito replaced the dated dark cork flooring throughout the main living area with 18″x32″ large-format light tile, which provided fewer grout joints and a cleaner vibe.

Varied ceiling heights were a major issue, as the kitchen boasted 16′-high ceilings while the surrounding spaces were just under 8′ high. The installation of beams in the kitchen added drama and brought a sense of cohesiveness. Track and pendant lighting were installed directly onto the beams, along with directional spots for function.   

Soffits and disjointed counter space had left half of the previous kitchen space basically unusable, and a tiny pass-through at the sink limited visibility and left the room feeling isolated from the adjoining living spaces. Agapito modified the pass-through, cutting it higher and lower to provide a sense of openness. The wall now features a massive amount of storage via the Poggenpohl Polar White satin kitchen cabinets and includes an Asko dishwasher and Kohler Prolific Sink with a black stainless faucet from Delta Faucet set into Caesarstone Haze quartz countertops. On the other side of the sink area, a 3″ walnut waterfall bar top from Grothouse provides a sophisticated seating area. The center island also sports the Polar White cabinets, along with a cooktop.

In keeping with the rich wood tones of the walnut countertop, Agapito incorporated pantry cabinets from Poggenpohl along the back wall that feature horizontal walnut fronts in NutTree. Appliances here include Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer columns, along with a Wolf steam oven, warming drawer and black glass coffee station. Push-to-open cabinet doors and appliances allow the wall to remain entirely handleless.

Behind pocket doors near the walnut bar area is a built-in bar that features Pebble Grey cabinets from Poggenpohl, Copacabana granite slab and a Scotsman Nugget Ice Machine.




Natural Nuances

Bana Choura, Choura Architecture PC, White Plains, NY


An open floor plan bathed in natural light with a connection to the outside was the objective for this kitchen and dining space created by Bana Choura of Choura Architecture. Though the home was in a traditional neighborhood, the client was looking for an open-flow space with a modern vibe that would connect all of the main living areas. The choice of material was derived from the challenge to keep the large space warm and comfortable while remaining formal, but not traditional.

Kitchen cabinets along the rear wall are Cesar NYC Kitchens’ Maxima 2.2 in natural walnut, complementing the frames of the large windows and 10′ floor-to-ceiling sets of bi-fold glass panel doors that flood the space with light and, when open, connect the dining room and kitchen with the exterior. Set into the cabinetry is a 400 Series wall oven and 400 Series two-door bottom-freezer refrigerator with integrated ice maker from Gaggenau.

The side walls and island incorporate solid plumbeo color paneled cabinets that provide copious amounts of storage. Along one wall, the sink and faucet are situated below the window, along with a Gaggenau 400 Series dishwasher.

On the island, a prep sink and faucet sit atop Caesarstone quartz countertops, which are featured throughout the space. A section of the island counter is Ipe wood that is raised slightly above the surface of the stone, repeating the use of the same material inside and out. Throughout the kitchen, LED lighting incorporated at the kick space creates a floating impression.

A modern wine cellar, centrally located in the house, is visible from the kitchen. Two opposite square windows that are perfectly aligned pierce through the house on both sides of the kitchen, providing views in all directions.




Historic Home Update

Sarah Robertson, Studio Dearborn, Mamaroneck, NY


Scarsdale, NY is the site of this historic home, once owned by famed Hollywood gossip columnist Walter Winchell. The home, which was gutted and fully renovated, now includes a 350-sq.-ft. kitchen that is a modern interpretation of a classic look. Designed by Sarah Robertson of Studio Dearborn, the room delivers on the desire of the homeowner – an avid cook – for a kitchen that can accommodate all of her cookware, spices and dry goods.

Custom cabinets from Schrocks of Walnut Creek in Benjamin Moore’s Rockport Gray deliver a timeless look and are paired with brass square pulls from The Foundryman. The room’s limited size meant there was no room for a pantry, so the cabinets had to deliver clever storage. Each individual drawer was evaluated for its storage potential, notes Robertson, and many include custom inserts.

The 4.5’x12.5′ island with seating for five acts as the gathering space for meals and features a combination of marble-look quartz composite and custom rift sawn white oak. The countertops were chosen to avoid seams in the stone, instead providing a transition from stone to wood, creating a “table” section for seating at the 2″ wood top. Due to space limitations along the perimeter, two 30″ undercounter freezer drawers from Sub-Zero are included on the island’s back side.

To accommodate a Sub-Zero 30″ refrigerator, Robertson added a wing wall, separating the kitchen area from the breakfast nook. A custom stainless double sink paired with a brass faucet from Waterstone sits below a large window that provides copious amounts of natural light. A custom paneled Bosch dishwasher is also included here.

Around the turn, a BlueStar 26″ Dual Fuel Range in black with brass accents lends a vintage feel to the space, contrasting with the clean, classic look of the Equipe white subway tile backsplash. Tall upper cabinets flank a matching custom hood from Libertyville. A Wolf microwave oven and white milk glass lighting complete the space.




East Meets West

Lung-Shan Chang, Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, Williston Park, NY


Unexpected details elevate this gray and white kitchen, designed by Lung-Shan Chang of Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly, to a new level of sophistication and beauty. The 400-sq.-ft. space was designed to integrate modern functionality with the clients’ Chinese culture, resulting in a kitchen that maximizes the space and comfortably accommodates at least four people.

Integrating ancient Chinese cultural elements with modern design was key to the overall design, delivering a spiritually balanced flow of good energy known as Chinese Feng Shui. Knowing that her client was open to the interpretation, Chang included circular and curved elements in the design. These elements represent family, success and fulfillment in the cultural aspect of Feng Shui, she reports.

At the center of the space is an island with seating, with Brookhaven’s Pasadena door style finished in a medium gray tone. The island includes a prep sink and faucet, as well as a Wolf steam oven.

Along the perimeter, white cabinets with Beaulieu hardware reflect elegant simplicity, punctuated by statement-making countertops and backsplashes in Cambria’s Brittanicca design. Rounded corner shelving and glass-front cabinet tops add interest and softness.

A Kohler white farmhouse sink is paired with the Quincy Two Handle Bridge Faucet from Kallista, flanked by two Asko dishwashers along one wall. On the back wall sits a Wolf warming drawer beside a 48″ Wolf range, topped with a Wolf exhaust hood in white with stainless detailing. Around the turn, a Wolf microwave oven sits next to paneled side-by-side 36″ Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezers.


See the rest of the winning projects:

Best Kitchen $150,000-$225,000

Best Kitchen $75,000-$150,000

Best Kitchen Under $75,000

Best Master Bath Over $100,000

Best Master Bath $50,000-$100,000

Best Master Bath Under $50,000

Best Powder Room

Best Showroom

Best Universal Design Kitchen or Bath

Best Specialty Project