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October 2017

When Kitchens are the Center of Attention

3rd Oct, 2017 | Filed under Articles, Blog
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Historically, kitchens haven’t always been luxurious, open places with breakfast bars and double islands. And they certainly weren’t rooms where people wanted to gather. They were dark and simple, often utilitarian in style – an afterthought to the home plan. They were filled with noises, messes and smells. But the modern kitchen is an indispensable component to contemporary life. Instead of welcoming guests into the living room, the kitchen is the place we chat with friends over a couple drinks or conduct business or play games with family.

“The kitchen of today serves as the hub for nearly every aspect of family life,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs Inc., based in Eugene, Ore. “Homeowners want large kitchen plans with plenty of space for baking, cooking and hosting. It’s what makes them so fun to design really.”

In many cases, the kitchen is an extension of the great room. It’s filled with light, color and all the amenities. From walk-in pantries, expansive breakfast bars and unique layouts, these three home designs put kitchens in the spotlight.

A Bright & Open Gathering Space

If entertaining is your thing, then the Barnhart (30-946) home design has a kitchen that’s meant to be enjoyed. Complete with a plenty of storage space and a walk-in pantry, this kitchen’s white cabinetry is accented by the dark countertops and stainless steel appliances for an eye-catching space.

But it’s the location of the kitchen that truly matters in this 3,815-square-foot home design. The kitchen opens up into the great room, but it also connects with the vaulted patio. A wall of windows then brightens the entire house with natural light. Both areas have wood-burning fireplaces that serve as inviting focal points, plus the kitchen has a curved edge eating bar that doubles as a buffet.

“Depending on the weather and time of year, people can congregate in the kitchen and vaulted great room, the vaulted patio, or all three,” said McAlexander. “It’s bright, cheerful and inviting… you’d be hard-pressed to not want to show off the kitchen.”

Linked Together

Expansive gathering spaces, inside and out, create a perfect environment for families to hang out and entertain in the Petaluma (31-011) home design. And the kitchen is no exception. The goal of this 4,680-square-foot, lodge-style home design is to make the kitchen part of the main space, like a spoke on a wheel.

“This kitchen is central to the home’s gathering space,” said McAlexander. “But it’s part of an interconnected series of beautiful rooms. When all is said and done, the main rooms connect to each other in a sort of circle.”

The vaulted great room and dining area, for example, are linked to the spacious kitchen, which is also linked to the vaulted media room. A large covered patio that extends halfway around one side of the house connects the great room to the dining room and back around again.

Meanwhile, the kitchen itself boasts a large island that can double as a buffet or breakfast bar – or just an extra cook space – with a walk-in pantry nearby.

Vaulted Luxury

Bold stone accents, graceful wood beams and smooth stucco blend seamlessly together along the front of the Delfino (31-062). Inspired by a Tuscan villa, the 3,919-square-foot home offers the latest in luxury living with plenty of space and attention to detail. Like the other two homes listed above, the Delfino boasts an open-style great room at the center of the house. But almost every room in the house has a vaulted ceiling, including the kitchen.

“Vaulted ceilings give rooms a light and airy feeling,” said McAlexander. “So in this house, you feel like there’s more freedom to move around, more space to mingle and relax. And all the natural light adds to the beauty.”

The vaulted foyer welcomes you into a vaulted great room, which flows into a vaulted dining area, which is open to the vaulted kitchen, which is linked to the vaulted piano room. It’s the perfect setup for those who love to entertain or host a piano recital. The kitchen’s large, curved island can be used as a buffet or bar for a fun, casual vibe in the midst of all the luxurious gathering spaces.

When you next invite your friends over or host a social event or have a family game night, where will you be gathering? We’re betting you’ll be in the kitchen, cozying up along the breakfast bar and nibbling on some crudités and hors d'oeuvres. Because the kitchen is no longer an afterthought; it’s bright, open and where the party begins. 

As seen on Newswire

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