As more folks describe themselves as “foodies,” “gourmands” or just plain fans of television cooking shows and as open floor plans increasingly connect the kitchen to dining and living areas, the kitchen has become the most important room in the home.
As you prepare to build your home, you’ll want to consider a kitchen that’s both functional and inviting. NewHomeSource filmed a Southern Living Showcase Home to bring you an inspiring example of how you can do just that. (Episodes Three and Four are posted below) This showcase home in Lago Vista, Texas, near Austin, utilizes several techniques to create a warm, inviting feel in a gorgeous, entertaining kitchen.
The kitchen is awash in white: white cabinets line the white millwork walls, a white Calacatta kitchen island sits atop a white wooden pedestal and a white Calacatta marble backsplash is nestled just behind the stove and hood vent. And yet, it’s not too much. It’s just right.
Designer Linda Grimm, of Silverton Custom Homes, the builder of the showcase home, says that she used so much white in the kitchen that it was important to balance it with warm colors. The hardwood maple floors are a dark chocolate, matching the dark brown wooden beams that line the ceiling. In addition, she accented one wall with hand-cut black and white tiling and incorporated a black hood vent. The veining in the marble also gives the room a soft glow.
To prevent a harsh appearance and to create balance in your home, mix and match colors and textures. “We didn’t want to make the kitchen all stainless steel,” Linda says. “With too much stainless steel, you get too sterile of a look.”
Create a ‘Warm’ Environment
Because the kitchen is meant to be used as an entertaining space, Linda was keen about the materials she chose. For example, the kitchen island is Calacatta marble that has a protective skin on it to prevent stains and etching. The maple wood floors look hand scraped, but are not, and are durable enough to handle lots of traffic. To prevent clutter on the kitchen counters, a butler’s pantry contains dry ingredients as well as appliances such as a coffee maker and microwave. Consider your kitchen needs to determine what will be the most efficient materials to keep your new kitchen looking new for many years.
As you walk into the lakeside home, you’ll quickly see how the open floor plan is intended to be used as an entertaining space. With so many meals and parties, who has energy left at the end of the night to clean up the mess? Linda says an emerging home design trend is the prep kitchen, also known as a mess kitchen. The prep kitchen, which she discusses in Episode Three below, allows the hosts to prep food in this room — because some of us are more Swedish Chef than celebrity chef — and then present meals in the entertaining kitchen. The mess is hidden away until there’s time to clean up.
Don’t have a budget for a second kitchen where you can prep meals for guests? No problem. You can still have a prep kitchen by utilizing space in other rooms, such as a pantry or even a laundry room or utility room.
The big takeway? Don’t be afraid to take risks, Linda says. “You can think outside of the box to efficiently utilize the space in your new home.”
Episode 3, Main Kitchen — Tour a Southern Living Showcase Home with NewHomeSource
With state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, ornate details and a butler’s pantry that keeps counters from getting cluttered, this kitchen is a chef’s dream. Join designer Linda Grimm in this three-minute video as she describes how to create an inviting and warm kitchen that will dazzle guests for years to come: http://youtu.be/bmf_q4oF8Nw.
Episode 4, Prep Kitchen — Tour a Southern Living Showcase Home with NewHomeSource
As we mentioned earlier, prep kitchens are a hot trend, so what are you waiting for? In this two-minute video, learn about what inspired Linda to create a prep kitchen in what would have simply been a utility room.
Patricia L. Garcia is an award-winning freelance journalist who has written for NewHomeSource, the Associated Press, New Mexico magazine and the Texas Bar Journal. When not writing, she can be found in the garden, battling weeds and high-desert heat.