Kitchen Couture: 2010 Kitchens of the Year

Dramatic design and thoughtful touches define these stylish kitchen spaces.

Text: Katie Underhill
January 2010

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Contemporary Chic

platinum winner – 400 sq. ft. and above

Photo by Anne Matheis

THE VISION
Dreaming of a warm, contemporary space with clean spare lines, the homeowners called on The Design Source, Ltd. to enhance their newly built kitchen into an artistic exhibit of dynamic design. Their wishes included a spacious area with plenty of seating that could accommodate large groups of people for entertaining while also serving as a more intimate setting for smaller family gatherings.

WINNING DETAILS
An outstanding range hood covered in lustrous glass tile, repeated in a unifying backsplash around the kitchen's perimeter, serves as a focal point in the room. The ceiling architecture and quarter-sawn oak cabinets on dual islands feature a custom navy blue stain. Stainless steel legs (on one island) lend a contemporary, furniture-like feel to the space, and cantilevered, curving soffits create depth.

JUDGES' COMMENTS
This is truly exquisite design. The designers did a wonderful job making the space functional despite its large size, and the overall effect is striking yet soft at the same time. Unique materials are used throughout, and the hood is a work of art in itself. All of the color combinations are impressive – the bold blues pop alongside the kitchen's soft-colored floors in an interesting way.

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Classic Composition

gold winner – 400 sq. ft. and above

Photo by Jon Slavkin

THE VISION
Envisioning a spacious, functional kitchen as part of a multi-level addition and renovation, the homeowners wanted to create a space that could accommodate a busy family with multiple cooks. They soon faced mechanical challenges, however, as support beams and HVAC systems interfered. With the knowledge and creativity of the JE Design Group, the limitations became beautiful, sound solutions.

WINNING DETAILS
Top-of-the-line appliances and creative design solutions set this well-planned kitchen apart. Warm wood tones on the raised bar top provide contrast against dark granite countertops.A Wolf gas cooktop is flanked by two Wolf convection ovens and custom pull-out spice racks. Elegant and functional, a freestanding beverage prep center displays stemware and conceals a convenient miniature refrigerator.

JUDGES' COMMENTS
This is truly exquisite design. The designers did a wonderful job making the space functional despite its large size, and the overall effect is striking yet soft at the same time. Unique materials are used throughout, and the hood is a work of art in itself. All of the color combinations are impressive – the bold blues pop alongside the kitchen's soft-colored floors in an interesting way.

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Brilliant Beauty

platinum winner – 330 sq. ft. to 399 sq. ft.

Photo by Alise O'Brien

THE VISION
The homeowners wanted to create a modern kitchen with a functional layout that would improve circulation in the space. Before the renovation began, they admired a large slab of Labradorite granite, which ultimately served as the design inspiration for the project as a whole. Glen Alspaugh Kitchens & Baths used clean lines and straightforward design to ensure the granite remained a focal point in the space.

WINNING DETAILS
The elegant, open space is infused with minimal curves to add interest to the sleek setting, such as in the arch of the Jerusalem stone wall and in the curve of the counter-height eating bar. Sine curves in the unique light fixture are repeated in the refrigerator pulls to tie the room together, and reeded glass inserts in the cabinetry allow a glimpse inside to showcase a collection of sparkling crystal.

JUDGES' COMMENTS
The well-planned use of beautiful materials lends a clean, crisp and unique feeling to the space, which exudes effortless elegance. Its clean lines are pleasing to the eye, and they give the room a definite sense of balance. The granite is stunning, and playing it against the stone within the cooking area is both creative and exquisite. This kitchen represents modern design at its best.

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Farmhouse Flair

gold winner – 330 sq. ft. to 399 sq. ft.

Photo by Alise O'Brien

THE VISION
This stylish yet rugged farmhouse design is situated in the most unexpected of places: an upscale high-rise in the heart of Clayton. The surprising setting, however, makes this unique wraparound kitchen all the more charming. Glen Alspaugh Kitchens & Baths created a space that exudes the relaxed feel of a country retreat, and, at the same time, epitomizes cutting-edge technology and dramatic design.

WINNING DETAILS
Multiple cabinet finishes, a copper hood and a mixture of stone and wood countertops provide a variety of colors and textures, all of which create contrast and flow in the unique space. Top-of-the-line appliances contribute to the smart layout. Architectural details, such as a tin ceiling and several rough-hewn beams, complete the look, as do smaller touches, such as pewter wire inserts that reveal display shelves.

JUDGES' COMMENTS
The unique layout of this kitchen brings an element of visual interest to the space, and the mixture of materials is unexpected yet extremely creative. The theme is carried effectively throughout the design, and the   understated details, such as the injection of stone in the background, add to the farmhouse flavor. In addition, the provincial treatment of the refrigerator is a simply charming touch.

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Elegant Appeal

platinum winner – less than 330 sq. ft.

Photo by Anne Matheis

THE VISION
Upon deciding to update their contemporary white kitchen, the homeowners contacted Marc Christian Fine Cabinetry to create a fabulous French Country space. The new design needed to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort, while also working efficiently within a well-planned, functional layout. The soothing color palette was chosen as a reflection of the homeowners' personal style.

WINNING DETAILS
The warm-toned, brushed glaze finish on the kitchen cabinetry complements the stained cherry wood of the island and bar, and the rich, warm colors convey casual elegance. Corbels and moldings accent the design, and delightful details such as pull-out spice racks behind decorative columns, a backsplash of polished travertine in a herringbone pattern, and a custom mantel create a polished, classic look.

JUDGES' COMMENTS
The classic style of this kitchen is extremely well-executed, and the usability of the space is excellent. The various materials complement and enhance one another rather than distract, and there is an interesting mixture of textures. Beautiful honed marble tile fits the room perfectly, and the use of architectural moldings is an eye-catching element without being “over-the-top.”

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Fine Design

gold winner – less than 330 sq. ft.

Photo courtesy of Gegg Design & Cabinetry

THE VISION
An efficient galley kitchen was the perfect solution to the limitations Gegg Design and Cabinetry faced when planning this space. While the homeowners wanted a breakfast room, the home's narrow footprint made this goal difficult to achieve without disrupting the kitchen's natural flow. Incorporating a booth into an island allowed for extra seating and created a charming yet practical nook.

WINNING DETAILS
Three well-planned entry points make this kitchen balanced and functional, especially with the main entry point near the middle of the galley. Light- and dark-colored woods provide contrast to create visual interest, and cutting-edge appliances add a sleekness and convenience to the space. A tile backsplash and architectural details, such as decorative moldings, serve as fabulous finishing touches.

JUDGES' COMMENTS
A classic example of traditional white design, this is a creative use of a smaller space – especially with the inclusion of a breakfast room. The juxtaposition of light and dark has an anchoring effect, and the use of two tones transitions well into the breakfast room area. The moldings and details are handsomely finished, and the design allows a good amount of natural light to flow into the room.

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Meet the Judges

Meet our distinguished panel of judges for our 2010 Kitchens of the Year contest.

Jim Baygents CKD
Photo by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton
Jim is president of Baygents Company in historic downtown Kirkwood – one of the oldest kitchen and bath dealerships in St. Louis. He has been designing and executing custom projects for more than 30 years, and the company has been creating custom kitchens for more than 60.

 

Michael Schwartze CKD
Photo by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton
Michael is a Certified Kitchen Designer and Sales Manager at Callier & Thompson Kitchens, Baths and Appliances. He has been with Callier & Thompson for 40 of its 55 years, playing a part in nearly every aspect of the remodeling process, from cabinetmaker to designer.

 

Darlene H. Weaver CKD, CBD, ASID, CAPS, NCIDQ
Photo by Terry Farmer
Darlene Hackman Weaver has lived in Springfield, Illinois for the past 30 years yet maintains a special tie to her hometown of St. Louis. Her business, Distinctive Designs for Kitchens and Baths, has served Central Illinois for the past 20 years with a talented design team and staff.