Best Kitchens

Kitchen of the Year: Natural Contemporary

Design goal: The kitchen of homeowners Kevin and Juliet Boyd reflects creative synergy at its finest. The couple—Kevin is a builder, Juliet a designer—wanted a light and airy feel in their kitchen that would also relate to the vernacular style of the surrounding Chautauqua community. They collaborated with Margie McCulloch of Red Pepper Kitchen & Bath ( for a complete gut and reconstruction: “It’s so dramatic, the change,” McCulloch says. “It took a lot of really great engineering to get this open space where it is.”

The team also wanted to make eco-savvy choices, opting for cabinets that are “as low impact as you can possibly get with cabinetry,” McCulloch says. And yet with the Boyds’ aesthetic and environmental goals, they didn’t lose sight of the fact that in a kitchen, function should come before decoration. The couple has two small children and lots of family and visitors, so the design had to be hospitable.

Defining detail: The clients have sophisticated taste and chose beautiful Carrera marble countertops, even though they would etch and scratch with wear. “That’s the look of old soda fountain countertops,” McCulloch says. “They wanted the look of age.”

Why it works: The kitchen is the heart of this home. The space flows easily into the family room, a design that suits the homeowners’ love for entertaining. To honor the couple’s green goal, Kevin designed the hood—he had the stainless steel component fabricated and used repurposed wood for the trim. And to echo the natural beauty outside, they kept the existing moss rock exposed along one wall, bringing additional natural daylight to the remodeled space with a glass, two-story front enclosure. “It’s always fun to work on a project where the house is so inventive,” McCulloch says.

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Categories: Entertaining, Interiors, Kitchens