5 Modern Kitchen Designs That Stand the Test of Time
Gather around these five Colorado classics
FORGET KITCHEN TRENDS — and say hello to the new traditional. Wood cabinets are back in a big way, now textured and organic to pay tribute to the material’s natural beauty. And despite rumors, white cabinetry never went away. A confirmed classic, white offers a clean backdrop for delicious foods and colorful cookware. Large, well-appointed pantries are also having a moment. Whether they store small appliances or provide space for baking, pantries are getting as much thought as the main kitchen. Double islands–one for prepping and one for seating–offer maximum practicality. Last but not least, relax in the kitchen nook with a cup of coffee or tea.
On the appliance front, people out West are embracing clean cooking with induction cooktops. Vent hoods remain a staple–for both form and function. Small appliances continue to get tucked away behind doors and alcoves (some are hidden in plain sight through ingenious design). However defined–transitional, elegant, natural, classic, eclectic–these five kitchens showcase elements that never go out of style.
THIS REMODELED KITCHEN was transformed from dark and dated to light and airy by Kitchen Distributors designer Linda McLean, who combined white perimeter cabinetry with rift-cut oak islands. She also integrated an existing stone wall and wood trusses without sacrificing style.
McLean proposed two islands––”one for cooking and one for family seating.” The cabinetry is transitional, combining simple flat-panel doors and more traditional leaded glass windows. “She liked the idea of leaded glass,” McLean says of the homeowner. “It’s light and well-organized, which she needs to be with her four children.”
The kids enjoy the bottom half of the nook, which is filled with their water bottles, while the parents keep a kettle and tea in the upper cabinets. “The tea bar in oak is really nice,” McLean muses. Of course, the real design challenge was to decide what to keep. “My favorite part of this kitchen is that we blended some of the original architecture into a very well-envisioned space,” she says.
KITCHEN DESIGN: KITCHEN DISTRIBUTORS, Linda McLean
CABINETS: RUTT CABINETRY
COUNTERTOPS: TAJ MAHAL QUARTZITE
LIGHTING: REMAINS LIGHTING
HARDWARE: ROCKY MOUNTAIN HARDWARE
DESIGNED BY COLOR GURU Andrea Schumacher, this kitchen combines two separate but interconnected areas. “Even though they are adjacent,” she says, “the main kitchen is light gray and the other side looks more like furniture–like a ‘blue dresser’ between walnut armoires.” One armoire holds the refrigerator/freezer while the other opens to a secret pantry. Custom hardware and Liesl wallpaper (based on art by Schumacher’s grandmother) emphasize the furniture feel of the blue kitchen section.
In the utilitarian zone, a large island and expansive wall of windows provide surface area galore for prepping and cooking. The homeowners chose artificial stone countertops in order to withstand whatever their two children might concoct in the kitchen. Painted gray cabinets give a hint of color, while the blue cabinets provide a pop. “I do love kitchens that sort of go away and look like furniture,” Schumacher admits. “It’s kind of our thing to hide fridge and freezer columns into armoire-looking furniture.”
KITCHEN DESIGN: ANDREA SCHUMACHER INTERIORS, Andrea Schumacher
Transition for Two
THIS WHITE AND WOOD kitchen is a wonderful example of transitional style. Interior designer Helly Duncan, Design Matters Home, worked with the homeowner couple to integrate disparate elements: “It has classic pieces, it has modern pieces, it has rustic pieces,” she says. One island features tractor-seat stools below chic glass pendants. The range combines a shiplap hood with Moroccan-inspired tile. A coffee nook pairs an antique table with modern chairs.
Since both homeowners like to cook, Duncan provided two islands, two sinks and two faucets (and there are often two Dalmatians underfoot). “It makes it easy for them to work together,” she explains. A convenient pantry behind a chalkboard door provides extra space for storage.
When they’re not cooking, the homeowners enjoy the kitchen nook. “They are coffee drinkers and they love the idea of a dedicated coffee space,” Duncan says. “They sit there a lot and enjoy quiet time in the morning.”
In Black and White
DESIGNER SARAH SPIROFF at Kitchen Distributors describes her clients’ kitchen, keeping it short and sweet: “Serene might be a good word.” White cabinetry and black soapstone counters create a kitchen that will look good now and in the future. “White is still number one––it is timeless,” Spiroff says.
The wife of this family loves to cook, which is how she adds color to the kitchen. “She wanted to be able to have flexibility with dishes and pots,” Spiroff explains. “I believe she always has fresh flowers–she brings in color that way too.”
The island provides an eat-in space for the family. But when the kids are away, the husband and wife like to sit and enjoy their coffee nook. A custom corner banquette and repurposed family table provide a lovely spot to sit and sip. “So many of our clients want a hidden coffee nook. That is definitely a trend,” Spiroff says.
CABINETS: RUTT CABINETRY
COUNTERTOPS: KITCHEN DISTRIBUTORS
APPLIANCES (Range and Steam Oven): WOLF
LIGHTING: POTTERY BARN
BENCH FABRIC: SUNBRELLA
WHEN A FAMILY OF FIVE requests a coffee station and a cocktail bar, both of which can be on display or in hiding, the solution is symmetry. “The bar and coffee bar were determining factors when we were laying out the kitchen,” says interior designer Ashley Jacobs. “We conceived these two towers, which created beautiful symmetry.”
Most of the kitchen is white. “We knew we wanted to go light and bright, so white was always intended to be in the palette,” says Jacobs. A walnut island adds warmth and texture. “I see wood coming in more,” Jacobs predicts, “which is a nod to classic design.”
The pantry also features walnut. “The pantry door tends to be open, especially when children are coming in and out, so we created a special moment with an antique mirror door,” Jacobs says. And the wood drawers with integrated handles help the kids get what they want!
CABINETS: ASPEN LEAF KITCHENS
APPLIANCES: SPECIALTY APPLIANCE
FAUCET: PERRIN & ROWE
HARDWARE: TOP KNOBS
LIGHTING: VISUAL COMFORT
DINING TABLE: RH
DINING CHAIRS: WEST ELM
ISLAND STOOLS: RH
AREA RUG: SHAVER RAMSEY
As featured in CHL’s September/October 2023 Issue