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Better Homes and Gardens designed this beautiful kitchen for the National Kitchen and Bath Association's 2008 Design Idea Center. The space's practical function is matched by its warm style. Designed to be the cozy backdrop for happy family memories, it perfectly blends comfort and sophistication.
A banquette turns the kitchen into a makeshift living room, perfect for entertaining friends, helping kids with homework, or just watching TV. Space-saving drawers at each end hold files, and the back is built higher to conceal a work station and any working mess in the kitchen. The banquette's large counter creates a perfect spot for buffet meals.
Contrasting wood finishes keeps things interesting in a larger kitchen, and a balance of open and closed cabinetry adds functionality and visual appeal. The microwave placement beneath the counter seems surprising at first, but its adjacency to the seating proves inspired.
A prep sink tucked behind the kitchen's banquette increases the spacious kitchen's efficiency and allows more hands to pitch in to make dinner. The precise cutouts in the utensil drawer insert make for no-excuses organization.
Storage is a make-or-break feature of kitchen design. This ultra-organized kitchen keeps clutter under control and makes it easier to get dinner on the table. The perforated stainless steel pullout comes with a wide assortment of hooks so excavating a ladle from a tangled drawer becomes a thing of the past.
The gorgeous surfaces in this kitchen balance sophistication and warmth. The KraftMaid cabinetry in stunning Tiber Cherry, contrasts against a translucent glass door and the cool stainless steel of the industrial-chic Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Kitchens always feature plenty of hard-edged elements -- appliances and cabinets, stone and steel. This whimsical backsplash tile in a range of nature's greens lightens the mood with bubbles that echo the curvy banquette and drum pendant light. The Kohler pot filler is a stylish union of form and function.
To reduce daytime energy usage, Better Homes and Gardens designed a dramatic window wall with see-through glass and wood-and-steel upper cabinets. It lets in ample natural sunshine -- perfect for a family trying to live ecologically. The built-in design of the Wolf convection oven is beautifully integrated with surrounding cabinetry.
The DuPont Zodiaq quartz-surfacing counters were cleverly designed with lots of "Why didn't I think of that?" conveniences. Just slide the inset cutting board aside and swipe food debris directly through the counter into the double wastebasket pullout.
The environmentally friendly linoleum floor in the kitchen is Marmorette from Armstrong Flooring. Available in more than 50 colors, the linoleum is versatile and durable -- and it's made of sustainable materials with low VOC emissions.
Countertops in large kitchens can start to look like runways, so multilevel designs are worth considering. The varied-height surfaces in this kitchen create ergonomically sound work stations for the whole family, and the bi-level banquette hides the clutter of food prep.
This kitchen is as thoughtfully planned behind the scenes as it is out front. The kitchen is stocked with daily-use items and the pantry houses other essentials. Close-at-hand bins and baskets make prep and cleanup a snap, and the Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator/freezer drawers are terrific for entertaining.
Armstrong Flooring www.armstrong.com
DuPont Surfaces www.countertops.dupont.com
Kohler Co. www.kohler.com
Designer: Mary Jo Peterson, CKD