Dream Kitchen Designs

Attention to details, pro-grade appliances, and gorgeous materials and finishes all weave together in these dream kitchens that exude style and sophistication.

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    Effortless Elegance

    In this causal but sophisticated white kitchen, walnut accents and subtle texture and softness add warmth and depth. Shades of white dominate on clean-lined Shaker-style cabinetry, on the tile surrounding the range, and on gray-veined marble on the sink-wall backsplash.

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    Graceful Curves

    White can often look stark and cold, but curves always serve to soften a space. Placing the range in a gently arching niche creates a beautiful focal point and makes the area look more feminine and soft. Open shelving keeps spices and cooking oils within easy reach, while glossy white tiles and gray-veined marble add subtle texture.

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    Brighten Up

    The curve of the range niche is echoed in a large arched window on the main sink wall. The large panes welcome plenty of sunlight into the north-facing room, and also enhance the view of the house from the backyard. Varied counter depths add a bit of architectural interest to the sink area.

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    Next to the sink's arched window, glass-panel cabinets showcase beautiful china and crystal. The cabinets also contribute to the room's overall brightness, as their glass panels allow light to shine through. The rich walnut interiors provide contrast to the white walls and trim.

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    Old Meets New

    An effortless mix of old and new is what makes this kitchen so special. The range niche boasts an open-air shelving unit, perfect for housing delicate kitchen decor. Here, an antique scale along with vintage china and silver pieces are at home next to the modern range.

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    Unexpected Twist

    Industrial-style glass light fixtures over the island provide extra sparkle when they catch sunlight streaming into the kitchen. The shiny nickel finish of the sturdy lights looks surprisingly at home amid all of the other soft, feminine touches throughout the room.

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    Sneaky Storage

    Every kitchen needs plenty of storage, and this one is no exception. The wall opposite the sink is home to high cabinets that store infrequently used items. The ovens and warming drawer stand out, but twin refrigerators blend neatly into the cabinetry, as does the pullout storage to their right.

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    Work Hard, Play Hard

    The dark wood color of the floor is echoed in a chunky slab of dark walnut atop the island. The distressed, oiled wood makes it the perfect spot for food prep and buffet-style dining. A small prep sink eases cleanup, and the island itself features multiple deep drawers and cabinets for storage.

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    Standing the Test of Time

    This exquisite kitchen packs 360 degrees of eye-catching punch. Handsome architectural details and time-honored surfaces ensure the room will remain stylish for decades to come. The one-of-a-kind space embraces its traditional Georgian-style roots while still feeling fresh and exciting.

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    Drama Queen

    The kitchen exhibits drama at every turn. Lustrous 2-inch-thick Calacatta marble attracts plenty of attention at counter level. The vibrant orange ceiling is offset by the soft sage green walls and white-painted cabinets and trim.

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    Contemporary Touches

    A richly stained oak island and matching hearth lend additional warmth to the white-painted wood. Calacatta marble tiles installed in a herringbone pattern protect the wall behind the commercial-style range. A pot filler faucet makes boiling pasta or potatoes a snap.

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    Impressive Curves

    Retro globe pendant lights underscore the circular shape of the adjoining informal dining area. Beaded-board panels painted in soft sage green and white adorn the walls adjacent to the large bay windows. The open floor plan was designed to ensure the kitchen remains in style for a long time.

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    Dine in Style

    The circular dining area boasts plenty of unique style statements. Designed to resemble a vintage icebox, the floor-to-ceiling oak refectory cabinet keeps a multitude of glasses and dishware handy at the dining table. The white modern-style chairs provide crisp contrast to the traditional feel of the rest of the kitchen.

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    Touch of Elegance

    Mirror-polished beveled edging lends a bit of elegance to the room's sinks and blends with the stainless-steel appliances. The deep sink basin looks modern and chic against the traditional marble countertop.

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    Dazzling globe pendants, inspired by 1960s fixtures, provide retro flair and a personal touch. A quartersawn-oak coffered ceiling crowns the space above the kitchen island. The warm wood creates a formal tone that contrasts the more playful round light fixtures.

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    Activity Centers

    To make the large space more effective, the kitchen was divided into activity centers. The 6-foot-square island provides plenty of space for multiple helpers. A prep sink, built-in cutting board (pictured), and refrigerator drawers in the island save steps for the cook.

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    Sleek Storage

    The custom-built hearth over the commercial-style range is complete with storage shelves to keep oils, spices, and other cooking necessities handy. The hearth also conceals a powerful vent and recessed lighting.

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    Artwork, dishware, linens, and accessories can completely change the look of a kitchen. Accessories like this wood-slab cutting board and traditional mortar and pestle add an eclectic edge to the space.

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    Double-Duty Kitchen

    It might have sounded like a strange request at first: Fashion a kitchen that looks and acts more like living space than a kitchen -- a place where people feel as comfortable gathering as they do eating or baking. But a formal yet welcoming atmosphere is the right recipe for a kitchen that facilitates a lot of entertaining. In this spacious kitchen, that balance is achieved with luxe materials, an oversize island, and a flood of natural light from a wall of glass with French doors to the outside.

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    Range Hood Star

    The range hood, in an unexpected pewter glaze, draws the eye for a bold focal point. "What makes it work is that everything else is very monochromatic," says kitchen designer Mary Kathryn Timoney. "The backsplash is white; the island is off-white; the counters are all the same color. There's a beautiful focal point, but there are also places for the eye to rest."

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    Connecting Spaces

    A wide doorway next to the range wall opens into a formal dining room. The wall of glass, framed in Belgian mahogany, brings in light and provides a gateway to the outdoors. Including the wall of glass meant losing an enormous amount of storage space -- much of which the island makes up for -- but it allows the kitchen to be light and airy and more like the living space the homeowners desired.

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    Convenience & Beauty

    A pot filler above the range is a convenient addition to the cooking space along the back wall. It eliminates the need to carry a heavy pot filled with water from the sink to the cooktop. On the limited wall space for a backsplash, creative license was taken to bring an extra flourish to the kitchen. A pattern of interlocking ovals and circles serves as a backdrop to the sleek stainless-steel range.

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    Kitchen Details

    The 6×9-foot island houses the sink, appliances, storage, and ample counter space. Polished-nickel hardware dresses up the cabinets, and a few pared-down details further the casual-yet-elegant design paradigm: the island's strong legs, which are geometric and shapely rather than overly carved; crown molding that is simple, not ornate; the cabinetry's classic raised-panel doors; and overall clean lines.

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    Material Picks

    The marble countertops give the kitchen a relaxed yet traditional French bakery feel, and the faucet's European styling falls in line with the marble's vibe.

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    Concealing Cabinetry

    Paired with lighter gray walls and white millwork, the furniturelike cabinetry is formal yet unfussy. The left side houses the fridge; the right side, the microwave and coffeemaker. Chairs are covered in mohair, which is textural and warm but surprisingly durable.

  • Next Slideshow Kitchen Cabinet Details that Wow

    Kitchen Cabinet Details that Wow

    Distinctive kitchen cabinet details--from layered finishes and hip hardware to architectural embellishments--stylishly boost interest in traditional, contemporary, vintage, and cottage kitchen designs.
    Begin Slideshow »

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