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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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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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