The Test Kitchen renovation reflects the Better Homes and Gardens aesthetic: an American mix of styles, materials, and influences. The star of the Test Kitchen showcase space is the island, which stretches 11 1/2 feet and has a multitude of functions. Visitors can sit at the island and talk with the cook at the nearby sink or cooktop.
The island's integrated granite sink has teak cutting boards that slide where needed, from the drain board across to the rubbish opening.
Bistro-style light fixtures are built into the bold chrome pot rack above the island, which anchors the space as the kitchen's focal point. The pergola grid above adds texture and serves to diffuse the inset lights above it.
To conquer the inevitable clutter that marches into a kitchen, appliance garages with remote controlled doors store small appliances (and conceal outlets).
For textural harmony, materials connect via tone and substance, such as the pairing of creamy granite with white marble and the use of both horizontal and vertical wood grains. Here, an unusual narrow strip tile covers the top of the serving cart.
This pot-filler faucet is cleverly concealed in a recessed niche to the right of the sink. Placing the plumbing here also opened up a narrow area behind the sink that's perfect for spices and cooking oils, concealed behind a sleek white glass doors on the backsplash.
A marble baking-prep table at far end of the island doubles as a serving area. And at the other end of the island, a serving cart, smartly outfitted with storage for linens and serving utensils, can roll to serve the nearby banquette. In between, a long trough sink doubles as a food prep area.
Behind the 60-inch gas range, white glass doors glide open to reveal cooking essentials stashed on narrow shelves.
The baking center area includes upper storage and shelves below. In addition, vertical slots streamline the storage of long baking pans while the shallow drawers keep a covey of small utensils within easy reach.
What's cooking at the island is shown on the screen mounted on the wall. The double-sided fireplace opens up to the library-style dining area beyond.
A French limestone fireplace lends a hearth theme; a flat-screen television inset above it unifies what often can be two disparate focal points in a room. Comfortable seating and a neutral color palette ensure that the food will star in this dining room.
One of the most comfortable aspects of the showcase kitchen is its library dining room. Lined with dark walnut cabinetry, it's a cozy enclave for showcasing books (like our vast collection of cookbooks) and is the perfect spot for corporate meetings.
A soapstone sink adjacent to the outdoor garden is perfect for tending potted herbs.
Editors from Better Homes and Gardens magazine enjoy working and entertaining in the showcase kitchen. In 2005, they'll welcome more than 2,000 guests, perform more than 5,000 recipe tests, and host the first-ever Family Cook-Off Contest in the new space!