Functional Cabinet Space in This Made-for-Entertaining Kitchen

Fun family gathering or elegant evening? Packed with function, this kitchen can handle it all.

Minimalism has its place, and that place is not in Heidi Allen's house. "I see these clean-lined kitchens with no upper cabinets, no room for glasses and plates, and I wonder, Where do people put stuff?" she says. "I can't live without cabinets."

jeff and heidi allen in kitchen with large windows
Nathan Schroder

Thankfully, she doesn't have to. The storage-rich, well-appointed kitchen in the new Dallas home she shares with husband Jeff abounds with cabinets: upper cabinets, lower cabinets, even cabinets disguised to look like they're part of the furniture-style island.

Heidi has plenty of room to store everything she needs for her favorite pastime: entertaining oodles of friends and family, including the couple's four grown children.

range and hood in front of window
Nathan Schroder

While Heidi cooks, she can interact with the kids, who love to perch at the island (and charge their phones at cleverly hidden outlets). The island's deep sink and quartz countertops make it an efficient prep zone handy to the appliance wall and range. Hidden behind the adjacent cabinetry are refrigerator and freezer drawers that allow Heidi to store enough food for a small army of guests.

refrigerator drawers blend in with cabinets
Nathan Schroder

"They're a large, tight-knit family, so it was important to have a space that’s functional," designer Traci Connell says.

At the same time, Heidi wanted a whole lot of pretty, which Connell and builder Danes Custom Homes delivered. Metal-frame windows let sunlight wash over ceiling beams with a bleached finish that echoes wide-plank floors. Pale gray cabinetry and sandy-hue dining chairs, carpet, and tile further the bordering-on-beachy mood.

"I wanted to take the California casual style the family loves and bring their personality into it," Connell says.

table with rattan chairs
Nathan Schroder

That meant splashing the neutral with hits of blue and layering in a thoughtful array of textures on furniture pieces. "I like to mix woods and patterns for a lived-in, collected feel," Connell says.

The mood is luxurious, yet it's a livable luxury emphasizing family-friendly features like performance fabrics and a washable cotton rug. "Traci made the house true to us," Heidi says. "It's all so functional, but at the same time, it's beautiful—like a work of art."

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