Polished Stainless-Steel Cabinetry Adds Spectacular Shine to This Kitchen
Stainless steel seems as ubiquitous in the kitchen as salt and pepper. But in designer Mick De Giulio's hands, the metal transforms. An intriguing chameleon, it plays multiple roles in a visual spectacular.
"When you see a great movie for the second or third time," De Giulio says, "you notice details that you missed the first time. The best designs are like that too."
In this southwest Michigan kitchen, part of the main living area in Elizabeth and Chris Fisher's new home, polished stainless steel grabs attention like a matinee idol. De Giulio and colleague Kathy Manzella made the metal—used in a chevron pattern—the star of a central island.
"The chevron detailing gives texture and a touch of elegance, like jewelry," De Giulio says. "I like the play of textures. The oak floor gives this space a raw quality, but at the same time, there's an elegance from the metal finishes."
Contrasting the polished stainless steel, also employed on drawers serving the La Cornue cooktop, brushed stainless wraps the vent hood. "The hand-rubbed finish brings out the warmth of the metal and cuts reflection," De Giulio says. "And the unexpected changes in finishes add nuance, some nice drama."
A quartzite backsplash juxtaposes polished stainless steel on cabinets. Doors in the backsplash slide to reveal hidden spice and oil storage.
Silicon bronze joins the metal mix as an accent on the hood, the island, and pendant lighting—one of the finishing touches from interior designer Elizabeth Krueger. "I wanted to build on what the De Giulio team accomplished, using fine materials in a functional way," she says.
Oak, splashed with a taupe wash for a silvered look, furthers the materials story line. It contributes organic beauty to panels that cloak the refrigerator-freezer and generous 12-foot island. "It's sized to serve as a primary gathering space," De Giulio says. "People always gravitate to the kitchen island."
Family and friends seated at the island can connect with people gathered in the living room and chat with Elizabeth as she prepares dinner. And thanks to an interior window above the cooktop, Elizabeth also can check in with the kids as they whip up a tantalizing dessert in the home's back kitchen.
An interior window links the work areas, ushering outdoor light and views into the main space. But if things get messy, panels slide shut to cloak the back kitchen from main living areas.
In this hardworking second space, silvered oak rises to a starring role on cabinetry and farmhouse-fresh shiplap siding. Dark soapstone-look black quartzite countertops are a counter-point to the main kitchen's Iceberg quartzite. White-painted walls and open shelves team with abundant exterior windows to keep the mood light and airy.
It's everything a foodie could wish for—but there's more. Tucked in a nook handy to both work spaces, a pantry corrals kitchen staples. Defined by classic white cabinetry, the storage zone earns style points from black quartzite countertops and walls composed of the same stone used on the home's exterior.
To efficiently organize pasta, spices, and more, Krueger called on canisters, jars, and labels from the Neat Method. She also helped Elizabeth fill out her collection of pots, pans, and serveware for a stunning display on open shelves and in De Giulio's signature German silver-lined glass cabinets. In addition to storage, the pantry offers a drinking water faucet.
"I love that this kitchen is both functional and beautiful," Krueger says. "It really is a space unlike any other."