Dream Kitchens

Of all the rooms in a house, I tend to be drawn to kitchens the most. A beautiful kitchen sings to me. I love to daydream about the type of kitchen I hope to have in my dream home someday.

Overall, I tend to like what could be described as a modern vintage look. A new kitchen with classic features which make it seem like it could easily fit in another place and time. I want a kitchen that is elegant and modern all at once. For me, this means somewhat plain cabinetry (I'm mostly drawn to white), honed surfaces like carrara marble, subway tile, and beautiful wide-planked, dark wood floors.

You're probably wondering why I haven't made these types of changes to my own kitchen. I liked my kitchen when we bought our house in March of 2006. It had pretty 42" maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances, neutral tile, and salmon colored laminate counters. What was that, you ask? Yes, you read that correctly! Salmon colored laminate. The very bane of my existence. The very reason I haven't invited certain people (Kym, I might be referring to you) over for dinner after they so graciously fed us a beautiful meal in their stunning home. These damn counters are like a horrible blemish on the face of my home.

We tried to get the builder to upgrade them to granite, but they wouldn't. The house was already built when we found it, and they wouldn't take out the counters they had already installed. Alas, I was only 24 and Fabian was 25 when we bought the house. We didn't know any better. If I knew then what I know now, I would have played hard ball and I wouldn't have had to live with those nasty counters. Upgrading our counters is number one on my home improvement to-do list, though I won't give the kitchen a complete over-haul since we don't plan to be in this house forever. He'll kill me for writing this, but my husband is a bit, umm, frugal. I don't think he cares about the counters, so changing them isn't a priority to him which is why we still have them. Mark my words: Those ugly counters will be gone by the end of 2008!

My kitchen, ugly counters and all

Let's get back to a nicer topic, shall we? Beautiful, dream kitchens. As I was saying before our detour through ugly-ville, I like a kitchen with modern conveniences and classic design elements. Something that looks like it belongs in a massive penthouse apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side, in a building with a notorious co-op board, or better yet, a kitchen suited for a mansion in The Hamptons.

Kitchen #1
This is the kitchen from the 2008 San Francisco Decorators Showcase House. It was designed by Shelley Gordon who described the kitchen as "a reflection of the past and the present." According to Shelley, "the detailing of the cabinets honors the age of the house, but the larger open plan responds to the way we live today". The cabinetry is a creamy color and the countertops and subway tile back splash are both honed carrara marble.

The massive 16,000 square foot home does not have a proper breakfast room (only a formal dining room, grand salon, and outdoor dining terrace) so the owner has to make due with a small table in the kitchen.

The kitchen is truly massive and unfortunately, I think it's impossible to get a sense for how big it really is through photographs alone. I'll take you through a mental tour of the space. If you were taking the picture above, you could take a right at the table and there would be a good fifteen feet of cabinets lining both sides of the room and a door leading to a terrace.If you return to the original place where you started (near the range) and turn around, you'll end up in the next picture.

You can't see it here, but if I recall correctly, there is a large island between this picture and the previous one. You are now looking at the butler's pantry. To the right, you have the kitchen powder room. Stunning, isn't it?

Kitchen #2

This kitchen is from one of my favorite houses ever. It's The Wheat House in Houston, which was featured on Cote de Texas. The kitchen has honed marble counters, a functional island, lovely hardware, antique light fixtures, white subway tile, and beautiful greenish-taupe cabinetry. Joni, please correct me if I'm wrong. Is that what the color looks like in person?

The cabinets do not have doors. This concept seems to be increasing in popularity. I know that Ryan Brown uses it in most of his gorgeous kitchens. So long as one is organized, it shouldn't be an issue. You can see the subway tile and cabinet color a little better here.

Close-up of the beautiful farm sink and faucet

Kitchen #3

Continuing with the Houston theme, this kitchen is from an old real estate listing in the Afton Oaks neighborhood. I really like the color of the cabinetry, tall ceilings, the big drawers in the island, and the abundance of storage space.

Kitchen #4

This kitchen is also from an old real estate listing in Houston. Although it is somewhat small, I like the cabinetry, tiny subway tile back splash, and schoolhouse pendant.

Kitchen #5

Decidedly more modern than the others, I love the contrast of dark wood lower cabinets and white upper cabinets which plays on the flood of light that washes into the room. Again, you have several of my favorite elements: subway tile, and industrial range, farmhouse sink, and dark wood floors. This is also from an expired Houston real estate listing.

The last few kitchens I am featuring are from Christopher Peacock's collection. Peacock's kitchens have become somewhat of a status symbol as they can easily cost well into the six figure range. The New York Times featured an article on Mr.Peacock and his gorgeous, high-end kitchens. In it, he lists 10 items that people think they want, but seldom actually use and 10 items which are very good to have in one's kitchen.


Pot-filling faucet, Pantry dishwasher or refrigerator, Kitchen desk, Trash compactor, Large microwave, Rangetop grill, Two-tier island countertops, Large island, Appliance garage


Refrigerator and freezer drawers, Two dishwashers,Warming drawers, Small microwave, Bookshelves, Tray storage, Roll-out drawers, Message center, Marble countertops, Wood countertops"

My favorite Christopher Peacock Kitchens

Kitchen #6

This kitchen looks cozy and classic. I love the ledge on the hood.

Kitchen #7

I love the simple cabinetry, though the mouldings make the kitchen look more ornate. The marble back splash and wooden island make the kitchen interesting.

Kitchen #8

This is quite possibly my favorite Peacock kitchen. It has white cabinetry, gorgeous hardware, carrara counters, a large island in a different color for contrast, and hardwood floors.

This is another view of the same kitchen. Notice the carrara backsplash and amazing cook's station. I love the industrial range and stainless steel backsplash.

Kitchen #9

Refined and elegant, I love the cabinets on either side of the range. The lighting is beautiful.

Kitchen #10

This kitchen is more modern than the other Peacock kitchens I included in my list. It also has the pretty taupe / grey cabinetry we've seen in some of the other kitchens in this post. I love the industrial pendants hanging over the island. The chalkboard feature adds a bit of charm and functionality.

Well, there you have it. I didn't count the number of kitchens I was going to write about, but I ended up with ten. So, I guess these are my Top 10 Favorite Kitchens (in no particular order). Someday, one of these babies will go from dream to reality. In the meantime, please, do tell. What is your dream kitchen like?

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