2015 Kitchen of the Year Contest

With clever details, striking accents and cohesive designs, this year’s Kitchen of the Year winners prove that style and function are not mutually exclusive.

Lasting Impression

Designer Joel Kelly employs dynamic but luxe design solutions for a town house kitchen.

To tackle their town house’s unflattering layout, a pair of empty nesters turned to architectural and interior designer Joel Kelly. “Town houses are problematic in that kitchens are usually right in the middle of everything. There’s no formality to the floor plan,” says Kelly. His solution: A wall of stunning, steel-framed interior windows. “The thought behind this concept was that as you walk from the front door to the back, you wouldn’t notice there’s a kitchen, as your attention would be focused on this unexpected architectural element,” he explains. More than just a visual masterpiece, the operable windows and bifold doors help contain food aromas during meal prep and impart a light and airy appeal as natural light from the kitchen windows pours through to adjoining spaces. “Enclosing the area with solid walls to conceal the kitchen would have made the space dark and impeded visual flow,” says Kelly. Next up for the designer: addressing the kitchen’s lack of storage. Without a pantry or butler’s pantry, Kelly took the custom cabinetry up to the ceiling to maximize the limited square footage. A track ladder provides accessibility while doubling as yet another unique feature in this innovative kitchen. Far from stylistically one-note, the kitchen simultaneously exudes modern, old-world and industrial charms. Fumed oak flooring in an elegant chevron pattern adds beauty underfoot, while quartzite countertops, lime-washed oak cabinets, a plaster hood and a glossy ceramic tile backsplash generate rich layers of texture and color. “This kitchen was a unique thing for us,” says Kelly. “It was one of the most challenging projects I’ve ever worked on, and I would also say that the end result is definitely one of my favorites.”

DESIGNERS Joel Kelly with Jonathan Alexander and Lauren Troutman, Joel Kelly Design. (404) 221-0422; joelkelly.com
CONTRACTOR Chris Donnelly, Brookside Custom Homes. brooksidefinehomes.com
RESOURCES // CABINETS Robin Smith of Block & Chisel LADDER Modern Stainless Ladders HARDWARE Top Knobs at Masterpiece Lighting STEEL WALL R.G. Ironworks RANGE Wolf HOOD Plaster surround with Wolf hood liner BACKSPLASH Ann Sacks COUNTERTOPS Walker Zanger PLUMBING FIXTURES Hansgrohe REFRIGERATOR Sub-Zero BAR STOOLS Bernhardt Design FLOORING Burchette & Burchette 



Minimalist Marvel

TaC Studio’s Cara Cummins creates a subtle and seamless kitchen with dramatic impact. 
This modern kitchen by Cara Cummins of TaC Studios proves that functional space doesn’t have to sacrifice style. In their newly constructed home, the owners—recent Atlanta transplants with a penchant for contemporary design—were seeking an open layout with seamless visual flow to the adjoining spaces. To that end, Cummins installed expansive sliding glass doors to provide a clear line of sight into the backyard. “They wanted to make it such that if they were cooking at the island, they could have a watchful eye on their children playing out back,” she says. “The kitchen is also very open to the rest of the living level, which includes a dining room and family room. It creates a sense of connectivity and gives this young family an opportunity to constantly interact with one another.” In the kitchen itself, Cummins delivered a simple yet striking design. Custom SieMatic cabinetry recessed into the wall plays up the room’s modern flair, as do stunning red glass accents, while an integrated walnut table by Skylar Morgan Furniture + Design on the island helps soften the space with its warm tones. The kitchen’s high style is balanced with child-friendly features such as Silestone—a highly durable material that can withstand messes both small and large—counters and custom-designed island cabinets for toy storage, which allow the children to fully live in each space of the home instead of being relegated to the family room. Cummins also made sure essentials were only an arm’s length away, with integrated slots for cutting boards in the prep area, dishes by the sink and pans near the ovens. “Beauty and function can coexist,” she notes.
DESIGNER Cara Cummins, TaC Studios. (404) 223-5565; tacstudios.com
RESOURCES // CABINETRY SieMatic S2K system; installed by RAO Design Studio HOOD Zephyr Duo Island hood through Distinctive Appliances REFRIGERATOR AND FREEZER Thermador at RAO Design ALL OTHER APPLIANCES Miele through Distinctive Appliances SINK Elkay FAUCET Blanco WALNUT ISLAND TABLE Skylar Morgan Furniture + Design DINING TABLE AND CHAIRS Crate & Barrel LIGHTING Tom Dixon through Context 


Family Jewel

Design Galleria’s Mary Kathryn Timoney transforms an awkward layout into a space for everyday living. 
To accommodate a young family of four, Mary Kathryn Timoney of Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio completely overhauled a cramped kitchen rife with out-of-date details. Timoney’s first order of business was to remedy the space’s poor layout. “The sink, stove and ovens were previously relegated to a narrow galley, while all the storage was out of reach at the opposite end of the room,” explains the designer. “It was almost as if there were two kitchens in one.” To unify the spaces, Timoney relocated the stove to the center of the room, while shortening the galley’s original 17-foot length with the addition of a pantry and butler’s pantry on either side. Meeting the homeowners’ need for a space where the family could work, eat and live, she also added an island across from the new range top to provide a place for the children to eat and do their homework at during meal prep. Once a cohesive layout was in place, Timoney focused on the kitchen’s aesthetic elements. She balanced the home’s traditional verve with the homeowners’ desire for a more modern look by including distinctive details in a clean, crisp color palette. Oversized ceramic subway tiles and an ornamental marble backsplash form a unique backdrop for a pewter-and-stone hood and sleek sconces in the cooking zone. Meanwhile, graceful mullion detailing on the upper cabinets and crystal orbs on the island are a classic touch. “Trust was at the core of this renovation,” says Timoney. “The homeowners allowed me to execute my vision, and the result is a beautiful space that has become the heart of the home.”

DESIGNER Mary Kathryn Timoney, Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio. (404) 261-0111; designgalleria.net
CONTRACTOR Jim Hixon, Hixon Homes, Inc. (770) 578-6242; hixonhomes.com
INTERIOR DESIGN Rick Dent, Mathews Furniture Galleries. (404) 237-8271; mathewsfurniture.com

RESOURCES // CABINETRY Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio HARDWARE Matthew Quinn Collection RANGE TOP Wolf HOOD François & Co. SCONCES Boston Functional Library Light by Circa Lighting COUNTERTOPS Fabricated and installed by Marble Creations SUBWAY TILE Walker Zanger FARM SINK and FAUCETS Rohl OVENS Wolf


Clean Slate

Warner McConaughey of Hammersmith infuses style and substance into this floor-to-ceiling renovation.
The owners of this Druid Hills home presented Warner McConaughey of HammerSmith with a tall order: give their kitchen a 21st-century update while preserving the home’s 100-year history. Rising to the challenge, McConaughey delivered a kitchen packed with both modern sensibilities and historic flourishes. He began by gutting the entire space, tearing down the walls to the adjoining powder room, breakfast room and den, effectively doubling the kitchen’s square footage. Relocating the stairwell farther toward the front of the home created room for a butler’s pantry and scullery kitchen. “Every single wall has been replaced; there’s nothing we didn’t touch,” says McConaughey. “It was nice that we had a clean slate to start over with, but we also had to keep the home’s original character in mind.” Although he removed the maze-like walls separating the small adjoining rooms—a common trait in older homes—McConaughey looked to the ceiling to create the illusion of intimacy while maintaining a modern-day, open-concept living level. “We used a variety of beams and headers in the rooms so that when you’re in each space you feel like you’re in a more historic room that makes sense with the rest of the house,” says the designer. This concept is most apparent in the kitchen, where an intricate beam design helps to define the room. To fulfill the homeowners’ “more modern” directive, McConaughey installed concrete and marble countertops in varying thicknesses and created ample hidden storage that keeps the kitchen void of clutter. The concrete backsplash, mimicking nautical wood slats, is a nod to the couple’s favorite vacation destination—Rosemary Beach, Florida. “They’re both working professionals, so they wanted to have life feel a little simpler when they got home,” McConaughey says. “It’s now a space where they can truly unwind.”

ARCHITECT Warner McConaughey, HammerSmith Inc. (404) 377-1021; hammersmith.net
CONTRACTOR HammerSmith, Inc.

RESOURCES  // CABINET AND WALL COLOR Amazing Gray by Sherwin-Williams CUSTOM HOOD B & S Sheet Metal Fabricators Inc. CABINETRY Hammersmith, Inc. HARDWARE Restoration Hardware CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS AND BACKSPLASH Thornton Concrete Studio MARBLE COUNTERTOPS Atlanta Marble Manufacturing BAR STOOLS Lee Industries at Tracery Interiors FAUCETS Grohe RANGE Wolf Sub-Zero LIGHTING Circa Lighting FLOORING Oak with mahogany and ebony stain blend ROMAN SHADES Custom Brands Group