2018 Kitchen of the Year Winners

What’s on-trend for the heart of the home in 2018? Our groundbreaking contest winners reveal the city’s top materials, appliances and resources for designing dream kitchens

Haute & Handsome

Joel Kelly hits an evocative note by using time-honed materials in a cosmopolitan manner

A sketch for a paneled kitchen reminded designer Joel Kelly’s clients of their visit to Hollywood’s storied Sunset Tower lounge during a shopping trip to Los Angeles. Seeing his clients’ positive response, Kelly set out to fulfill their dreams of a cosmopolitan kitchen.

“When a client looks at you, and their eyes widen and that little grin comes over their face, they don’t even have to say anything and you know you’ve hit a home run at that point,” he says. “And as a designer, it’s what you live for.”

The evocative kitchen with bespoke details anchors the end of a formal entertaining space but doesn’t shout, “I’m a working space.” The home’s “stripped traditionalism” was a starting point to blur the lines between utility and theater, seen in the slightly deco detailing of the walnut. “It’s just a really beautiful paneled room at that point,” Kelly says.

The wood, stone and steel convey a strong sense of handiwork, which helped create a sense of history in the new residence. The handmade quality of the surfaces gives the kitchen an intimate feel, Kelly says.

The high ceiling required thoughtful consideration and ultimately was wrapped in double layers of walnut, which, along with the deep upper cabinets, give it the aura of a paneled room. The integrated refrigerator columns helped create a seamless wall of cabinetry; even the dishwashers and hood liner disappear into the sophisticated surroundings.

A second island was crucial for entertaining, while the side steel panels with rivets, in a waterfall-like configuration, beg to be noticed in the masculine space.

“One might imagine this kitchen in a penthouse apartment, which resonates well with clients who have lived in upscale urban environments,” Kelly says. “It’s reminiscent of their past chapters but is also expressive of where they want to go.”

RESIDENTIAL AND INTERIOR DESIGN Joel Kelly, Joel Kelly Design; (404) 221-0422; joelkelly.com ARCHITECT Rodolfo Castro, Castro Design Studio LLC; (404) 514-7247; castrodesignstudio.com CABINETRY Block & Chisel COUNTERTOPS AND BACKSPLASH Walker Zanger STEELWORK ON ISLANDS Skylar Morgan Furniture + Design APPLIANCES Wolf/Sub-Zero LOUNGE CHAIRS Mattaliano through Paul + CHAIR FABRIC Holland & Sherry SIDE TABLE Jean de Merry through R. Hughes CUSTOM COUNTER STOOLS Skylar Morgan Furniture + Design FABRIC Chella through Paul + HARDWARE Ashley Norton FAUCETS Waterworks PENDANTS Ochre through R. Hughes SCONCES Fuse Lighting through Paul + WINDOW SHADES Conrad Shades through Jerry Pair LANTERNS ON COUNTER Gregorius Pineo through Jerry Pair PLANTER AuthenTeak THROW B.D. Jeffries CLAY JAR ON COUNTER B.D. Jeffries STONE BOWL ON ISLAND Brenda Houston through Jerry Pair METAL BOWL IN FRONT OF LOUNGE CHAIRS A. Tyner Antiques TEAK BOWL Chip and Company WOOD ACCESSORIES Scott Antique Market

Epic Alchemy

Reiner White Design Studio infuses unexpected, cutting-edge design into the heart of the home

Designers Jennifer Reiner and Robert White created the ultimate hangout space for their clients and their four sons. Innovative custom features give the modern farmhouse kitchen a restaurant-like quality that melds Reiner’s experience in commercial design with White’s residential background.

“We always invent things that don’t exist. That’s what designers do,” Reiner says. The custom 13-foot vent hood made of forged raw steel served as an inspiration for the kitchen in the new 14,000-square-foot Atlanta home. The vent hood, with industrial flair and old-world details such as riveting, and the laser-cut, porcelain tile backsplash in a modern key-lock pattern are dazzling focal points.

The designers balanced rustic cues with bright modernism for the high-functioning and comfortable space their clients desired.

Dual islands are wrapped in waterfall surfaces that further the modern, clean lines of the room. The brass detailing in classic pendants, which they spotted in the lobby of the Austin, Texas’ Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, combine with chrome and stainless steel in the kitchen. It’s their version of metallurgy—the science of extracting and refining metals.

“Somehow they all kind of work together, and the alchemy of that is something that we’re really proud of and excited about because we don’t like to match everything,” White says.

Across the room, banquettes and chairs surround custom tables by Bradley, which extend to form one 17-foot table with seating for more than a dozen kids ready for homework and holiday meals. Cast-concrete bases are carved to look like petrified wood, befitting the modern farmhouse style. Behind a bank of refrigerators, the hidden walk-in pantry serves as a spot for grab-and-go meals, drinks and snacks. Motorized solar shades shield the pantry and its shiplap walls from the afternoon sun.“We wanted the kitchen to feel pretty epic, and the only way to do that really is to think on a grander scale,” White says.

ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR DESIGN Reiner White Design Studio; (404) 697-9244; reinerwhite.com CONTRACTOR Craftmaster (404) 252-8560 CUSTOM RANGE HOOD Toole Welding & Construction CUSTOM CABINETRY Baxter Architectural Woodworks APPLIANCES Ferguson ISLAND COUNTERS Cambria Brittanicca PERIMETER/PANTRY COUNTERTOPS Caesarstone CUSTOM TABLES Bradley BANQUETTE Seat fabric through Pindler, back fabric by Joseph Noble through Paul +; labor by Yonathan Rivera COUNTER STOOLS AND UPHOLSTERED CHAIRS Restoration Hardware FLOORING Foussana through Walker Zanger BACKSPLASH TILE Charcoal Derby by Sterling Row through Walker Zanger PANTRY WALL TILES White Ice through Floor & Decor DRAPERY Pindler, fabrication/installation by ECS Installation HARDWARE Richelieu Hardware ISLAND PENDANTS The Urban Electric Co. PAINT Snowbound by Sherwin-Williams PERIMETER CABINETRY PAINT Collingwood by Benjamin Moore ISLAND CABINETRY PAINT Amherst Gray by Benjamin Moore

Bold & Blue

Courtney Giles Interiors takes on the white kitchen with a powerful punch of color

A cramped and dated 1980s kitchen required a complete reinvention to be elegant and livable for a young family with three children. Enter interior designer Courtney Giles Decker and architect Brandon Ingram, who teamed up to reorient the kitchen as an entertaining hub.

At the center of the larger, reimagined space is a marble backsplash in a modified geometric pattern from Walker Zanger, accompanied by blues bursting forth in the white kitchen and breakfast rooms. “[The clients] wanted a classic kitchen with a twist,” Giles Decker says.

The kitchen doubled in size as the layout was reworked to better respond to the family room. Convenient spaces for hardworking elements emerged, via the new laundry and pantry with bold blue cabinetry. “That gives it a little pop that people weren’t necessarily expecting,” Giles Decker says. A grass cloth Thibaut wallpaper echoes the cabinetry, painted Benjamin Moore’s Andes Summit, and the floral linen draperies in the breakfast room.

Wood walls and steel windows and doors, including a round window above built-in storage, retained the kitchen’s classic detailing but with a little edge. A bar wraps from the kitchen to the dining space, with glass-front cabinets that showcase the family’s crystal collection.

Not everything was new, however. The homeowners’ existing breakfast table and chairs were used, with a Schumacher print added to the backs. Antique ginger jars serve as classic accessories, while open lanterns above the stained island match the finish of the breakfast room fixtures.

“My aesthetic probably changes from client to client,” Giles Decker says. In this kitchen, the feel is “young and free.”

INTERIOR DESIGN Courtney Giles Decker, Courtney Giles Interiors; (404) 307-2874; courtneygiles.com ARCHITECTURE Brandon Ingram, C. Brandon Ingram Design; (404) 205-5245; cbrandoningram.com BUILDER/CONTRACTOR Intown Renovations Group LLC; (404) 806-1494; intownrenovations.com KITCHEN & BREAKFAST ROOM TILE Walker Zanger COUNTER STOOLS Palecek STOOL FABRIC Link HARDWARE Matthew Quinn Collection LIGHTING Circa FAUCETS Rohl DRAPERY FABRIC William Yeoward through Osborne & Little CHAIRS AND TABLE Client’s personal collection VINYL ON CHAIRS Kravet FABRIC ON CHAIR BACKS Schumacher PAINT White Dove by Benjamin Moore GINGER JARS MacRae LAUNDRY/PANTRY HARDWARE Matthew Quinn Collection PAINT Andes Summit by Benjamin Moore WALLPAPER Thibaut PAINT Andes Summit by Benjamin Moore