25 Years of the City’s Best Kitchens

The January/February 1988 issue of Southern Homes, the predecessor of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, assembled a panel of experts (including interior designer Charles Gandy) to judge what would become an annual tradition: The City’s Best Kitchens contest. Hallmarks of that year’s winners: laminate and tile countertops, brick floors and stained wood cabinetry. Atlanta kitchens have come a long way, and 25 years later, we take a look at some of our favorites that we believe will live beyond the next two decades.


1. A chic but minimalistic look at a 200-square-foot kitchen by Michael Bell in a Buckhead high-rise. 2. A collected mix of artifacts and accessories add personality to a contemporary kitchen. 3. Extra-thick calcutta gold marble counters take this space to the next level. 4. A furniture-like island feels at home in a light-and-bright kitchen. 5. Subway tile, pops of color and marble countertops add a vintage feel. 6. Treated knotty pine walls and a pecan wood island complement antiqued limestone countertops. 7. Beamed ceilings, wide-plank oak floors and iron  windows pour on the charm. 8. The island is topped in the same sleek lacquered finish as the scic cabinetry. 9. Zebrawood cabinets stained in indigo and ebony create a blue-black finish allowing striping to show. 10. A Maharani pink chandelier sets a cheery tone in a the kitchen-dining area. 11. Poplar beams, a steel hood and beaded inset cabinetry add farmhouse appeal. 12. Two islands serve multiple purposes. 13. Floors of pine and colonial-inspired brick shine in a Stan Dixon-Liz Williams collaboration. 14. An integrated hood and a recessed niche on the backsplash reveal divine detailing. 15. Cabinets painted in Farrow & Ball’s pigeon freshen up a neutral palette.  16. A ladder adds an element of movement and approachability. 17. A French La Cornue range acts like a work of art. 18. A concrete-topped island is flanked by leather-clad benches and Mcalpine home for Macrae Designs stools. 19. Wood-paneled walls, submarine lights and an iron window play up rich textures. 20. Delicate lattice detailing on wall cabinets adds an airy touch. 21. Bleached oak and cross-cut limestone give this space a modern lightness. 22. A torch-style chandelier and watercolor egg prints add a dose of high-style. 23. A pecky cypress ceiling is a nice foil to tall, sleek cabinetry in a Beth Barfield-designed  kitchen. 24. Striated marble countertops and smoked glass doors that conceal storage and slide behind the hood are style secrets in Matthew Quinn and Ric Parrish’s Midtown penthouse. 25. A lowered ceiling above the kitchen keeps it from feeling volumetric.