Kitchen Couture

From new-builds with sleek fixtures and tactile materials to creative interpretations of classic style, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ 2016 Kitchen of the Year contest winners serve as not only as communal sanctuaries from everyday cacophony, but also functional necessities thanks to deft design details imagined by the area’s most esteemed design professionals.


3D Effect

Architect Scott West brings motion into a modern kitchen, infusing the space with dimensional elements and industrial style.

It doesn’t matter what’s cooking in the kitchen of this new, modern home designed by Scott West, owner of West Architecture Studio; his sculptural twist—a steel vent hood in a crystalline-inspired design—draws the eye to the main cooking zone in the Old Fourth Ward home. The blackened steel and faceted elements of the 4-by-6-foot hood echo a nearby floating fireplace, both custom pieces for the client.

“The blackened steel is part of an interesting movement that’s been developing for some time now in modern design: to make things a bit more organic and artisan-oriented, often with a slight industrial edge,” West says. The vent hood, long counter drawers and tall cabinets, meanwhile, create an abstract composition of floating elements along the kitchen’s main wall. They are anchored by a stunning Crema Ondulare marble backsplash, the kitchen’s other wow factor. West had his eye on this particular marble, which showcases movement but subdued colors, at Walker Zanger for some time before selecting it for this project. “I had been looking for an excuse to put it somewhere,” says West.

The backsplash and wide-plank walnut floors provide more organic elements. From a distance, the honed Marron Cohiba stone counters seem demure, but up close, large crystals in the deep brown countertops provide dramatic interest. A waterfall countertop wraps around more cabinet and drawer space on the island, while walnut veneer cabinets with a gray stain help the kitchen blend into the nearby dining area and the living room.

“What’s interesting to me is these kitchens that are beginning to be designed in a more minimalist way,” West says. “It’s looking less like a commercially functional space and more like a piece of art.”

CABINETRY Timberland Cabinets COUNTERTOPS Construction Resources BACKSPLASH Walker Zanger VENT HOOD and FIREPLACE Custom; designed by West Architecture Studio and fabricated by steel artisan Luke Prestridge REFRIGERATOR, DISHWASHER and WALL OVENS Bosch FAUCET Axor Citterio by Hansgrohe BARSTOOLS Cherner through Design Within Reach FLOORING Solid walnut; from Oak & Broad

DESIGNER Scott West, West Architecture Studio, (404) 222-0962,
CONTRACTOR Principle Builders Group; (404) 229-6644;


Storybook Style

Through creativity and collaboration, Melanie Davis proves less is more, infusing a Serenbe home with European flavor and subtle touches.

Photography & Styling by Melanie Davis Design (Lacey Sombar)

Melanie Davis and homeowner Steve Beshara, an artist, began redesigning the kitchen of Beshara’s Serenbe abode with this essential question: What is a kitchen in an English Cotswolds–style home supposed to look like?

“We both really enjoyed the process of researching and then refining the look we wanted,” says Davis. “In our meetings we would plaster the conference room with everything from inspiration pictures from homes in England to countertop materials and wood samples. The creative process was a lot of fun because he got it. He has great taste and wanted to create a unique setting.”

The strong European architecture of the exterior needed to be brought into the kitchen, which is sited in the center of the home. Davis is quick to point out that the project was a full collaboration between herself, Beshara, architects Edwin Rhinehart and Robert Pulliam of Rhinehart Pulliam & Co., John Bynum of John Bynum Custom Homes and Pearl Custom Cabinets.

“If you spend enough time in a space,” Davis says, “it naturally comes together as you combine the exterior and interior architecture.” To that end, reclaimed timbering, rustic oak floors, wood cabinetry with the appearance of furniture and light plaster walls tie into the architecture. The upper cabinets were limited to the wine bar and coffee station to further convey the European style of minimal upper cabinetry. An integrated plaster hood with timber detail complements the timber-cased opening to the great room.

“In the end, we thought less is more,” Davis says. “Let the wood grain of the cabinets give the color and interest to the room, let the rustic oak floors and timbers give the texture, and let the subtle plaster walls give light and contrast.”

CABINETRY Pearl Custom Cabinets APPLIANCES Viking from Builder Specialties COUNTERTOPS Marmi Natural Stone WOOD TIMBERS Vintage Lumber PLASTER WALLS Roma SINK Shaw’s Original FAUCET Rohl FLOWERS Pollen

INTERIOR DESIGNER Melanie Davis, Melanie Davis Design; (404) 822-8546;
ARCHITECTS Rhinehart Pulliam & Company; (404) 321-4572;
CONTRACTOR; John Bynum; John Bynum Custom Homes; (678) 725-2848;


Crisp and Cohesive

Architect Kenneth Lynch and a talented design team meld form, fashion and function.

Mexican tile floor, black appliances, plain white cabinets and a paltry island were a few of the challenges architect Kenneth Lynch encountered when he was enlisted to revamp his clients’ Buckhead home.

Following a careful analysis of their needs for storage, cabinets and kitchen appliances by kitchen design expert Matthew Quinn, Lynch reworked the entire living area by moving the kitchen to the center of the space, which he rearranged to include informal dining and keeping rooms, the home office and the laundry. Even the kitchen entry point was improved to bring guests immediately to an island featuring a Calacatta Gold marble waterfall countertop. “Now the kitchen area itself is the hub of that family living area,” Lynch says.

When redesigning the kitchen and an adjacent breakfast room, he elected to play off the exterior’s gray shingles and strong white trim. “We picked up the design motif,” he says. “We did not design the original house, but we carried the thought process.”

The existing Mexican floor tile was replaced with heart pine hardwood floors, which, along with the honed marble, white ceiling and gray cabinets, creates a crisp palette for the new space. Cabinetry by Quinn’s firm, Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio, maximize efficiency and storage and make the space feel larger.

Lynch also kept the architecture tailored to his clients. For the family’s pets, he added dog beds to the bottom level of the built-in bar cabinet (made of clear alder in a coffee stain), creating an aesthetically pleasing yet purposeful piece. Above the island, three lampshade fixtures are centered in a beadboard ceiling surrounded by Sheetrock, echoing the dining room ceiling and adding a warm glow to soften the space. “The whole scale works together,” says Lynch.

CABINETRY Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio HARDWARE Matthew Quinn Collection ISLAND FIXTURE Circa Lighting REFRIGERATOR and WINE COOLER Sub-Zero RANGE, COOKTOP, OVEN and WARMING DRAWER Wolf HOOD Miele DISHWASHER Fisher & Paykel TRASH COMPACTOR KitchenAid

ARCHITECT Kenneth Lynch, AIA; Kenneth Lynch & Associates; (404) 262-3762;
KITCHEN DESIGNER Matthew Quinn; Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio, (404) 261-0111;
INTERIOR DESIGNER Ginny Magher; Ginny Magher Interiors; (404) 231-3988
CONTRACTORS Tim Pratt, CR; Sims Remodeling; (770) 953-5959;


Bright and Fresh

Dawn Bennett gives a family kitchen a style overhaul, streamlining and brightening the space with a dose of  Cape Cod character.

At first, Dawn Bennett’s clients were resigned to live with their Tuscan-inspired kitchen, despite the fact that it clashed with their home’s Shingle-style architecture and didn’t suit their style. But after an upstairs renovation added a New England vibe to the home, the kitchen became next on their to-do list.

The young family, who summered at cottages in Kennebunkport, Maine, had been initially drawn to the exterior style of the Alpharetta home. “It’s a pared-down, modern Cape Cod,” Bennett says. When discussing plans for the kitchen with them, she drew upon New York designer Victoria Hagan’s interiors in New England and the architectural designs of Shope Reno Wharton, based in Connecticut.

Streamlining the space required tackling layers of applied plaster and drywall damage, and the kitchen was taken down to the studs. To brighten the space, white wood and stainless steel appliances are complemented by a pale-blue hue used on the beadboard sections of the coffered ceiling, while honed granite countertops echo soapstone. The palette was based on New England scenes of sand, water and cottages.

To create more space in the dining room, Bennett removed a wet bar that was originally placed at an odd angle. A catchall spot was also eliminated to accommodate hidden storage along the refrigerator wall. The kitchen’s work triangle remained unchanged, but Bennett replaced the bi-level island with an oversized counter at a single height, which was more functional for the family.

For a cohesive look, welded wire mesh on some of the cabinet fronts was carried over into an adjacent mudroom. The custom cabinets flank a thick cased opening into the kitchen that’s echoed in the design of the island. Clear glass pendant lights repeat the subtlety intended to provide a calm background to the daily hustle and bustle and bring a bit of Maine to the South.

CABINETRY Bell Custom Cabinetry HARDWARE Matthew Quinn Collection COUNTERTOPS Marmi Natural Stone APPLIANCES Sub-Zero VENT HOOD Wolf PLUMBING PDI TILE/BACKSPLASH Traditions in Tile LIGHTING South of Market (above island); Circa Lighting (above breakfast table); and Design Lighting Group (recessed)

ARCHITECT Geoffrey Borwick; Geoffrey Borwick Architect
INTERIOR DESIGNER Dawn M. Bennett, AIA; Splice Design Inc.; (404) 384-1142;
CONTRACTOR Lawson Calhoun; Calhoun Properties