This cooks + looks combo has unique style and everything desirable in 2010-11.
As someone who wrote about food for many years, it’s difficult for me to resist a kitchen created for serious cooking that also scores high points for aesthetics. It’s an unbeatable combination we don’t see often enough – at least not for me.
When great space and a generous budget are also part of the cooks + looks equation, then you get what I call a “teachable features” kitchen like this Bay Area beauty designed by San Rafael’s Joann Hartley. Our pal and cofounder Jane T first sent me the photos of this kitchen since Janie likes to keep up on designers in and around San Francisco.
This kitchen has all the current touchstone features: banquette seating (far end), Cornue Fe French dual-fuel range, stainless steel apron-front sink, eating bar, island with lighting and storage, cabinet panels on the refrigerator, chalkboard doors, butler’s pantry, mixed color cabinets, flat-screen TV, task lighting and wine refrigeration.
Cornue Fé is the hottest range for high-end kitchens these days. While less costly than the custom-made La Cornue it has gas power, electric side-opening ovens and traditional styling that French rangers crave. This one is handsomely bumped out and installed beneath a built in hood though what contribution the fern motif on the hood makes seems a bit of a mystery. More interesting is the way the eating bar is set adjacent to the stove yet remains unfitted.
The support base of the eating bar is a super stylish industrial French vintage piece with stools that coordinate. It also refers to the style of the island. Unfettered by anything that needs to be opened below, the eating bar also acts as a great staging area and landing area for the stove. Beyond, a small butler’s pantry includes open and closed storage plus a bar sink. A flat door handily converts to a chalkboard.
Mixing cabinet finishes on the long kitchen wall breaks up the monolithic look some kitchens acquire and it’s very intelligently done. There is no shortage of equipment either – a speed oven, microwave supplement the double ovens of the Fé. The kitchen’s leitmotif, however, comes from the riveted, industrial style steel work table in the center with its double-tier chandy-shelf. Counters and backsplash are kept wisely low key and look very much like white blizzard of Caesarstone fame. Indulge me, please, while I drool.