2012 Kitchen of the Year

It’s that time of year again! One of my favorite events held by House Beautiful magazine: the Kitchen of the Year.

If you’re unfamiliar with the project, House Beautiful and its sponsors collaborate each year with a top designer to design a dream kitchen to be showcased in Rockefeller Plaza, New York. I’m always fascinated to see what unique ideas the designer thinks up. I can only imagine the pressure to design something truly spectacular, knowing your work will be on display for all of New York, not to mention countless readers, to judge.

This year the magazine chose top designer Mark De Giulio for the challenge and, as always, some of the details are inspiring. The renowned kitchen designer mixed traditional elements with glamorous accents, like glittering tile, glass knobs and gilded iron lights. “Kitchens can get very complicated,” says De Giulio. “I wanted to keep this simple and classic. It’s also a little bit glamorous.”

Here are some of my favorite highlights from this year’s design.

Overall, the kitchen is sleek and sophisticated. I love the stainless steel accents and pendant lights in polished nickel, but I’m not smitten with the visibility of the kitchen’s storage spaces. The ease of locating what you need, when you need it would be optimized, but not very practical. Most people are neither organized nor tidy enough to have their kitchen equipment on full display, and open shelves are quick to gather dust on items you want to keep immaculately clean.

The Butler’s Pantry is my favorite feature of the kitchen! The 100-square-foot space is storage heaven, but it’s the glorious blue and gold cove ceiling that really makes me smile. A Venetian finish was used and accented with gilded iron lights.

I think the Metal Boy cabinet is also a stroke of genius. It’s an innovative alternative to the traditional pot rack, but so much easier to access! And the design makes it simple to keep pots and pans organized. De Guilio designed the product which is sold by his company.

The rustic simplicity of the dining area is also inspiring. The room is visually appealing despite the very limited use of color or pattern. The mismatched chairs add interest, while the table contrasts nicely with the dark wood floor. The modular ring chandelier in aged iron draws the eye in and up.

So what do you think? Is it the “Kitchen of the Year?”

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