Where Function meets Beauty

by Lesley Harris Colvett

Our expert designers weigh in on what makes a beautiful, yet workable/functional kitchen for entertaining, just in time for the busy holiday season. Cheers!

Cindy McCord

Cindy McCord Design
1289 S. DuBray Place
Collierville, TN 38107
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The kitchen has long been referred to as the heart of the home. And with the exception of the kitchen oven there is probably no with feature that gets more use than the island. Not to mention the obvious use of functionality. It’s place where friends gather, meals are prepared and rich conversation is born around the preparation of cooking or marching through homework assignments! Whether in design or decoration the island is the pivotal point in the kitchen. I love a beautiful surface and fewer rather more items on the surface. There is nothing prettier than a beautiful flower arrangement or a unique big bowl with fruit to draw the eye inward to the simplicity of an island. A classic built-in island with a contrasting finish makes for a beautiful piece of furniture in a kitchen! A beautiful quartz top is always a winner! And while your island is primarily built for food preparation, if the truth be known we all will remember our island as a place where friendships deepened or homework assignments were tackled simply helping our little one with their second grade spelling words!

Warner Moore

Partner in Allyson James Design
3566 Walnut Grove Road
Memphis, TN. 38111
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In the current design mode of an open great room and kitchen, the challenge of keeping the kitchen beautiful and workable is big. No room is as multi-functional as the kitchen. This pace has evolved from a strictly utilitarian room into a versatile place to prepare food, entertain guests, and share meals. When contemplating kitchen ideas there are several aspects to consider.

If you are remodeling, one should consider the layout and where to place large appliances. Next comes storage. Kitchens contain lots of utensils, so store things within easy reach. Last, your room should reflect one’s personality with its decor and verve. Also for consideration is using the tried and true working triangle - a simple idea that can save time and energy. The work triangle connects the three main work areas: sink, stove and refrigerator. Generally, the distance between these areas should be no less than four feet and no more than nine feet.

When considering how to integrate practicality with the decorative aspect consider the rest of your home. The design needs to blend with your established taste. The colors should low naturally from you other public rooms. Especially if it’s an open plan. Here are some basic design ideas: In a small kitchen consider extending cabinets to the ceiling to create a vertical line and sleek look; if there are upper cabinets that are not in use consider removing them altogether to free up visual space; use a light, monochromatic color scheme; and add a  mirrored back splash to visually extend the walls. If you want more color, consider pale upper cabinets and darker lower cabinets. For a dramatic touch use a colorful patterned marble
or quartzite counter-top. Plan good storage, and clutter-free counter-top is a must.

The ultimate goal of every kitchen should be to create the most functional yet beautiful space possible to meet your entertaining needs. This room is the heart of your home and where all entertaining takes place. It should evoke your joy and energy.

Anthony Shaw

A. Shaw Style
2485 Parkway Place
Memphis, TN 38112
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Some might be surprised to learn that I love to cook and I'm actually pretty good at it! I really do enjoy the comforts of home, whether it's just my husband and I with our dogs, my laughter with her husband and their children, or our dearest friends. Inevitably, the kitchen is always the gathering space. For me, it's all about convenience because my personal kitchen is focused on cooking and baking. However, for many of my clients, the kitchen performs and entertains. There are several ways to add such distinction. First and foremost, whoever is doing the work needs a good amount of room and a functional layout. So, consider that when designing the space. The kitchen needs a certain layout with appliances in close proximity near the sink and good prep space, also termed as "landing space". Landing space is key for those who actually cook because it allows for enough room to prepare and assemble whatever recipe is being fulfilled. However, if the kitchen is doubling as a party spot, landing space is great for festive decorations. I'm not a decorator, but I do like to add accessories when I'm designing a space. In the kitchen, I like to add a bowl of fresh, seasonal fruits or vegetables and the holidays are perfect for showcasing what Mother Nature gives us. Anything from pomegranates to gourds, to nuts seem right during this season and I love to present these looks in something from the home that a client may already have such as family silver heirloom, a child's elementary school pottery project, a mixing bowl...anything that adds personality.

Landing space is key for those who actually cook because it allows for enough room to prepare and assemble whatever recipe is being fulfilled. However, if the kitchen is doubling as a party spot, landing space is great for festive decorations.
 I think kitchens have changed so much. Now, everyone has an island and that makes it easy to prep and entertain. More traditional homes don't, but they may have an eat-in kitchen with a family table that serves as the gathering spot. I love this, too, because it is so cozy to sit around a table and enjoy food and company while gathered around. The same ideas go for the table as the island and any landing space. Keep the decor natural and placed in a vessel that says everything about those you love. The "Happy Holidays" are around the corner, and the kitchen is one of my favorite spaces in a home.

Lisa Hogue

The Feathered Nest
7582 Southern Ave.
Germantown, TN 38138
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The kitchen has become the heart of the home. Regardless of the occasion, family and friends gather in the kitchen when they visit. People are drawn to the irresistible aromas and interesting activities that take place in this room. The kitchen and the preparation of food give us a way to express love to those we care most about, a way to give of ourselves to  friends and family, and a place for culinary expression.

Families probably spend more time in the kitchen than any other room in the home. This room should reflect your style and simplify your life. The space should be guest friendly, functional and welcoming. Gone are the days of having separate living, cooking and dining spaces. Cooking has become a social activity and the kitchen has become the epicenter of the home. Most everyone loves getting involved in cooking, therefore, the room has become a communal space where everyone wants to spend time.

 A workable kitchen will incorporate an island or bar if space permits. This allows all sides to be accessed for conversation, food prep, or simply being part of the fun. Keep the island free of decor to allow for ample space for its intended purpose. Incorporate seating around the island to make everyone feel comfortable. This allows for additional dining space as well.

"...the kitchen will continue to be a favorite spot in the home and is evolving into the living room."
Removing walls or widening door openings to adjacent rooms can give the area an open feel. This allows the room to appear more spacious and less segregated from the rest of the home. A well-planned kitchen can increase your home’s value and is often viewed as the most important room when it comes to selling your home. An open-kitchen concept will increase appeal to potential home buyers.

In summary, the kitchen will continue to be a favorite spot in the home and is evolving into the "living room". Take a look at your space and consider improvements to help make your room more inviting and "the heart of your home."

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