the place to be

By this time we all know the days of retreating to an isolated kitchen are over. More than any other room in the house, today’s kitchen is meant to be shared and enjoyed—it’s an area everyone will see and everyone will use. These kitchens all welcome this practical shift in focus with original spaces that work incredibly well and look incredible while doing so.

“why does it have to look like a kitchen?”
When designing the kitchen for her family’s home outside of Santa Fe, Wendi Odai, who operates Canyon Builders with her husband, Anthony, wanted to create a welcoming living space as well as a functional cooking space. Wood floors, onyx pendants and sconces, leather chairs, and furniture-style cabinets by Santa Fe Custom Works incorporate materials that typically appear elsewhere in the home, establishing this kitchen’s unique aesthetic. “Why does it have to look like a kitchen?” Wendi asks. If you are going to spend a lot of time here, you should be comfortable, she reasons.

Clean-lined hardware and modern fixtures offset the kitchen’s traditional cabinetry and deep farm sink. Honed granite countertops offer a more relaxed appearance than polished ones. For the backsplash, Wendi chose oversize cream subway tiles to suit the room’s spacious proportions. ”You have to love every piece because you’re in the kitchen every day,” she says.

“less is more to us”
The owners of this contemporary Albuquerque house built by Suzanne Williams Incorporated knew they wanted a focal point for their new home. Open to the living and dining rooms and connected to outdoor living space, their kitchen brings innovative features to an attractive central living area. The back wall displays a dramatic shattered mosaic backsplash by Erin Adams Design. Polished concrete covers the floor. Chris Hanks of Hanks House designed elegant sapele wood cabinets paired with high-gloss acrylic storage to introduce an organic quality while satisfying the home’s subtle industrial style. “I’d rather have a clean look,” the homeowner explains. “Less is more to us.”

Automated acrylic drawers between the refrigerator and freezer open and close at a light touch. Around the corner from the refrigerator, the pantry provides storage, a place for making the kids’ lunches, and a dishwasher to complement the two dishwasher drawers conveniently built into the island. “Everything is very functional,” the homeowner says.

“food tastes better in a fun kitchen”
In remodeling their late-1940s house in Albuquerque’s Ridgecrest neighborhood, Holly Anselmo and Scott Moore wanted a lively kitchen that would accommodate eating together at home with sons 12-year-old Ian and 10-year-old Glen. “That’s important to us,” Holly says.

From the start, Holly knew she didn’t want to cook against the wall. Requirements like this helped shape the kitchen design by Kathy Jackson, now with Marc Coan Designs. Holly’s love of color influenced the room’s bold choices by interior designer Heidi Britt. Del Sol Builders completed the remodel. The new kitchen provides a convenient layout, much-needed storage, and built-in features to keep countertops clutter-free. Maple cabinetry combines with metal and frosted glass cabinets and open shelves—the orange and green fronts provide reference points for keeping track of where items are stored. Cork flooring adds softness underfoot.

A microwave drawer and warming drawer (perfect for pancakes) tuck into the central island accented with concrete and topped by a sculptural hood. The hard-working room is now where family members spend most of their time. “The food tastes better in a fun kitchen,” Scott observes.

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