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Warm hearted - relaxed country kitchen by Full Circle Architects

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Relaxed country kitchen by Full Circle Architects

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As the heart of a residence, the kitchen often subtly fulfils several design agendas. For example, one owner's wish to display prized memorabilia might be balanced against her partner's need for a roomy, super-efficient work space.

This expansive country-style kitchen is the largest room in a substantial home – its length allows it to connect directly to a number of spaces in the interior. Created by architect Lenore Baigelman, the kitchen responds to the needs of the owners and to these neighboring spaces.

Arched openings between the kitchen and family room and kitchen and dining room help separate the spaces, but they still allow peeks back through to a red backsplash – the centerpiece of the kitchen, says Baigelman.

With brick tiles laid in a herringbone pattern, this vibrant element reflects the woman owner's love of cheerful, ruby red, which is picked up as a color accent right through the decor.

"I limited the use of this rich color to heighten its impact, only introducing it behind the cooktop. On the other walls, the backsplash is in a white tile to match the cabinets," says Baigelman.


One end of the kitchen is open to the breakfast table and family room beyond. This part has a relaxed, casual feel, with perimeter cabinetry beneath the windows acting as a counter for serving meals.

The kitchen connects to the formal dining area more in terms of function than aesthetics – visually, it is relatively separate. A pocket door can slide across to separate the rooms.

On the kitchen side of the sliding door, there is wine storage on one side and display cabinets for platters and crystal on the other – both only a step away from the dining table.

The owners frequently entertain and the kitchen includes several talking points. For example, the table, chairs and kitchen stools were made from trees grown on the property.

The woman owner wanted to display heirlooms and keepsakes in her kitchen, so Baigelman introduced open niches and glass-paneled upper cabinetry doors.

"However, as well as being suited to entertaining and display, the space is laid out for cooking efficiency, says Baigelman. "The man is the chef of the family and the cabinetry and countertop proportions all accommodate his 6ft 5in frame. Appliances are set near the cooking zone and perimeter countertops are in soapstone, a tough, anti-microbial work surface."

Credit List

Architect Lenore Baigelman, Full Circle Architects (Northbrook, IL)
Kitchen designer Joe Peshut, Varia Designs
Cabinet company Woodharbor Doors & Cabinetry
Builder RedRock Custom Homes & Remodeling
Cabinetry Private label through Varia Designs painted wood with flush inset Brittany door panels in Coastal White
Countertops White velvet granite with brushed finish
Flooring Marble tile in hallway, limestone tile from Ann Sacks in kitchen
Backsplash Burnt Matador tiles behind cooktop from Mosaicos Tile; white tiles from Barbara Barry
Doors and windows Marvin
Kitchen furniture Custom from salvaged oak tree
Kitchen sink Julien undermount
Faucets Bridgeford in polished chrome by Grohe
Oven, cooktop, ventilation Wolf
Microwave Panasonic
Lighting Stonegate Astoria pendant from Rainbow Lighting
Refrigeration, wine cooler Sub-Zero
Dishwasher Kitchenaid

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