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A sense of theater

Guests in this house have front-row seats so they can enjoy first-class entertainment from the cook in the kitchen

A view of a kitchen wooden cabinetry, cream countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, room, brown, orange
A view of a kitchen wooden cabinetry, cream walls, tiled floor, concrete benchtops, wood fire oven, many pots and pans and accessories, stainless steel oven and hob, tiled splashback.A view of a kitchen wooden cabinetry, cream walls, tiled floor, concrete benchtops, wood fire oven, many pots and pans and accessories, stainless steel oven and hob, tiled splashback.

The way you approach cooking has a powerful influence on the design and layout of your kitchen. For those with a theatrical bent, the performance is at least as important as the final result.

The owner of this house wanted a kitchen where cooking was part of the entertainment, and a place from which guests would not feel excluded. Equally, he didn't want them to see the mess that cooking so often generates.

When architect Tom Taylor of Taylor Lombardo designed the living spaces, he saw the kitchen as a stage. The living area is large 70ft long, 38ft wide and 22ft high and all the furnishings and fittings are on a similar scale. The kitchen, with its enormous chimney-style hood, dominates one end of the room, while a second large fireplace counterbalances this at the opposite end of the living space.

To ensure all storage and messy preparation is out of sight, a second kitchen is behind the main kitchen. This backstage area includes a refrigerator, dishwasher, sink and oven, as well as most pantry and crockery storage.


A view of the kitchen area, tiled floor, café, ceiling, floor, flooring, interior design, lighting, lobby, restaurant, table, wood, black, brown
A view of the kitchen area, tiled floor, wooden cabinerty, brown benchtops, wooden beams in the ceiling, spot lights and chandellier's. rugs, wooden dining suite, nikel sink and faucetry, many pots and pans, circular windows and large doors, livivng area beyond.

The show part of the kitchen includes two cooktops and a fireplace that doubles as a barbecue. Beneath the 16ft x 5ft island are a refrigerator for milk and other frequently used foods, and a wine chiller. Guests gather at the island, where they can sit and watch the cook, or help with preparations.

"Materials throughout the house and in the kitchen were chosen for their functionality as well as looks," says Taylor. "The owner considers function to be as important as style, so all surfaces are durable and easy to clean."

Concrete countertops were chosen for the simplicity of their appearance and for their homogenous color, says Taylor.

"The island is very large, yet the uniform color ensures it isn't the main focus of the space."

A view of a kitche, rug, tiled floor, café, ceiling, dining room, furniture, interior design, restaurant, table, brown, black
A view of a kitche, rug, tiled floor, spot lights, wooden beams in the ceiling, woode cabinetry, wooden bar stools, concrete benchtops, many pots and pans, circular windows and long doors, tiled backsplash, stainless steel oven and cooktop, nikel sink and faucetry, wood fire oven.

The owner was also keen that the interior should weave together his various interests. A favorite antique piece made from nutty alder wood inspired the kitchen cabinetry's finish, and a love of things Italian prompted many design details. Travels through the South Pacific and Mexico introduced the idea of a ceiling made from thatched willow branches.

For details, contact Taylor Lombardo Architects, 529 Commercial St, Suite 400, San Francisco, CA 94111, phone (415) 433 7777, fax (415) 433 7717. Email: info@taylorlombardo.com, or visit the website: www.taylorlombardo.com.

Story by: Trendsideas

26 Sep, 2007