Command post

Positioned in the middle of the house, this kitchen is the center of operations for a busy family

A view of the kitchen. ceiling, countertop, dining room, home, interior design, kitchen, living room, real estate, room, gray
A view of the kitchen.

For many people, the most appealingaspect of a second home is the casual, relaxed lifestyle that goes with it. The comfortable decor, the easy flow between rooms and the seamless transition to the outdoors all contribute to the enjoyment.

It's a way of living that the owners of this new house wanted to hold on to, say designers Todd Pritchett and Craig Dixon.

"The family has a mountain lake house, which we also designed," says Pritchett. "It provides a very casual living environment, and the owners wanted their new Atlanta house to incorporate some of the elements that make for such an easy lifestyle but with a little more sophistication."

A central kitchen was crucial to the design, Dixon says. As the owners like to entertain and have several children, the kitchen is the center of activity.

"Everything flows to the kitchen. It was always going to be a very social space, so we fully integrated it into the architecture of the house. The floor plan is a modern layout with light-filled spaces, but detailed with the understated elegance of a historic home."

A close up view of the wooden kitchen cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, room, window, gray, brown
A close up view of the wooden kitchen cabinetry, wooden flooring.

Painted and glazed cabinetry that complements the wood detailing elsewhere in the house, helps to visually link the kitchen with the adjacent rooms. These include a breakfast room and a family room, which leads out to a courtyard and swimming pool. In addition, the kitchen opens to a walk-in butler's pantry, formal dining room, home office and laundry.

With so many openings, designing the work space wasn't straightforward, says Pritchett.

"Trying to get the traffic to flow through the space and still provide for plenty of storage was challenging," he says. "The large size of the kitchen also posed problems in respect to scale."

A gabled, beamed ceiling a refined version of the rustic mountain house architecture helps to define and enclose the space. Positioning a large island in the center of the room also serves to separate the work area from the high traffic routes.

A 12ft-long oak countertop wraps around a granite work surface on the island. When viewed from the family room the island resembles a country table, another link with the vacation home.

A view of the kitchen area, wooden cabinetry, countertop, home, interior design, kitchen, room, gray
A view of the kitchen area, wooden cabinetry, stone benchtops, stainless steel sinks and faucetry, steel hob.

"Using a combination of materials and levels for the countertop helps to break up the mass, so the island is not so overwhelming," says Dixon.

Despite the size of the kitchen, the work triangle is compact, due to the close proximity of the main sink, the cooktop and refrigerator. Twin ovens are also close by in an appliance pantry. Lifting pocket doors above the ovens slide away to expose a microwave oven and coffee machine.

Dixon says the kitchen is designed so more than one person at a time can work at the countertops. There are two additional sinks one beside the cooktop and one on a counter that also serves as abeverage center.

Credit list

Interior designer
Anne Lippincott Interiors
Custom cabinetry
Painted and light-glazed maple from Skyline Design Group
French limestone by Walker-Zanger
Ventilation and cooktop
Under-counter refrigerator and icemaker
Wide plank oak
Bianco Romero granite and French oak
Ovens and refrigerator
GE Monogram

Story by: Trendsideas

12 Oct, 2005