The kitchen in Dick and Janet Huber’s Monkton home is so bright and elegant, it would be easy to overlook how efficient and functional it is. Encompassing the first floor of a large addition to the back of the home, the kitchen takes advantage of beautiful wooded views through a wall of large windows.

Italian chandeliers with a chalk rust finish and crystal beads hang from the coffered ceiling. Off-white overlay-style birch cabinets offer ample storage, and a backsplash of intricate hand-painted and handmade ceramic tiles add to the room’s sophisticated look. The island, custom painted green with distressed finish, has a furniture feel with beaded inset birch cabinets and a built-in bookcase— and provides a space for informal everyday dining and buffet-style serving during the Hubers’ family gatherings, says designer Cindy Myers of Keener Kitchen.

Three dishwashers, a professional range and a large Sub-Zero stainless steel refrigerator with six drawers give the kitchen the essential tools for entertaining a crowd. “The kitchen is an Old English-type of gathering room,” says Janet Huber, “but with modern things for cooking.” —Michelle Menner

Design: Keener Kitchen, 717-244-4544;
Interior design: Mark Showell Interiors, 302-227-2272;
Contractor: Victor Boehm and Associates, 410-683-8600

Modern makeover

This Baltimore kitchen was originally split into three sections: a peninsula, a window seat and a poorly lit eating area that kept diners in the dark ages. Then the owners called upon Patrick Sutton of Patrick Sutton Associates to bring the ‘80s-style kitchen into the 21st century. The result is a unified cosmopolitan space that looks like it belongs to the city skyline that is its backdrop.
The new kitchen, whose windows overlook the Inner Harbor, has a contemporary feel, with a suspended steel halogen light fixture and other touches of sleek steel, from cabinetry hardware to select appliances. Chocolate travertine floors and dark-stained wenge wood cabinets contrast with pristine white marble countertops, yielding a look both sophisticated and modern, sleek but not stark. Greenish-gray marble tile adorns the back wall and converges with frosted glass front cabinets that provide ample storage. And, most importantly, the space near the window is a full-fledged banqueted eating space that takes advantage of the view.
“Like many people, we spend a lot of our time at home in the kitchen,” say the owners. “It’s comfortable, efficient and conducive to entertaining.” —M.M. 

Design: Patrick Sutton Associates, 410-783-1500.


Nautical overtones

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and these homeowners decided to increase the size of their kitchen with a three-story addition to their waterfront home near Annapolis. The addition, which was built by Owings Brothers Contracting, was created to offer the owners an expansive and open space for entertaining. The open design of the room offers an expansive view of the wooded property and the river from the kitchen.
In keeping with the waterfront location, the homeowners chose a simple, nautical-tinged theme, with a ceiling comprised of exposed beams and distressed tongue-and-groove planking. A small double-band subway tile was used to add a decorative touch, to add color and texture, and to break up the expanses of walls and cabinets. The owners were after a very sleek and smooth look, with no visible clutter. The plain black granite countertop blends with the glass cook top, providing continuity. For texture and interest, satin-finish fixtures were added.
The new 2 1/4-inch red oak floors were integrated to match existing floors, and all the floors in the adjoining space were sanded and finished to create a feeling that all were done at once. A simple and functional suspended lighting system was installed to give all work surfaces ample illumination, since recessed-can lighting could not be used with the unique sloped ceiling.

Architect: David M. Miles, Annapolis, 410-269-0068;
Contractor: Owings Brothers Contracting, 410-781-7022;
Cabinets: Cabinet Discounters, 410-290-7048;
Tile: Chesapeake Tile, 410-590-3500;
Fixtures: Thomas Somerville Co., 410-266-1122;
Lighting: Tri State Electric, 410-995-6602.


Funky and functional

With its lime green and cool gray cabinetry, cylindrical tabletop island and narrow spiral staircase, Dawn and Thomas Pipkin’s kitchen announces itself as funky and fun— but it’s also functional. 
The Pipkins asked Cindy Myers of Keener Kitchen to give the kitchen in their new home a relaxed, contemporary design sans neutral color palette or traditional wood-grain cabinetry. The inspiration for their kitchen’s striking cabinets came from a magazine clipping. From there, Myers says, the Pipkins “put their own spin on everything.” Dawn consulted with Myers about the design while Thomas, who loves to cook, selected appliances.
The kitchen’s unique features include several curved elements that are aligned— including the back wall, cabinetry, narrow spiral staircase and center island, which doubles as a tabletop. With such a large space, explains Myers, the Pipkins did not “want to do anything normal or rectangular.” Myers’ curved concept allows for fluid movement within the space. Fantasy granite counters (often mistaken for marble, but more user-friendly) and white subway tiles behind the sink add quirky flair.
The Pipkins’ kitchen opens to the family room, making it a focal point in the house. A variety of light sources— rectangular windows, overhead spotlights and hanging lamps— make the room “bright and fun and open,” says Thomas, ideal for entertaining friends and relatives on special occasions, and for his young family each day. —Katrina Cohen


Creating richness

“It’s like being at a French bistro with tabletops stained with wine and tobacco,” says Tim Holland of the Guilford kitchen he shares with his partner, Troy Piro. “It’s French-traditional, but edgy modern.” Joe Lazzaro acted as both friend and designer while renovating the kitchen. “We all like to cook,” Lazzaro says. “So I knew how the client operated.”
In the original kitchen, with its dead-end effect, cooking and entertaining guests was inconvenient. In order to make the area flow smoothly and seamlessly with the rest of the home, a kitchen wall was moved slightly into the adjacent dining room. Then a stone threshold of the same depth as the bordering hidden refrigerator was added to establish a real sense of entry into the kitchen.
With the idea in mind to “dress up” the kitchen, Lazzaro added handmade antique mirrors to the acid-green walls to provide a “beautiful and continuous” look, almost like a gentleman’s library. Custom-made cabinetry of painted poplar with a crackle finish paired with modern chestnut and brushed stainless steel hardware adds a contemporary appeal. The warm honey color of the honed marble countertop of giallo noce stone echoes against the black-brown glaze of the subway tile whose color Lazzaro dubbed “Jimi Hendrix burnout.”
“These materials age with time, keep with care and get a patina,” Lazzaro says. “It’s about creating richness.” —M.M.

Design: Joe Lazzaro, 410-404-4708;
Contractor: Building Your Dream, 410-771-8208.

Never miss a story.
Sign up for our newsletter.
Email Address


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here