With family time at a premium – and families inclined to congregate in the kitchen – it’s no surprise the kitchen takes center stage in the contemporary home. Shedding all remnants of its humble, hard-working roots, today’s kitchen turns meal preparation into a performance art. In fact, this pivotal area is increasingly referred to as The Culinary Stage™ to underscore its commanding presence. This is where the action is: not only the culinary theatrics, but the easy engagement with family and friends, who can pitch in, cheer on the chef, share the bounty, tackle homework or simply relax.
A central island often serves as the foundation for The Culinary Stage™. Once a popular trend, the kitchen island has been promoted, on merit, to near-necessity. It’s both a workhorse and an invitation to unwind, a dining platform and a catalyst for quality time.
The multitasking islands can be custom-built to coordinate with cabinetry or even resemble family heirlooms. Often crafted like fine furniture, they are first and foremost practical: strategically conceived, efficient, low-maintenance and loaded with storage (another indispensable element of kitchen design).
The Culinary Stage™ is the perfect canvas for expressing a family’s unique tastes, rhythms and passions. With today’s global access to styles, materials and cuisines, there is no need to limit the imagination or sacrifice style for function. Families may select from an unprecedented range of custom cabinetry, stunning natural stone surfaces, handcrafted tiles, unique fixtures, professional-grade appliances – a truly global assortment of options.
Selecting materials for The Culinary Stage™ can consequently be overwhelming. To help buyers navigate this exciting phase of dreaming and decision-making, a custom home builder should encourage the buyer to retain a design professional to guide the kitchen design process.
Culinary Stage as Gateway
Not only may The Culinary Stage™ set the stage for life, but also it may set the tone for dining and living areas that seamlessly extend from the kitchen proper. Rich wood tones might be introduced in The Culinary Stage™ handcrafted cabinetry, then echo throughout the common area. A prized piece of granite might be selected for the kitchen counters then used to frame the fireplace. Arches and columns that lend old-world elegance to an oven alcove might also add definition to a free-flowing dining area. It’s a matter of collaborating with a custom builder with the experience, resources and artistry to execute a family’s unique vision.
Integral, Not Extra
Just as the microwave has evolved into a staple, more recent electronic advances are fast becoming standard: built-in wine coolers, espresso machines, drawers that warm plates or chill drinks. It’s not just about new age or professional-grade appliances. A computer in the kitchen has become the quickest way to check out recipes, sync schedules or plan a party. In the contemporary kitchen – often inspired by The Food Network – a wide-screen TV is no longer a stretch.