Four new kitchen designs we love (from Atlanta Designers)

Kitchens invite guests again, laying out natural materials and rich colors as a welcome mat. Here, four new kitchens at the center of family life and festive gathering.

This home has a focus on “biophilic” design.

Biophilic Beauty

Designer: Lorraine Enwright, Intuitive Dwellings (for both architectural and interior design)

The project: A modern three-story new build for a physician couple tucked into the Buckhead woods, with a focus on “biophilic” design, or incorporating nature. Lorraine did both architectural and interior design, working with builder Brookside Custom Homes.

The goal: Connecting family and the outdoors by embracing natural light, using earthy materials, and providing views of the skyline, wooded landscape, and streambed. “The kitchen truly serves as bridge between indoor and outdoor,” says Lorraine. The room’s steel windows and pocketed glass doors by Expert Windows and Doors open to the backyard and patio.

The island creates a conversation space.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Island life: The buffet fabricated by Block & Chisel with a walnut veneer by Dooge Veneers serves as a workhorse and an arty, elegant centerpiece to the space. “The legs are splayed on a diagonal to maximize the number of people able to sit or stand around the island,” says Lorraine. It creates a conversation space for gathering around Mediterranean tapas (the homeowner’s parents, avid cooks, split their time between the Atlanta house and a home in Greece).

Green thumb: One of the homeowner’s requests was a recessed planter at the sink for growing herbs under the large steel frame window.

Color contrast: The warmth of the walnut contrasts with the cooler tones of the polished, thick white quartz from MSI (fabricated by TopSouth).

A charcoal slate backsplash and smoky pendants from Tech Lighting, installed by Atlanta-based Lighting Loft, create a pleasant contrast to the travertine walls and crisp white plaster hood.

“Layering cool and warm colors, tones and textures, replicates nature’s serenity in a soothing way,” says Lorraine.

The custom-built, antiqued mirror hood by Mirror-tique is the conversation starter and piece de resistance.

Photograph by Rustic White

Shining Star

Designer: Beth Kooby Design

The project: A gut renovation of the designer’s own home, a Tudor Revival in Morningside

The goal: “My main inspiration in the kitchen was a French bakery,” says Beth, “but I also wanted to incorporate modern materials that worked with the style of the home, which was built in the 1930s.” With two teenage children, she also needed a comfortable space for homework and friends—and herself. “I typically work from the kitchen island, as it has the best light in the house, all day long,” says Beth. She found the 1970s stools on 1stDibs.

Cool cabinetry: Beth designed the cabinetry herself, opting for a warm natural wood for the island and the custom-built hutch—a white oak with a lime wash finish that pairs well with the perimeter cabinets painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Amazon Green,” topped in marble from Walker Zanger. On the hutch, Beth mimicked the vintage leaded glass in a Tudor pattern that would have been original to her home.

Back space: Adjacent to the kitchen, Beth converted a former laundry room into storage for less photogenic essentials—coffeemakers, small appliances, and pantry products.

Shiny objects: The custom-built, antiqued mirror hood by Mirror-tique is the conversation starter and piece de resistance. “People always assume it’s hard to clean,” says Beth, “but, actually, it’s the easiest. Grease wipes right off with window cleaner.” It also bounces off reflections of the light fixture, which references 1930s modern sculpture.

“We love how the texture of the white oak contrasts with the softness of the plaster hood,” says Yvonne McFadden.

Photograph by Jeff Herr

Gorgeous Grain

Designer: Y. McFadden Interiors

The project: A major renovation of a neglected historic home in Druid Hills, with a modern kitchen in keeping with the original details

The goal: A place for serious cooking and entertaining, with plenty of room for the whole family to participate, including the young daughters of homeowners Jeff and Lauren Williams

Welcome warmth: The stained white oak cabinets—by Morgan Creek Cabinet Company—aren’t your grandmother’s yellow cupboards. These bring a lighter and brighter version of cozy. “We love how the texture of the white oak contrasts with the softness of the plaster hood,” says designer Yvonne McFadden. Roman shades in “Rain” fabric by local textile designer Clay McLaurin and barstools in a durable taupe leather keep the look soft and neutral, while pendants from Urban Electric add a bit of shine.

The little things: For small helping hands, Yvonne had custom tower stools built to match the cabinetry. The kitchen opens to the family room and provides a clear view of the backyard for seamless entertaining and keeping an eye on children. An arched appliance garage hides countertop gadgets (like the couple’s new favorite, the Wolf steam oven, which replaced their microwave) and mimics arched openings throughout the house.

Double duty: With two islands, one can serve as a prep station, while the other can stay “pretty and clean” for guests to gather around, says Lauren. In quieter times, she says, it serves as a homework station.

The island’s thick, leathered gray granite with a chipped edge feels rustic, organic, and indestructible.

Photograph by Rustic White

Magic Mix

Designer: Jane Hollman, Studio Entourage

The project: New construction in south Sandy Springs, working with architect Linda MacArthur and builder Craig Bass of Avalon

The goal: Creating a rich and earthy vibe through the use of woods, darker tile, and multiple textures. “The homeowners really wanted this kitchen to be inviting and casual,” says Jane, “a place where everyone would want to hang out and truly relax.”

Materials matter: Jane and her team layered multiple textures and natural materials, including alder for the island cabinetry (by Burruss Cabinets), hood, and planked scullery door, and oak timbers for beams, posts, and headers. “We love to introduce a second material style for cabinetry if the kitchen is large enough,” says Jane. “It makes the space feel more like a carefully curated room in your home versus a kitchen.” The island’s thick, leathered gray granite with a chipped edge feels rustic, organic, and indestructible. “Many clients shy away from granite, but in this case, we embraced it,” says Jane. A lighter “Viscount Gray” granite tops the perimeter.

The new neutral: Black, dark, and metallic tones with a rich, cozy feel are trending, and white is less dominant. A glazed, off-black “London Brick”–style tile with contrasting, lighter gray grout takes the place of typical subway tile.

Soften up: For some playful shapes to contrast with the sturdy straight lines of planking, tile, and timbers, Studio Entourage designer Paige Ellis added paisley fabric to the barstools and carried it through on pillows in the adjacent great room.

This article appears in our Fall 2021 issue of Atlanta Magazine’s HOME.