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With its sleek wood veneers, aluminum cabinetry and efficient work triangle, this kitchen is proof that aesthetics needn't be sacrificed for functionality

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As many kitchens today form part of a family living area, there's frequently a need for an integrated design approach. The kitchen has to work visually with the rest of the house, while still providing the required functionality.

The kitchen featured here was designed to complement a contemporary house, noted for its abstract composition of modern and more traditional forms and materials.

Architect David Jameson says he created an open, loft-like space, which was in keeping with the home's architectural lines. Two large, 360° light monitors, positioned above the cooking and sitting areas help define this space and bring in natural light.

"The light monitors make this a very ephemeral space, regardless of the time of year or the time of day," he says. "The monitors are also an organizing device, defining the position of the work areas and the seating of the family room."

Two long islands offer plenty of countertop space. To provide a functional work triangle, the sink is on the back wall, the cooktop on the near island, and refrigerators and ovens to the side. The second island provides extra work space and a buffet server for entertaining. It incorporates another sink for food preparation.

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In specifying materials for the kitchen, Jameson opted for a balance between warm and cool looks. The cabinets feature a quilted eucalyptus wood veneer, chosen for its three-dimensional basket-weave quality. This is complemented by Brazilian granite countertops and cork flooring in the main work areas. Stone flooring defines the family area.

Banks of lift-up cabinetry at eye level feature sanded aluminum and acid-etched glass doors.

"These enhance the geometric lines of the kitchen," says Jameson. "Similarly, to reinforce the minimalist aesthetic, cabinet doors are flush with the units and large appliances are integrated."

Plenty of customized storage, including a pull-out vertical pantry, eliminates clutter. There is also storage for recycling bins, and a vented drying rack for pots and pans within the cabinets.

A niche in the cabinets along one wall accommodates a work station, where the owner can keep up-to-date with household accounts and emails.

"This is a pragmatic response to everyday living," says Jameson. "Everyone has mail and messages to attend to. The space has the same design vocabulary as the kitchen – even the counter is the same height."

First published date: 04 November 2005

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Credit List

Architect David Jameson, AIA, David Jameson Architect (Alexandria, VA)
Cabinets Quilted eucalyptus, by Hill Enterprises
Countertops Brazilian granite from Arc Stone
Backsplash Etched glass from Dulles Glass
Sink and faucets KWC
Ovens Thermador; Miele
Cooktop, ventilation and microwave Thermador
Refrigerator Sub-Zero
Dishwasher Miele
Flooring Cork from Classic Floors
Windows and doors Weathershield from Quality Windows and Doors
Dining suite Donghia
Lighting Iris