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Sense of theater

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This kitchen provides a formal, grand and theatrical backdrop for the adjoining entertaining area


When considering the various style possibilities for a new kitchen, it helps to keep in mind the proportions of the available space. In a compact area with a standard-height ceiling, simple, clean lines generally work better. However, if the proportions are grand and the space is large, ornate decorative details can be incorporated successfully.

After adding a great room to the rear of the house featured here, the owners decided their standard white kitchen wasn't a suitable match. The new great room, which is accessed through the kitchen, has a high barrel-vaulted ceiling, extra-large windows, columns, faux finishes and ornate chandeliers.

Designer Matthew Quinn says he was asked to create a kitchen that would link the rest of the house to the great room and complement its décor.

"The owners' goal was to have a formal and theatrical backdrop with grand proportions, warm colors and exquisite details such as carvings and unusual finishes," says Quinn.

Center stage in the kitchen, below a pair of crystal chandeliers, is an island with a double-thick granite top.


"By stacking two layers of granite, we have an extra-thick countertop that's in proportion with the rest of the space."

The island, with columns and a decorative wood corbel on the end, houses a hammered nickel sink, a warming drawer, storage cupboards and a special space for the dogs' kennel. It's paired with two highly ornamented wrought-iron bar stools.

"In fact, every feature in the kitchen was chosen for its decorative or theatrical value," Quinn says.

The previous kitchen had one beam on the ceiling. More were added to draw attention to the acanthus-carved hood, which is designed to resemble a Fabergé egg. Glass cabinets on one wall store a collection of crystal, and cabinet doors are all beaded, paneled and finished in a heavy, antiqued, papyrus-colored glaze with a distressed, old-world look. A faux finish, to match the paintwork in the great room, was chosen for the walls, ceiling and beams. No detail has been overlooked – even toekicks are finished with their own ornately-carved decorative valance.

So as not to detract from the theatrical appearance of the kitchen, most appliances are concealed. The refrigerator, dishwasher and warming drawer are all integrated, while smaller appliances are stored behind a pocket door at the far end of the kitchen. Everyday items such as paperwork, mail and the telephone are concealed behind flip-up doors.

First published date: 24 August 2003

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Credit List

Kitchen designer Matthew Quinn, Design Galleria Kitchen Studio (Atlanta)
Cabinetry WmOhs
Cabinet finish Alder wood with a customized papyrus-colored antiqued glaze
Interior design – great room Heather Bentley, HB Designs
Countertops Juperano Persia granite from Walker Zanger
Countertop fabricator Holloway Tile
Flooring Hardwood
Tiling Renaissance Tile
Kitchen wall finish, hood design, murals in barrel vault Adrienne Laird, Dogwood Studios
Main sink Blanco
Island sink Hammered nickel, Renaissance Tile
Faucets Mico
Oven Viking
Ventilation Vent-a-Hood
Refrigerator Sub-Zero
Warming drawer Dacor