A few years ago, we ran a Facebook contest featuring beautiful real-life kitchens and based on popular votes, the winner was…
…this beautiful traditional kitchen, designed by Mark Wishnow of Wish Kitchens. It was a dream design for both the designer and the homeowners. Just over a small hill on a long drive, nestled against a wooded backdrop, you’re greeted by an amazing home that appears to be cut right out of a movie scene of European villa! Two stories of stone, wrought iron balconettes, and, what villa would be complete without a turret?
Such a stunning home and I’m quite thankful to have been able to meet and visit with Mark, the designer, and Ben and Laura to learn more about their home and their kitchen!
Laura and Ben designed and built their impressive Mid-Atlantic home themselves. They went room by room selecting the perfect looks to mirror the stately architecture of the rest of the home. Laura had a clear vision for the kitchen in particular—she shared her ideas with Mark, who integrated them into the design.
As you can see, the overall look of the space is very traditional with strong European influence in the style, color palette, slate-colored flooring and light stone backsplash, and renaissance style lighting. The combination of two finishes was a little out of the ordinary compared to other homes in the area, so it felt like a bit of a risk to Laura and Ben. But the combination of soft, creamy Morel with Raw Umber Glaze and Highlight paired with the richness of Espresso on the center island and mantel of hood keeps the kitchen warm and inviting.
The real star of the kitchen is the eye-catching hood arrangement, which sets the tone for the entire room. The original plan was a copper hood but as the sourcing became an issue the end result did not disappoint. Laura especially loves the grand effect of the hood arrangement. Small drawers and pullout base storage on either side of the range keeps spices and oils within reach and counters decluttered.
- Wonderful balance and symmetry throughout! Especially difficult with two windows rather than one centered window.
- Diagonal counter wall cabinets outfit each corner and house the microwave and a small TV. Note the molding and ledge framing the opening for the TV! Love this detail!)
- Split-post spool columns flank both sides of each diagonal wall arrangement – a subtle but intricate embellishment that ties the two areas together.
- Alcove hood columns with Regal corbels and drawers frame the custom deluxe panel stack and cherry Espresso flat stock and moldings used to wrap the blower unit.
- Wall cabinets with stacked doors feature clear glass in upper doors.
- Aged copper apron sink features intricate ornamentation and the island holds a complementary undermount bowl for the prep sink.
- Open shelving wall cabinet with wainscot back interior between windows. This was a great way to keep the window wall balanced and the design centered!
- Paneled and integrated refrigerator/freezer and dishwashers add to the custom appeal of the design.
- Integrated refrigerator and freezer captured by tall panels and a double set of butt door wall cabinets above.
The family entertains frequently, inviting friends over weekly and hosting big family gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so having a large central island was key:
- Prep sink and a second paneled-front dishwasher (for all those guests’ dishes!)
- Seating for three and prep space for up to 12! (Helpers are definitely welcome!)
- Outlets built into deluxe ends
- Sides of the island include a drawer stack (left) and an open shelving nook (right)
- Square columns on corners—Laura’s idea!
Overall, Ben and Laura’s home is stunning and the kitchen fits right into what you would expect for style, quality, and design. One of my favorite aspects is that while the kitchen is in fact modeled after a formal traditional European style, their warm and inviting personalities are reflected in the casual subtleties and override that formality, inviting all guests into their practical and family-friendly environment.
I would like to extend a very special “Thank you!” to Mark at Wish Kitchens for sharing your experience with us!