Top 10: Joel Bray’s Favorite Kitchens Of 2016
Senior design editor Joel Bray shares 10 kitchens that made their mark in 2016.
As we say goodbye to 2016, I’m reminded of the incredible spaces we featured in the pages of House & Home. From modern kitchens that pushed the boundaries of contemporary design to trendsetting spaces ahead of their time, here are the House & Home kitchens of 2016 that I’ll be thinking about well into the new year.
See our top kitchens of 2015.
A mix of butcher-block and stainless steel countertops create the perfect balance in this charming yet hardworking kitchen. I love the clean but still elegant lines of the vent hood, and the narrow shelf running behind the stove used to display favorite serving pieces. And you can’t forget the bin-pull hardware painted the same perfect shade of rich grey-blue as the cabinetry for a no-fuss, totally authentic old-world feel.
Bold and graphic, this kitchen by Nam Dang-Mitchell definitely has wow-factor. Velvety blond wood floors and cabinetry soften the hard lines of the Calcutta marble-clad island and vent wood. The kitchen is then punctuated with striking hits of black with industrial-style interior windows, dramatic sconces, and dark grout lines. To finish it off, the space is styled to perfection with a dramatic tree branch in lieu of florals.
Cameron MacNeil’s kitchens always catch my attention for their modern simplicity and amazing attention to detail. I love the soft pale shade of grey that Cameron painted the cabinets, and then repeated on the vinyl grasscloth wallpaper that replaces standard tile. This subtle shift in material and texture looks ultra-sophisticated and is still practical and wipeable. Sleek finger-pull hardware, a sexy black range, pale oak floors, and the most perfect Deco-inspired sconce round this kitchen out, creating a beautifully appointed and totally inspiring space.
This Princess Margaret Hospital Showhome kitchen designed by Brian Gluckein is a tailored and handsome kitchen I’d love to call home! The large island makes for a great party kitchen, and the partial open pantry and subway tile-clad vent hood are two kitchen trends I’ve been loving lately. The polished marble counters and silver accessories (including a pair of buffer lamps) add boutique hotel-style glamor, which is then grounded by a matte-finished herringbone floor.
Kai Either transformed an awkward and dark family kitchen into a dream kitchen by opting for a mix of open shelves and closed pantry storage (not shown). A large central island (clad in porcelain made to look like Calcutta) is now the hub of the home, and the scalloped marble mosaic backsplash is trendsetting and whimsical. Art and accessories play a big role in this kitchen, which has a generous wall devoted to a vibrant tone-setting painting. The painting further inspired the rooms’ cobalt blue Kelly Wearstler roman blind, and the teal, plum and pinky accents.
The refined lodge-like grandeur of this kitchen by Peaks & Rafters makes it a favorite of mine. The chalky white wood-clad walls, gunmetal-finished vent hood, and sky-high ceilings are striking features, but what I love most is the open sense of space, completely balanced by rich dark cabinets and flooring. A modern-day take on the grand country house kitchen, the space is warm and cozy, but still beautifully refined.
I love the unique point-of-view of this incredible kitchen designed by Sam Sacks. The sleek vent hood and slab marble backsplash are luxurious but still subtle, and the palette of pale maple, black, white and sapphire feels invigorating. The cubby-style open shelving is something I’d never seen in a modern kitchen — only in luxury retail design. I really love the look and the ability to store everyday grab-and-gos, or display favorite pieces.
This small-scale condo kitchen was another one to remember for its use of rich warm wood. Designed by Alex Chapman for Debra and Barry Campbell, it’s a stunning example of timeless modern design. The statement taupe marble and chef’s stove pair beautifully with a balance of creamy white and warm wood cabinetry. My favorite element is how the refrigerator has been tucked away opposite a large pantry. It feels nautical in its approach because of the precious sensibility and ingenious use of space.
If I could have just one kitchen for the rest of my life — wouldn’t change a thing until my last breath — it would be this kitchen designed by Michelle Lloyd Berman & Christine Ralphs. It ticks all of the boxes and then some, with its perfect mix of traditional and contemporary elements. The exquisite custom cabinetry inspired by the La Cornue stove is juxtaposed by a hardworking concrete-look waterfall detail, all grounded by a large-scale white oak chevron floor. The glossy black fridge repeats the look of the lower cabinetry, and is graphically framed in a wall of white oak. And you can’t forget the cloud-like wall of honed marble. It couldn’t not be chic if it tried.
This kitchen by Connie Braemar gets me excited! It’s so sleek and contemporary but still incredibly detailed and bespoke. A contemporary take on the freestanding farmhouse island sits in perfect contrast to a striking black granite peninsula. The brick-shaped (and proportioned) tiles are an elegant upgrade to the much-loved 3 x 6 subway tile, and the black-framed cabinet detailing and strong vertical and horizontal lines are effortlessly balanced. In my books, this kitchen is the master class in the perfect modern kitchen!