Home of Distinction: Kitchens that Cook

BY Danielle Boisse

With bold accents and a sprinkle of contrasting colors materials and shapes these five kitchens embrace informal dining rooms — ample spaces with plenty of room for cooking eating and entertaining


A traditional French-inspired kitchen is a look Arthur Rice always wanted. To create it he knocked down a house he owned for 18 years and Mack Braxton of RMB redesigned and rebuilt it elevating the new home to capture views of the Intracoastal Waterway from the kitchen through windows spanning the entire length of the home. Charles Bennett interior designer for Morpho Designs selected creamy neutral finishes for a soft yet sophisticated visual throughout the kitchen and informal dining area.

“It has been a dream for him. This is a forever kitchen it has nothing you will get tired of ” Bennett says.

Rice explains his favorite dish to make is chicken cacciatore and his favorite kitchen tool is the food processor. Custom cabinet features were designed to accommodate Rice’s avid cooking especially the spice drawers.

“The reason I have this kitchen is I love to cook ” Rice says.

Rice plans to entertain in his new kitchen with guests sitting in comfortable dining chairs and enjoying the passage of yachts.


Katie and Eric Lanier built a new home in which their kitchen became the living room.

“The whole entire kitchen is our hub ” Katie says. “We live in this space 24-7. We are always right here.”

While Eric prefers a modern aesthetic Katie describes her style as rustic farmhouse. The couple compromised and allowed their styles to come together in the new space.

With two young children the Laniers wanted to design a large kitchen with several different areas that would allow everyone to be in the same space at the same time. The multi-use room is comprised of ample cooking space a sitting room a corner for the kids and a wet bar. A large serpentine island bonds to an informal cypress dining table.

The Laniers hired Meghan Lewellyn a kitchen designer with Kitchen and Bath Galleries to create a personalized kitchen that combined the multi-use spaces blended styles and incorporated custom cabinet features tailor-made for cooking.

Katie has a passion for cooking and it was important that she had a kitchen that allows her to cook while the kids do arts and crafts or homework in the same room.? Katie and Eric use the sitting room to do crossword puzzles together every morning.

Rustic elements are articulated in the distressed cabinets and farmhouse-style plumbing hardware. Katie uses the open shelving to display her mother’s jugs alongside the white vases and platters that show well against the dark cabinets.

The subtle transition of materials from the dark distressed cabinets to the quartz countertops and glass subway tile backsplash allows for the lighting to be a decorative focal point in the room.

“Lighting was the hardest decision in the whole house. It could make or break a room. I didn’t want it to look stark or cold. I wanted it to be cozy and feel like our home ” Katie says.

Figure Eight Island

Scott Goldenberg wanted to remodel his summer home kitchen so he could look through the space — opening up the room to view the tree in front of the house and the ocean in the back.

Goldenberg considered tearing down the house because it was worn and needed extensive remodeling especially the kitchen.

“My family has been on this island for over 25 years. We spend every summer here ” he says.

Instead he and his wife hired David James of David James and Co. to complete the remodel and Leslie Stachowicz of Peridot Interiors to design it.

“Once the walls came out and the room opened up you could start to see the potential. It was closed in and dreary before ” Stachowicz says.

A contemporary kitchen provided a clean look with cool colors. Gray cabinets chrome hardware and an organic white quartz countertop with a double thickness edge present a cohesive look. A soft and even glow from LED rope lighting illuminates the glass cabinets used for functional display while the stainless steel appliances and chrome plumbing fixtures are complementary to the contemporary kitchen.

“It was an opportunity to do something a little different — a beach house that is clean and uncluttered ” Goldenberg says. “I am very proud of what the house has become.”

Banks Channel

Watersports of all types and boats of all shapes and sizes provide a constant backdrop from this kitchen overlooking Banks Channel in Wrightsville Beach.

Designed for entertaining the kitchen’s large island seats many while framing the view for guests to enjoy. With the range hood as the focal point — accentuating the high pitch of the vaulted ceiling — the island’s bowed front was created to mimic the architectural detail above the hood.

The kitchen design was a collaboration between homeowners Anderson Taylor and Robin Jones interior designer Pam Macior and Holly Hanna at Hollingsworth Cabinets.

“My vision was to fill the vaulted ceiling with a spectacular hooded piece that would be a focal point for the whole room ” Anderson says. The white cabinets have a leading presence in the room as well while the hardware and custom wrought iron brackets complement the scale of the room.

Macior commissioned a NASCAR artist to fabricate the brackets that secure the hood and countertop.

“Because he makes car parts he was the only one that had the equipment to bend metal that thick. The circles are actual tubing that he had to cut ” Macior says.

The homeowners chose stainless steel appliances that aesthetically enhance the space and also accommodate their frequent hosting. Made for islands the Sharp microwave drawer oven is camouflaged on the inside of the island with its low profile design and sleek appearance. A Thermador 48-inch dual fuel range offers several cooking options while the Sapphire Glow dishwasher is made for washing cooking appliances and crystal wine glasses.

Greenville Sound

Empty nesters Sheryl and Robert Lubanski decided to remodel. After living in their home since 1996 when they purchased it as a spec house their main goal was to open up the kitchen as an extension of the porch — keeping it light and sunny — a space for entertaining after raising three boys no longer at home.

The original kitchen was divided from the living room with a spiral staircase and a window above the sink. The wall was removed to create an open floorplan and the window was removed to create symmetry with the cabinets.

“I love having friends over more than I used to. I feel like entertaining now ” Sheryl says.

The Lubanskis worked with Mark Schmidt of Schmidt Custom Builders and Jo Howell of Big Sky Design during their remodel to collaboratively choose new colors finishes and fixtures.

“They wanted a kitchen for the boys to come home to and bring family and friends ” Howell says. “They wanted it spacious with different areas to entertain like the big island and the wine hutch.”

A large bowed island with a custom-made walnut butcher block top acts as a warm juxtaposition to the cool seafoam color on the walls. The seafoam tones continue to weave through the organic movement of the granite and honed slate backsplash.

With updated cabinets the couple decided to choose some new and bolder finishes — linen cabinets with a pewter glaze and a multi-colored iridescent backsplash behind the beverage bar.