A Chic Mountain Kitchen That Can Fit a Crowd
The hub of an expansive mountain-modern retreat, this dining area packs some serious entertainment value.
Photo courtesy of Kitchenscapes
What is more exciting for a kitchen designer than a fresh set of architectural plans for a nearly 5,000-square-foot, 5-bedroom home? A designer’s imagination starts working overtime when given the clean slate, seemingly endless volume, breathtaking views, and extensive outdoor living space of a mountain modern, open-concept plan. But it can also be a daunting proposition—when anything is possible, where do you begin to design a space that functions equally well for 4 people or 14? How do you create warmth and comfort with so much open space?
Given that there are no structural elements to define distinct spaces, it is important to use visual cues such as placement of lighting and layout of cabinetry and furniture to create small spaces that encourage intimate gatherings while maintaining flexibility and function for larger groups. That was the design approach of this mountain modern abode.
By focusing the layout of the space according to zones, the issue of dining was at the heart of the design. Looking to combine casual seating, bar seating, and formal dining in the same space, it was decided that the kitchen island would incorporate banquette seating. Nestling a banquette outfitted with custom cushions against the back of the island created a cozy, high-functioning hub for the space. A majority of the time, this space would host casual meals, games, and puzzles, encouraging interaction while lending a feeling of warmth to a large space. For larger groups on special occasions, the table can be set for formal dining to accommodate an additional 8 guests.
The nearby round dining table is centered under a circular light fixture and comfortably seats 6 guests in a more formal manner, while additional seating at the counter-height walnut bar welcomes 3 more people. The bar top, while a perfect perch for a quick cup of coffee or a leisurely afternoon cocktail, also serves as a bridge between the indoor and outdoor kitchens when the large-scale, folding wall system is opened to the outside. Within a relatively small space, this overall design creates comfortable and varied seating for parties of 2, 6, 8 or 17, giving flexibility and interest to the home.
With the dining areas defined, it was time to design the kitchen! The mountain modern aesthetic of the home dictated a kitchen comprised of clean lines with a mix of materials, and the team chose to use custom cabinetry from Custom Wood Products in St. Mary’s, Kansas. The decision was made to ground the kitchen design with tall perimeter cabinets in a rich “Praline” stain. The absence of a dedicated pantry in the home was the perfect opportunity to continue the tall cabinets around the perimeter of the kitchen, creating a powerful wall of full-height pantry space integrated with panel-ready Sub Zero refrigerator and Freezer columns. A bar area was tucked into the end of this elevation, giving storage for barware, glasses, and wine/beer/sodas in the Sub Zero under-counter beverage center.
The range elevation is all about the cooking, and a 48” Wolf Dual Fuel range was paired with a Zephyr “Titan” vent hood, giving a home chef the ability to prepare food for large crowds. A Wolf drawer microwave and a generous prep sink with a view flank this elevation and are accented by a backsplash of a second slab of Cambria “Britannica Gold.” Additional clearance was designed into the space to allow for multiple cooks in this high-functioning kitchen.
The island was designed as a furniture piece to house the banquette and features a painted finish of “Snowbound” with a Heather glaze. The oversized island offers copious storage in the base cabinets as well as the deep drawers under the banquette seating. For the ultimate in functionality, Dual Asko dishwashers, a 4’ Lenova Ultra Ledge sink with multiple accessories, and a two-tier cutlery drawer were added to the design. It was decided that this island would be the star of the kitchen, so a custom walnut bar top from Grothouse Lumber and a jumbo slab of Cambria “Britannica Gold” were chosen to be the beautiful, high-functioning surfaces for this ultimate chef’s kitchen. To add a sense of warmth and intimacy, the island was crowned with multi-level pendants reminiscent of Japanese lanterns.
When the home was unveiled at the 2019 Summit County Parade of Homes, this design was awarded Best Kitchen in the 5,000- to 6,000-square-foot category. Thoughtful design with a focus on creating intimate spaces, using quality materials and appliances, and maintaining flexibility from space to space resulted in an elegant, inviting mountain retreat.
KITCHEN DESIGN & CUSTOM CABINETRY Kitchenscapes CONTRACTOR Double Diamond Property and Construction FURNISHINGS iFurnish
Lauren Ruehring is owner and principal of Kitchenscapes, a premiere kitchen and bath custom cabinetry design firm based in Breckenridge, Colorado. View their profile or contact Lauren at 970-453-7107.
Content for this article provided by Kitchenscapes.