As we design kitchens for our clients, I never make the assumption that the space will be predominantly for cooking.

In fact, it’s one of the first questions I ask during the design phase: why are you wanting a new kitchen? Is it truly for a better cooking experience? Or is it so you can tuck in a wine cooler and have a better place to host parties? Or to add an island so your kids can do their homework? Or is it just because you don’t like the way your old one “looks?” You can imagine how often the #1 answer is not for a better cooking experience.

wine cooler

Not so in the case of these clients. Though aesthetics and gathering and hosting and making space for their kids at the island all made the list, cooking was of the utmost importance– I knew it without even asking. After all the pair is the owner of several restaurants and cookbooks, not to mention James Beard accolades in tow for each of them.

Let me put it this way, when the husband creates dinners like this:

dinner by the client

And the wife creates dessert like this:

dessert by client

You’re not allowed to create them in a kitchen like this:

kitchen before scovell wolfe remodelIt’s like a law or something. And they’ve been breaking this law for far too long. So finally the time came to throw those oak stained cabinets to the curb and try to forget that they ever had to look at that white microwave while thinking up award winning recipes. (I imagine it goes without saying that a microwave did not get included in the redesign!)

Speaking of the redesign, of course, these chefs knew exactly what they wanted. The new kitchen layout been rolling around their minds for as long as they’d been cooking in their old kitchen. And the new kitchen looked a little like this rendering we created for them:

kitchen scovell wolfe design renderingNot too shabby, huh? Maybe if cooking doesn’t work out for them (ha!) they can become kitchen designers!

Anyway, these chefs/homeowners were kind enough to humor me to a little Q & A. Here goes.

1.       What did you like least about your old kitchen?

The style, efficiency, and small appliances were not conducive to our professional cooking needs. The cabinets were cheap and sticky from grease and the white microwave centered over our range will no longer be a focal point.

2.       What was your highest priority as you designed your new kitchen? The one thing that had to be included in the remodel?

Making it easier to professionally cook and bake as well as entertain. Removing our table and creating one work space with island dining so our kids and guests can sit in the prep area was important, as well as updating our appliances to include a 48″ range (note: theirs will be a red range!).

american range 48" for kitchen


3. As you planned your new kitchen and made decisions, what was most important: form or function?


4.       What was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make so far?

Countertops. (Note: they ultimately chose a gorgeous honed, carrara marble paired with a black walnut Boo’s butcher block on the prep side of the island!)

john boos black walnut for the kitchen island
5.       What’s been your biggest splurge in terms of selections ?
We really wanted a colored 48’ range and were pleased American Range worked with us as professional chefs to help us custom design the perfect range.  Well-made light pendants in two-toned glass was a spurge from Rejuvenation, and a slight increase in budget for marble countertops was a must after looking over other countertop options.
haleigh wire dome pendant rejuvenation for above scovell wolfe island
 6.       What’s the first dinner and the first dessert you’re each going to cook in the kitchen!?
It will be October . . .my favorite time of year. Something braised that the kids will love and probably a chocolate cake to celebrate the new space!
chocolate souffle by homeowner
Thanks again to these clients for allowing us to give them a kitchen worthy of their cooking!