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Modern Kitchens that Promote Social Interaction

When it comes to celebrating special occasions or just spending quality time with friends and family, breaking bread together is usually the main event. And a beautifully designed kitchen can enhance that experience even more. That’s why we love these gourmet set-ups – they promote social interaction, optimize natural light and make cooking a joy.

Photo: Ashley Avila

Midwest Drama 

Rogue River Residence by Lucid Architecture

“Entertainers at heart.” That’s how architect Eric De Witt, describes the owners of this beautiful Rockford, Michigan home. So naturally, when it came to designing the kitchen, it had to be an open large space that connected to the rest of the living areas. It also had to make a statement.

Which is does with the dramatic matte black backsplash setting the stage for the high-gloss white cupboards and countertops. To draw the eye in toward the spectacular cooking area, a Western Red Cedar panel was installed. This strategic use of cedar provides a visual focal point and showcases the gorgeous multi-tonal coloration unique to Western Red Cedar panelling.

According to De Witt, using nature’s most versatile material for this type of interior application just made good design sense: “The coloration, durability, ease of working makes Western Red Cedar an incredibly sensible choice.”

Project Riverbend Residence by CLB Architects, Photo: Matthew Millman

Wyoming Wonder

What’s not to love about this Jackson, Wyoming kitchen? Modern clean lines. Natural light pouring in from every direction. Prep space for miles and a counter configuration that encourages social connectivity with other living areas. The CLB Architects really did think of everything with this culinary masterpiece including a warm, welcoming ceiling soffit system to further connect the home to the surrounding nature.

For this, they used a crisp clear grade of Western Red Cedar, which complements the knotty grade of cedar used to clad the home’s exterior. “We wanted to create contrast and showcase the range of textures available in cedar,” explains says Sam Ankeny, AIA, Project Manager.

Ridgewood Residence by Matt Fajkus Architecture

Texas Hospitality 

Celebrating the home’s mid-century modern origins, this newly renovated kitchen is as functional as it is stylish. This social cooking area opens up to the dining room area and living space. We’re loving the ultramodern streamline black fridge and black trimmed windows against the funky dining table and chairs.

This room would be just as elegant but not nearly as warm without that stunning slanted cedar ceiling – a feature that architect Matt Fajkus has worked into other award-winning projects including the Tree House.  But with that project he used a beautiful knotty grade of cedar to contrast the clean lines. Here, it’s a nice crisp clear grade of cedar with a rich warm tonal range to contrast the simple color palette.

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