flexiblefullpage - default
Currently Reading

The Grand Kitchen

billboard - default

The Grand Kitchen

Professional Builder’s House Review design team weaves function and focal points into the heart of the home.

By Larry Garnett, FAIBD, House Review Lead Designer July 9, 2013
This article first appeared in the PB July 2013 issue of Pro Builder.

According to virtually every home buyer survey, the kitchen remains the most important room in the house. That’s not surprising since this space is where we really live. As a result, the kitchen must be carefully arranged to not only function as a food preparation area, but also as a gathering place for family and friends. Typically, the idea of a grand kitchen involves a huge area with a massive amount of cabinets, granite countertops, and high-end appliances.

However, a truly grand kitchen can actually be created by paying strict attention to the overall layout and functionality, while creating one or two grand details or focal points. As you’ll see in the following examples, a really outstanding kitchen design simply doesn’t have to be grand in scale or overall cost.

Grand Kitchen
English Manor
The Chandler
The Walker Residence
Gardner Avenue

For past House Review topics, click here.


Grand Kitchen

Donald F. Evans, AIA
The Evans Group
A grand kitchen is a great kitchen that works for today’s family. It isn’t the largest or the flashiest room. It is the heart of the home with design creativity and ingenuity that takes the family into consideration. From the garage, there is a bulk storage closet in the hall, a Florida basement room, a home studio/laundry, kids’ study area, pantry, breakfast café, gathering room, and a dining salon all with the large gourmet kitchen as its hub.

A. Florida basement for all those things that don’t fit in the garage but stuff we Floridians can’t put in the basement.
B. Bulk storage closet is just steps from the SUV and the perfect storage spot for a case of vegetables, 24 rolls of toilet tissue, and the giant box of cereal.
C. The home studio/laundry is perfectly suited for doing laundry, but isn’t confined by one singular task. The space can be used for various arts and crafts from scrapbooking to flower arranging.
D. A kids study area close to mom but still private is the perfect solution for younger children.
E. Pantry for storage
F. Breakfast café overlooking the lanai and pool environment beyond.
G. Adjacent gathering room with seating at the grazing bar
H. Formal dining salon conveniently located next to the kitchen for ease of serving.
I. Gourmet kitchen at the heart of this family oriented home



English Manor

Todd Hallett, AIA, CAPS
TK Design and Architecture
Plan size
House living area: 5,800 sf
Porches: rear 292 sf; front 127 sf
Garage: 1,260 sf
Width: 97 feet, 6 inches
Depth: 80 feet, 2 inches

Are grand kitchens just about surfaces and materials? How about, quality, color, and finish? No. Those are elements of a grand kitchen, but in order to truly make a kitchen grand the room has to be properly planned. I travel regularly all over the country to work with builders, and I see far too many kitchens that have great features with wonderful color palettes but simply do not work. If a kitchen’s floor plan is not functional, dramatic, and the core of the design, there will be no way to decorate grandness into it. The kitchen demonstrated today is a current kitchen, designed for today’s higher-end buyer that takes advantage of many satellite spaces to become a cornerstone of the home. 
A. The sunroom off the dining creates a retreat space that brings the outdoors in.
B. With three walls of cabinetry, this kitchen has an abundance of storage.
C. The walk-in pantry goes beyond a Costco pantry and contains a fridge, with all of the appliances plugged in and ready to go, as well as mega storage space.
D. The family entrance has all the goodies, cubbies/bench lockers, and huge walk-in family closet, as well as front-loading washer and dryer for incidentals (the workhorse laundry room is on the second floor).
E. The kitchen has two islands, an 8-foot working island and a 12-foot serving island.
F. The kitchen is wide open to a massive informal dining and great room space.
G. A nice-sized office is located directly off the kitchen for a convenient place to keep bills, paperwork, etc. This space can be closed off when entertaining.
Start with planning first. Look at how supporting functions such as a pocket office or a large pantry will relate to the core functions. Think through the relationships to larger spaces such as dining and living. Only when these items have been established and planned carefully is it time to rock the finishes.


The Chandler

GMD Design Group
Scott Gardner, 919.320.3022
Donnie McGrath, 770.375.7351
Plan size
Total: 4,500 sf

The kitchen is a place for family, friends, and the gourmet chef in all of us to enjoy our everyday lives and special occasions.  Today’s busy world has a family coming and going in all directions at all times. This grand kitchen, with its pivotal location to all other living spaces and its something-for-everyone features, is designed to naturally draw the family together.

The hearth room with fireplace and abundant natural light is a great space for casual family interaction. From this kitchen you can access the outdoors from multiple locations and directly access the upper or lower level via the conveniently located stairs. A generously sized mudroom provides a stackable washer-dryer, an office area, access to the driveway, powder room, and ample storage to help keep the living spaces clean and clutter free. The kitchen itself provides generous counter space, expansive views, multiple workstations, and a variety of eating areas.

A. Screened porch
B. Double doors to screened porch
C. Hearth room with fireplace
D. Secondary entrance to rear yard
E. Informal stairs to upper and lower floors
F. Door to two-car garage
G. Friends and family side porch
H. Additional stackable washer and dryer
I. Valet area for jackets, shoes, storage
J. Door to one-car garage
K. Mudroom
L. Powder room
M. Study/office area
N. Walk-in pantry
O. Dining room
P. Butler’s pantry
Q. Multiple islands
R. Breakfast area
S. Covered porch


The Walker Residence

Larry Garnett, FAIBD
Plan size
Main house living area: 3,345 sf

Often the relationship to the family room, dining area, and outdoor living space is what actually defines a grand kitchen. Although not overly large, this kitchen offers plenty of counter space for food preparation and casual dining along the island. While the cabinetry and finishes are exceptional, the focal point becomes the finely detailed vent hood and tile backsplash. 

The meticulous attention to detail is evident with the handcrafted corbels and gently curved paneling on the island. Using the same stained wood for the island and the family room cabinetry provides two key elements: contrast with the painted cabinets, and a perfect transition to the family room since the island really looks like a fine piece of furniture. Thoughtful design and quality materials, along with proper space planning, result in a truly grand kitchen.
A. There’s plenty of counter space and cabinetry along each side of the finely detailed cooking area.
B. Family area with a fireplace and flat-screen TV  
C. Note that traffic flows between the family room and the kitchen.
D. Single large dining area for the family and entertaining
E. Large pantry that includes space for a freezer.
F. Conveniently located utility room
G. Outdoor dining and living area are accessed through double French doors.


Gardner Avenue

Rick Garza
RPGA Design Group Inc.
Plan size
Total: 4,933 sf
Garage: 525 sf
Porches: 402 sf
Decks terrace: 223 sf
The most used space in a home is by far the kitchen, and when you spend most of your time in this room, it should be grand. Typical kitchens are equipped with a stove and oven combo, a double sink, and a refrigerator. The grand kitchen at Gardner Avenue was well thought-out with entertaining in mind. Stacked double ovens, a triple sink, stove top, and large island with dry visible storage are a few of the luxury amenities in this grand kitchen. Doors open up into the family room to stay in tune with guests while the cook is preparing the meal. A large entertaining dining room opens up to the terrace, while a warming room opens up to the deck and backyard.

A. Double doors open the kitchen to family room
B. Triple sink
C. Large island with visible storage underneath
D. Double ovens
E. Butler’s pantry with sit-in desk
F. Warming room with fireplace
G. Dining room with terrace



Related Stories


Attainable Housing Options: Rethinking the Starter Home

Three rapidly emerging design and development trends are helping to make housing more attainable without sacrificing style or convenience


The Desert Comfort Idea Home: a True Desert Oasis

A challenging environment, ambitious building-performance goals, and modern aesthetics come together in a stunning, net zero custom home in Arizona's Sonoran Desert


Developer Test Drives New Concept: Turnkey, Luxury One-Bedroom Bungalows

Designing and building the award-winning Bungalows—508-square-foot, one-bedroom luxury homes—was a risk The Beach Company opted to take … and it paid off

boombox1 -
native1 - default
halfpage2 -

More in Category

native2 - default
halfpage1 -

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.

Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.