Photo courtesy of Eric Rawlings
The winner of F&W’s kitchen-design contest combines DIY ideas (an island made of salvaged wood and plumbing pipes) with restaurant-worthy equipment.
“Our last house had formal living and dining rooms, but we don’t live like that,” says Fritz Taylor. “This time, we wanted a space that reflects the way we cook and entertain.” He and his wife, Rianne Buis, created the design that won F&W’s kitchen contest. The couple spent nine months tearing down walls to create the 1,500-square-foot open kitchen in their Decatur, Georgia, home. The room has a DIY feel: The island is made from plumbing pipes and wood salvaged during demolition, and all the cookware is in stacks underneath, so the couple’s 13-year-old daughter (who loves to bake) can find things easily. But what makes the space stand out is the juxtaposition of thrifty materials and pro-grade equipment, including an eight-burner BlueStar stove and a pair of ovens that provide more cooking space than many restaurants have. Buis puts all this firepower to work; she writes a weekly recipe column for a Dutch newspaper and teaches classes at home. “Everyone tried to talk me out of such a big kitchen, but I think it’s perfect,” she says.