By Christine Quinlan
Updated May 23, 2017
A DIY Kitchen Fit for a Cooking Pro
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.

Kitchen Details

Custom Hood
The 65-inch-wide hood was built by Vent-A-Hood and extends nearly 20 feet up, through the double-height ceilings, to vent to the outside.

With two 36-inch French-door ovens from BlueStar, “I can bake 30 loaves of bread at once. They’re gigantic,” says Buis. $3,897 each;

Made from steel plumbing pipes and heart pine salvaged from the house during demolition, the island provides open storage for cookware.

Buis loves Asian cooking, so the gas cooktop includes high-powered burners with enough heat for a wok. $6,408;

Work Station
A utility sink, purchased at a restaurant liquidation sale, and a butcher-block table create a secondary prep area.