A preeminent designer divulges his must-haves


Star designer Christopher Peacock has been creating extraordinary custom kitchens for more than 25 years. Recently the Greenwich, Connecticut–based Peacock, an avid cook, spoke to Food & Wine’s Kristin Donnelly about how to make the most of a kitchen renovation and the equipment to consider buying. Here, he shares his must-haves:


Lessons from a Kitchen Guru

Christopher Peacock’s Kitchen Design Strategies

5 Tips

1. A plan of action

“I ask clients to come to our first meeting with a list of all the things they like about their existing kitchen, and the things they don’t like. I also ask them to bring in torn-out pictures from magazines or newspapers. It doesn’t matter if it’s one tiny write-up or a huge article—as a kitchen designer, I can usually see what’s driving those decisions and help the clients put it all together.”

Gas Ranges

2. A gas oven and an electric oven

“For certain types of cooking, like pan roasting, a powerful gas oven in a freestanding range is great. Also, if you want a good gas broiler, you need a gas oven. Electric wall ovens, however, work well for anything that requires consistent heat, like baking.”


3. Two dishwashers

“I have two dishwashers in my own kitchen, and I covered them with custom paneling so they blend in. I love them. I use a small 18-inch model for breakfast dishes and a larger one for dinner dishes. When entertaining, having the two dishwashers is amazing—it helps keep the pile of dirty dishes from getting out of hand.”

4. Pot racks

“I love pot racks, but people are often wary of them. They say, ‘I only have old pots.’ And I say, ‘Yeah! They’ll look cool! Like you really use them.’ For me, it’s the real deal when someone has a pot rack. It makes me want to cook. Plus, it adds character and it’s practical—it’s just a great place to store pots. Urban Archaeology makes an incredible nickel pot rack, but at about $15,000, it costs a fortune.”

5. A “landing spot”

“Everyone needs a junk-drawer area—a place to throw the mail and dump the keys when you first walk in the room. My philosophy is, you might as well accommodate it and include a landing spot in the kitchen.”