Kitchens have tipped white or industrial, laboratories for food prep with a preponderance of light cabinets, subway tile, pale marble and stainless steel appliances. Pops of color — from bohemian, brightly patterned cement tiles to the occasional use of dark lower cabinets — provided some relief. Now things are taking a turn toward even more richly color-saturated spaces, with textured stones and tiles, eco-friendly woods and jewel-toned cabinets in deep blues and greens.
With the trend shifting away from the bustling open plan space of just a few years ago — and more and more homes integrating butler’s pantries and secondary kitchens to hide the mess of food preparation — integrating the color palette and visual look of the rest of the home is key. Below, 29 Hollywood home designers recommend how to upgrade the kitchen.
Rios Clementi Hale Studios
The award-winning design firm (clients include Brian Grazer, Michael Bay and Conan O’Brien) has noticed trends from dual kitchens and indoor-outdoor kitchens to concealed bars and electric kitchens. The idea of support kitchens or full-service pantries keeps the main kitchen area visually clean and free of appliances. This supports the idea that the kitchen is more integrated into the living space in a clean and effortless way. It becomes an extension of the family room, so as a result a workhorse kitchen carries the burden of the real cooking, coffee-making and food prep.
The indoor-outdoor kitchens have a seamless connection, while bars “can be cleverly concealed to be there when you want them, and tuck tidily away when you don’t.” An eco-friendly trend is the all-electric kitchen that can be powered by geothermal or solar energy. “Kitchens with all electric, including conduction appliances, are becoming a new way of adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle into today’s homes.”
Joyce notices plenty of color entering the kitchen. “White is out for kitchens and dark, rich colors are definitely in,” says the interior designer, whose clients include Tom Freston and Vice’s Shane Smith. “I have seen some striking kitchens where the cabinets are painted in lush aquas, intense greens, inky blues and even black, often in ultra-high gloss finishes. This is an easy refresh for an existing kitchens.” A kitchen in a home in Aspen, Colorado — which Joyce worked on as designer and architect and which can be found in The Intangible, his recently released book — illustrates the seamless transition between kitchen and living areas.
Lars Hypko and Mary Ta
Lars Hypko and Mary Ta, who opened Mass Beverly as an adjunct to Ta’s Minotti showroom a few doors down, have the ability and the relationships to offer custom designs by utilizing multiple specialist manufacturers for a single design element. It’s a resource that’s been tapped by those like Calvin Klein, and Beyonce and Jay-Z, that appreciate the latest technologies. “Jenn-Air’s created this very forward-thinking sexy, exotic appliance,” says Hypko of their Obsidian Black interior refrigerator. “This is really the perfect show kitchen appliance because everything looks amazing. When you open up the refrigerator, that bottle of Dom really pops out at you and you know you’re just gonna have to pull it out and pop it open. Really, there’s nothing else you can do.”
Hypko is also a fan of Fenix NTM, a surface material he installed in one of the Carters’ secondary kitchens: “When you touch it, it’s warm and it feels like rubber, but it’s very strong, so if you cut it or you scratch it and then you rub over it, the particles around it warm up and they actually kind of melt into each other a little bit and it kind of regenerates the surface.” He adds: “It has great colors — but it’s a lot more resistant.”
The architect from KAA Design Group — who has designed homes for Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Paul Reiser, Nicole Miller and Jeff Lynne — is enamored with Schotten & Hansen Veneer appliances.
“They now make a line of wood surfaces (veneers) for cabinetry and millwork in 3,000 catalogued colors to match their wood flooring finishes, options that I am dying to try on all of the cabinetry, appliances and interior doors to match (or contrast with) the wood flooring by them in a contemporary home,” says Kirkpatrick. He’s also done a 180 when it comes to kitchen design: “Fewer interior designers and homeowners are wanting kitchens with exposed stainless steel appliances, including refrigerator/freezers, wine storage units, ranges, range hoods, microwaves and dishwashers. They are looking for the appliances to as much as possible fully integrate into the kitchen cabinetry, especially in kitchens that are open to dining and living areas.”
Cooper Pacific Kitchens has been creating kitchens for Hollywood since 1986. Owner Steven Cooper, who designed Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s kitchen, has been featured on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and is responsible for Lisa Vanderpump’s $300,000 kitchen.
For clients that love a cocktail, Cooper suggests Frucocol’s GF1000 Glass Froster — “It’s a blast glass chiller!” he exclaims — and, to fill a frosted tumbler, one of U-Line’s Nugget ice makers, which make clear cubes in varying densities, installed in a poolside or oceanside kitchen for refreshing drinks by the water. The La Cornue range (polished brass or copper models for $128,000) are his pick for clients who have someone to provide upkeep. “They’re not lacquered,” he explains. “So they’ll tarnish otherwise.”
Clint Nicholas and Lene Schneider
Haus of Designs’ Nicholas and Schneider have created homes for Kanye West, Jimmy Iovine and Kurt Rappaport. In fact, a kitchen in the Doheny Road home they had designed for Rappaport — with its black backsplash and vintage fixtures — heralded the trend towards darker “room-like” kitchens. They’re currently installing Fantini Rubinetti’s sleek Italian faucets in Matte Gun Metal finish in a kitchen they’re working on. As Nicholas, who ensures clients’ refrigerators are fully stocked before they even set foot into their new home, explains, “It’s not just a house, it’s a lifestyle we’re creating.”
Mary Ann Schicketanz
Carmel, California-based Schicketanz of Studio Schicketanz has created homes for Clint Eastwood’s Tehama and is circling around two kitchen products, Boffi’s K2 Kitchen series and Arpa Industriale’s Fenix NTM. “We are loving the K2 Monobloc designed by Norbert Wangen for Boffi that we saw during Salone this year,” says Schicketanz. “This island has a moveable countertop and allows you to completely conceal your work area in the kitchen. They are fabulous for small spaces!”
For cabinetry, she’s looking at Arpa Industriale’s Fenix NTM: “We are using the Fenix NTM material in several of our kitchens right now for cabinetry. Our clients are usually interested in materials that not only look great but are practical. The Fenix material is a great fit because it’s a modern material that uses nanotechnology which allows for no fingerprints, is water- and heat-resistant as well as a hygienic. It also comes in a beautiful range of natural colored matte finishes, which works great with our aesthetic!”
“Many clients no longer want a plain-Jane kitchen,” says Corrigan, whose clients include Madonna and Jay Leno. He says Hollywood is using bold wallpapers, bright colors or strong tile choices that are fun and make a statement: “I would love to see a client incorporate my new Fromental Spring Fever wallpaper into a kitchen space. I think the playful botanical illustrations would bring a powerful visual experience to a kitchen environment.”
“The BlueStar Platinum Series is the ultimate cooking appliance for quality, power, and style,” says Andrews, the go-to interior designer for Kaley Cuoco, Carrie Ann Inaba and Tyson Chandler. It’s available in a range of custom options including custom cook-top configurations, 750-plus colors, door styles, knobs and trims.
Adds Andrews, whose new book, The New Glamour: Interiors With Star Quality spotlights many of these lush spaces, “With Hollywood projects, customization is key, and this line makes just about any configuration I’ve come up with possible. My clients are done with white kitchens and stainless appliances as well — so the color customization options can take a kitchen to a whole new level of chic. Performance is also paramount — Hollywood kitchens need to function not only for homeowners, but also for professionals who may be using the kitchen to prep for a special event.”
“My clients have been asking for Dacor’s Heritage Wine Station,” says Baradaran (who works with Kate Hudson) of the brand’s automated, temperature-controlled, four-bottle wine dispensing and preservation system, which relies on Argon gas. “It allows them to have four of their favorite wines on tap for up to 60 days. You can choose just the right amount — a sip or a full glass — with the touch of a finger. We just installed one in a kitchen, where the room dually functions as both a a kitchen and a hub for entertaining guests.” An easy-to-use LCD display customizes the size of each pour and dispensing heads keep the wine safe from oxidation.
Miele’s German engineering has many fans including McClean, who has just released his first book, Creating The Contemporary House. “I am a huge fan of my Miele coffee machine,” says the designer, whose sleek glass mansions include a $500 million Bel-Air house for developer Nile Niami and spaces for the Winklevoss twins and Calvin Klein. “Their built-in appliances look really great in the kitchen,” he says. “And they have those nice European lines.” The brand’s CVA 6805, from its PureLine range, with its high proportion of glass, is right in line with the designer’s ethos.
Oliver M. Furth
Furth’s clients — including Beautycon’s CEO Moj Mahdara, Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg, UTA’s Jim Berkus, Arianna Huffington and attorney Skip Brittenham — usually turn to him for help with their art and antiques (after all, he serves as chair emeritus of the Decorative Arts and Design Council at LACMA). But they also trust him to make their kitchens just as breathtaking. “I’m seeing a trend with clients requesting Miele Steam Ovens for their kitchens,” says Furth. “Perfect for steaming vegetables and fish, steam ovens continue the health and wellness-focused lifestyle of Angelenos into the kitchen.”
Price, the owner and creative director of L.A. interior design firm and luxury product brand Fragments Identity, has designed, styled and produced products for various high-profile clients such as fashion designer Erin Fetherston, jewelry designer Jeet Sohal, actress Abigail Spencer and CBS Television Studios executives Ian and Lauri Metrose on their Studio City home. The couple’s open kitchen consists of dark ebony cabinets paired with white quartz countertops and tile detailing on the backsplash; all of the accents in the kitchen are stainless steel, including appliances.
“One of my go-tos for clients, especially those that have extremely busy careers is a high quality, aesthetically-pleasing juicer or coffee maker that can tie into the kitchen’s color palette and details,” says Price. “I am obsessed with Breville’s Barista Express Espresso Machine for both its sophisticated and sleek look and its amazing features. The stainless steel machine looks extremely clean and crisp on a quartz countertop and blends nicely with other stainless steel appliances in a kitchen!”
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The architect, currently working on the new Nobu Palo Alto hotel, which set to open later this year, is a fan of Gaggenau. “As classic essentials and a sophisticated pairing to any architecturally designed home, we always recommend Gaggenau to our clients,” says the visionary behind Nobu Ryokan, Nobu Malibu and Little Beach House. “Their integrated systems seamlessly blend into the kitchen environment, making them virtually disappear, which is why they remain best in class.”
Montalba, who has worked on stores for Monique L’Huillier, Raquel Allegra and the Olsen twins’ The Row, also recently discovered the Vermicular Musui-Kamado: “It’s a Japanese all-in-one cooker that is as stylish as it is precise. Elegantly designed with clean lines, it pushes functionality to the next level and acts as both a Dutch oven and a slow cooker. Furthermore, it looks beautiful in our clients’ homes.”
Sklar suggests Miele Steam ovens to her clients, who include writer-producer-director Kay Cannon and her husband screenwriter Eben Russell, along with comedians Patton Oswalt and Rob Corddry. “Steam ovens have been around for a long time in Europe, but they’re not as well known in the States,” she says. “There’s moisture circulating within the framework that keeps whatever you’re cooking incredibly moist. I prefer it to a microwave. It can easily take the place of a microwave, and it’s a far better technology to heat up leftovers because of the moisture. That’s really my number one. And Miele is the front runner. They’ve been doing it for a long time and they’re just great.”
Gardner is another interior designer looking at new materials. Says Gardner, who is jumping into a project for actor Isaiah Mustafa (soon to be seen on the big screen as the adult version of Mike Hanlon in It: Chapter 2), “Cleaf Italian laminate is great for cabinetry or paneled walls in modern or minimalist kitchens. There’s no sanding or finishing needed and it’s resistant to staining, steam and scratches. More stable than real wood, it has a realistic hand.”
Rafael Kalichstein and Joshua Rose
Kalichstein and Rose of Form Design Studio, which is currently working on a multi-million-dollar oceanfront project in Miami Beach, are no strangers to top-of-the-line kitchen paraphernalia. Kalichstein cites the TopBrewer coffee system and the Maestro range by Bonnet as two products that are currently on his radar, while Rose is a fan of the Officine Gullo custom range with hood and backsplash. “The TopBrewer is like having a barista in your kitchen,” says Kalichstein of the single faucet design. The design duo, who will embark on a renovation for NCIS: Los Angeles‘ Daniela Rush and her husband, stuntman David Olsen, also put in a vote for Genuwine’s Wine Cellar. “Spiral staircases and wine are a hilarious combination,” jokes Kalichstein.
The owner of Synder Diamond recommends the JennAir Smoke & Brass 48″ Professional Style Range. “JennAir has stepped up their game this year with a reimagining of their entire brand and a series of new appliances that break new ground in the luxury appliance space for their performance and their looks,” says Diamond, who is a fan of their $30,000 Smoke & Brass stove. “There is nothing on the market quite like it.”
Mattée is one of the many design professionals seeing a move towards the moodier end of the spectrum when it comes to kitchens. The CEO and president of Dornbracht Americas suggests the Dornbracht: Tara Black edition and Dornbract: Synch Profi: “We’re seeing new, dark metal finishes in the appliance world that corresponds very well to our Dark Platinum Matte finish. This finish is showcased on some of our iconic kitchen faucet designs like Tara Classic and Lot. It shows extremely well on our new Sync Profi mixer in combination with a sleek silicone hose.” The Sync Profi is also available in dark brass and dark bronze finishes.
Ireland agrees with Kirkpatrick’s assessment. “Kitchens should be treated as a room with proper furniture and designed with respect. I am seeing less and less built-ins and upper cabinetry and more furniture pieces with open-shelving. The kitchen is really the space where people gravitate to and spend a big fraction of their time; the space should feel inviting and have as much character as any other room in the house.”
She loves building islands that look like furniture pieces or having a big farm table in the middle rather than a built-in island. In keeping with Ireland’s vision, check out Snaidero’s latest collection, the Elegante Bespoke Collection and Vision kitchen, which has wood at its centerpiece and offers a choice of eight finishes from pale elegant pearl to night eucalyptus.
“We are seeing a move towards darker, moodier kitchen spaces,” says Kath, executive vp design and business development for Cambria. “We still see plenty of white and gray kitchens, but there is an interest in creating modern kitchens that still have plenty of warmth. Black, charcoal, dark greens and blues, when paired correctly, can create this warmth.”
She is also seeing a lot of mixing of palettes and materials. “Kitchens no longer have to be so ‘matchy-matchy,’ and can present opportunities to express one’s personality through their design choices — from appliances to surfaces to lighting,” says Kath. “It’s not uncommon to see an island that has a different cabinet finish and different countertop than the rest of the kitchen.” Cambria offers designs in a matte finish that is “velvety to the touch. … People are becoming more sophisticated in the tactile nature of kitchens, not just what a particular finish looks like but also how it feels.” For the committed DIY-er, the company just released its Ultimate Kitchen Planner.
Joannides, who worked with Hugo Boss before moving into interior design and reimagined The Farmer’s Daughter Hotel, cites the La Cornue range as a go-to: “Several clients are asking to install the La Cornue range in various sizes and colors! So my eye is currently very much on that gorgeous range, and we will be installing one in at least two kitchens coming up soon.”
“People are craving more control over how kitchens are designed and how they can create more order in their homes. We can probably thank Marie Kondo for that,” says Fry, chief marketing officer of Henrybuilt. One answer to this trend is the sister company to Henrybuilt, Space Theory, focused on flexible wall components, clever drawer organization or elements that are easily reconfigured. “This makes it easy to tidy up, and it removes the pressure and rigidity from getting and staying organized,” he adds.
The creative director of Tabarka Studio loves Adama Artisinal Terracotta Tiles for a kitchen facelift. “We are known for hand-painted terracotta, but recently we have been seeing more interest in simple, raw and stained terracotta tiles from interior designers,” says Zenati, whose tiles are top of the list for Brigette Romanek, Studio Hus and Amber Interiors. In keeping with a a previous trend for Zellige tiles for kitchen backsplashes, designers are now requesting raw and stained terra-cotta ties to achieve a warm, contemporary look that embraces the perfect imperfections of a natural material left in its earthiest state.
Australian furniture designer Spon-Smith, whose Max Sparrow is a favorite of Aussie stars and who recently launched his outdoor furniture collection Coco Republic stateside (at HD Buttercup), is seeing saturated hues in marbles as well, a trend that came to his attention while judging the brand’s design awards. “Colored marbles, onyx, granites and stones are in heavy usage,” he says. “Especially the reds and greens. Red cherry, Nero (a black), chocolate browns and emerald greens in rich textures used not just on counter top but throughout the kitchen are super sexy!”
Dacor will be introducing the 48-inch 6-Burner Dual-Fuel Steam Range in August, as “our newest addition to our innovative and luxurious Modernist Collection; the ultimate selection for a dream kitchen,” says Warner, the company’s president. The range is inspired by the lifestyle of the modern entertainer and home chef, with six burners and ultra-wide grates that allow users to easily cook with a variety of cookware sizes at once, and Four-Part Pure Convection that guarantees for zero flavor transfer between multiple dishes.
“A unique built-in steam oven is ideal for cooking a multitude of healthy dishes, including meats that are juicy on the inside yet crispy on the outside,” Warner says. The range is available in Dacor-exclusive Graphite Stainless Steel finish with Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating that makes it both scratch and heat resistant. Users can also customize the aesthetics with interchangeable brass or black burner caps, with seamlessly integrated technology including Bluetooth capabilities and an LCD touch panel that provides a full-touch culinary command center for pre-programmed settings and step-by-step recipes.
The two-kitchen trend has become a tsunami, says Baer, the stager-to-the-stars: “In some of the new builds or remodels, we are seeing two kitchens within a single residence. One kitchen they call the “show/entertaining” kitchen, where not a lot of cooking happens, and a second kitchen that’s tucked behind the entertaining kitchen, which they call the “dirty” or “messy” kitchen. Messy kitchens are more casual in aesthetic, but have fully functional appliances.
Clients are also requesting their kitchens to have direct access to the outdoors, divided by large glass sliders (Boffi’s Quadra and Mitica series are two new takes on the genre that caused a stir at Salone). “Huge single islands and double islands are really in right now,” says Baer. “Darker surfaces and countertops are popular as far as finishes. And the must-have appliance seems to be the steam oven, and having concealed/hidden appliances in general. We are finding that clients want to hide their refrigerators now with paneling and have it appear as part of the cabinetry, as opposed to having their appliances on display.”
“It doesn’t sound fancy, but when you have fully custom cabinets — especially some that are as well thought out and designed as these from Porcelanosa — then you realize how well-designed cabinets can really make all the difference. The options that they have to customize every single drawer is pretty incredible,” says Berk, who is also a fan of Pitt Integrated Burners. “I love the minimal and seamless look of these burners. They integrate directly into your countertops, which means that your countertops continue seamlessly throughout your entire kitchen. And no more annoying cooktops to clean.”
L.A.-based Lester of Kate Lester Interiors has been practicing luxury residential and commercial interior design for more than 15 years, with clientele including athletes and the Hollywood elite. The designer, who recently completed a custom-built lakehouse for famed photographer and best-selling author Gray Malin, loves Zephyr’s Monsoon I Hood liner insert. “Zephyr has taken the one-piece liner to the next level,” she says. It includes dual-level halogen lights and an ADA-compliant RF remote to control Monsoon I without reaching over a dangerous cooking surface. Equipped with six-speed electronic controls and pro baffle filters, “it gives you professional ventilation without the heavy industrial look,” says Lester. “This means I can design a bespoke hood detail for each and every client without having to sacrifice quality and function.”