Sleek Uptown Look
If you can tear your eyes away from the fabulous glass-bubble chandelier, check out these countertops: Absolute Black leather-finish granite throughout, plus serving stations and a custom-made tabletop in a complementary Iron Red polished granite. Designer Gwyneth Hand chose black laminate and charcoal-stained oak cabinets to complete the look.
Two Islands Better Than One
In a large kitchen, designer Heather Hungeling prefers to create two smaller islands instead of one behemoth — a too-large island becomes an obstacle to get around instead of a boost to functionality. Here, one island is topped in granite and the other in warm, rich Iroko butcher block (an African hardwood).
Study in Black and White
Despite the presence of traditional elements such as the chandelier and crown molding, this isn't your grandma's black-and-white kitchen. Designer Angela Shannon used a 60-inch Wolf oven, high-gloss white Poggenpohl cabinets, Marron Cohiba granite countertops with metallic flecks and clear Starfire glass bar-height countertops to create a luxurious contemporary feel.
Bigger Is Better
Outsized scale creates a larger-than-life effect in this kitchen designed by Heather Hungeling. The massive oak island and ivory Edwardian-style cabinetry are balanced by a contemporary-feeling backsplash with a sleek metallic finish. Lesson: Don't be afraid to mix traditional elements with of-the-moment accessories.