MERIT—Best kitchen in a single-family detached custom home—3,000 to 5,000 square feet ON THE SURFACE, THIS Texas kitchen looks like a typical big kitchen in a typical high-end custom house. But this one, home to a chef/food chemist and his wife, is more than just a collection of high-style components. Take the islands, for example. One is topped with a custom walnut butcher block that's used for food prep. The other, topped with granite, is used more for storage and gathering around. On the cooking side of the granite island, rollout drawers fitted with adjustable pegs hold dishes, pots and pans, and other cooking-related tools. On the other side of the island are drawers for napkins, place mats, and other serving-related items. “The pegs can be moved around, depending on the size of whatever it is you're storing,” says Team 3 Homes builder Neil S. Digiammatteo. “That's something the husband came up with that I'd never done before.”

Elsewhere, lazy susans help make use of tight corners, drawers have inserts for knives and other utensils, and cabinets have been lit to better show off collectibles. It's a kitchen that manages to work hard and look good.

Entrant/Builder/Architect: Team 3 Homes, Southlake, Texas; Interior designer: House Dressing, Bedford, Texas