WE ALWAYS DREAMED OF HAVING a gourmet kitchen, and now we do! Of course, it came with a 30-foot great room and breakfast nook, making it even more impressive and useful. Now, we really can have the party in the kitchen, with people sitting and snacking at the bar island or milling around the great room. I like the fact that we can prep the next course without feeling left out of the conversation or crammed like sardines.

Everyone comments on the counter-tops. They're granite, of course, but the contractor laminated two slabs together to make them twice as thick before he finished the edges. We also had a little fun with the bar island by choosing a color pattern that is the reverse of the rest of the countertops.

This kitchen has everything—and there is still room for at least three cooks. Adding the butler's pantry between the kitchen and dining room was a stroke of genius, especially with that built-in coffee maker, warming drawer, and extra refrigerator for the caterers. It puts pretty much everything we need within reach so we don't have to trek out to the kitchen for a refill or an extra wine glass.

I have to say, my favorite thing about the kitchen is the concealed walk-in pantry next to the double wall oven. The shallow-depth cabinets next to the pantry are also very cool, not to mention convenient and smart. Oh, and then there's that “meteorite” finish on the appliances that's supposed to not show fingerprints. I was skeptical, but it really works!

Product Specs Kitchen and Great Room

  • Appliances. A full line of KitchenAid's ProLine series with a new matte metallic “meteorite” finish for a fresh take on stainless steel that doesn't show fingerprints.
  • Cabinets. Timberlake pulled out all the stops in its Durango line of cabinets to match the interior designer's vision for a custom-look kitchen and also provided the built-ins for the great room's entertainment wall.
  • Sinks and faucets. Each island features a pair of deep stainless-steel sinks and goose-neck, pull-down faucets from Kohler. The pasta faucet over the cooktop is from Frankie Kitchen Systems. .
  • Floor and wall tile. Glazed floor and wall tiles from Dal-Tile deliver a rich texture and sense of solid construction throughout the main level, including outdoors.
  • Disposers and hot water dispensers. In-Sink-Erator supplied both products on each island. .
  • Lighting and controls. Recessed fixtures from Lightolier and controls from Lutron Electronics create a scheme for general and task lighting.
  • Exposed beams. Hand-hewn beams from Vintage Timber-works were reclaimed from torn-down military and farm buildings.
  • Vent hood. Barbara Tattersfield Design created the natural stone surround for the cooktop's vent hood.