Before this kitchen could begin to take shape, architect Bob Wetmore and his wife, Glenda, had to resolve some rather divergent vernacular tastes. He liked mid-century modern. She? Not so much. The Arts & Crafts aesthetic of this broad-shouldered house proved a good compromise that felt modern enough, but still warm and homey.

From there, the kitchen design was built from the ground up (literally) starting with the concrete floor. “When you do scored and stained concrete floors, it takes about 28 days for the colors to cure, so you really shouldn’t make your other selections until the floor is set,” Wetmore explains. Case in point: The olive green they thought they had originally specified in the floor later turned brown. And, in a happy accident, a copper patina stain on the concrete ended up creating a striated effect that looked like cut stone. Steamed beech wood cabinetry (an economical choice stained to resemble cherry) with black walnut detailing came next, coupled with granite countertops and earth-tone tiles.

Framed by an arched wall, this big, welcoming family space is both handsome and functional. “If someone isn’t sleeping, there’s a good chance they are in the kitchen, and the design takes that into consideration,” Wetmore says. A massive 6-by-12–foot island seats six comfortably, while allocating ample space for food prep at the other end. Casual entertaining and everyday meal prep are made easy with an adjacent pantry, scullery, and wet bar.

And let’s not forget the finishing touches up top. One of the space’s most subtle and ingenious features is a “monorail” lighting scheme that hides rope lighting between bisected ceiling beams. The effect is an uncluttered ceiling that gives off an ambient glow.

Entrant/Architect:Cornerstone Group Architects, Austin, Texas; Builder:Brian A. Bailey Homes, Austin

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Austin, TX.