House Beautiful's 2012 Kitchen of the Year

Kitchen Spotlight

For the last five years shelter magazine House Beautiful has collaborated with a renowned kitchen designer to create and build a Kitchen of the Year, which goes on display in Rockefeller Center for one week every July. This year "America's Dream Kitchen" was designed by Mick de Giulio, and I had the pleasure of walking through the kitchen on Monday - well, if you can call it simply a "kitchen," and I don't think you can! This 1,000-square-foot "kitchen conservatory" is actually two fully-functioning kitchens (indoor and outdoor) with a separate butler's pantry, "morning area" bar, and top-notch detailing. (The sinks and tile are stunning.) It's really a full-on living space, where food and cooking anchor the home.

First of all, a little about designer Mick de Giulio: Mr. de Giulio has two Chicago area showrooms, including one at LuxeHome in Chicago's Merchandise Mart. He founded his kitchen design company 25 years ago and is internationally respected for his innovative kitchen architecture and product designs. His inspiration for the Kitchen of the Year came from his own kitchen, the central place in his home: "The hierarchy of the home is changing because of the design of kitchens," he told us. "The kitchen is #1 in the house - i'ts not the living room, it's not the dining room, it's not the family room. Those are [from] years past. Today it's the kitchen."

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Close up of the shimmery Ann Sacks tile in the "morning area."

This year's Kitchen of the Year is classic, with a little bit of glam: white Ceasarstone countertops, shimmery white and gold leaf tiles, mirrored backsplashes, and glass shelving make the space feel light and open. But lest you forget it's a custom kitchen, the finer details make all the difference: a moving backsplash behind the stove hides a shallow pantry perfect for keeping spices within reach; the "appliance" garage on the side breakfast bar also slides to both reveal and hide appliances; special "whisper touch" technology on the Kraftmaid cabinets ensures a soft close; and a built-in office cabinet in the front of the kitchen island enables you to bring your office to the kitchen.

If you see something you like, the resource list below should cover it!

Kitchen of the Year Shopping List

Cabinetry:: "White Dove" color with door style "Sedona" by Kraftmaid. Price varies.

Appliances and Induction Cooktop: The Ice Collection from Whirlpool, which is special because of its brushed silver accents (like the handles) against a white body. (This as opposed to an all-white or an all stainless-steel appliance, which is more standard.)

Countertops: "Fair Lady Supremo 1650" by Caesarstone, $75-$100 per square feet installed.

Sinks and Faucets: Kohler with colors by Jonathan Adler.

Paint "White on White" by Glidden and "Arctic Night" by Glidden (on ceiling in butler's pantry). Price varies.

Flooring: "SW183 Gold Rush Walnut, color 940 Klondike Walnut" by Shaw, $8.00 - 8.99/sq. ft. Made with 50% recycled wood materials. The herringbone pattern in the butler's pantry is also by Shaw, the it's a custom design by Mr. de Giulio.

Tiles: "Davlin in white goldleaf" by Ann Sacks, $116.28 per square foot.

Drawer Inserts and Shelving: Container Store

Outdoor Wood-Burning Oven and Stones: Belgard, price varies.

Read More: 2012 Kitchen of the Year at House Beautiful

Related: A Peek Into House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year 2010

(Images: 1, 3, 7, 11, 16. Sarah Bonk for House Beautiful; all others by Cambria Bold)

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