Forest Kitchen

2017-2018 KDC Finalist

Forest Kitchen, an open-plan kitchen and pantry, is part of a new-construction home located in Chicago’s western suburbs. The homeowner selected a multi-function team to design and execute this project which was led by Ryan Dunham of Oakley Home Builders in Downers Grove, and included Dan McFadden and Debbie Larson of PB Kitchen Design in Geneva; Christina Samatas and Renee DiSanto of Park & Oak Interior Design in Glen Ellyn; and Michael Abraham and Joel Rafferty of Michael Abraham Architecture in Clarendon Hills. 

The primary goal when designing the layout of the kitchen space was to lean into the open floor plan and create both a kitchen and pantry with a view. Non-negotiables in executing this highly functional design were maximizing natural light (yes, even in the traditionally dark pantry), incorporating ample storage in an appealing way, and ensuring the final design was a pleasant space to cook, entertain, and live. 

The true open-concept design limited the walls available for cabinetry and appliances. The range wall served as a necessary anchor for the kitchen, as well as a design focal point, and allowed the team to create a working pantry behind it that felt a bit moodier and different from the light and airy feel of the kitchen. The homeowner can now easily prep, cook, refrigerate, and entertain in the kitchen and then store, serve, and clean up in the pantry area.

In selecting materials for this project, the vision was to create a home with patina and characteristics that could be found in older homes while functioning in a modern way. The island wood was selected and created in a way to feel like a repurposed antique. That old-world feel was deliberately countered with clean, more modern perimeter cabinetry. Open shelves, display cabinets, and the perfect chef’s desk create interest and work together to make this kitchen completely unique while fulfilling the needs and desires of the homeowner. The ability to incorporate high-performance Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, the right cabinetry choices from Quality Custom Cabinetry of New Holland, Pennsylvania, and distinctive hardware sourced from England allowed the team to execute on the desired look, leading to a timeless kitchen feel.

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Kitchen Design Contest 2010-2012

U.S. & Canada Regional Winners are recognized for the best use of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove in the kitchen.

Prizes include:

  • A trip for two, for each regional winner, to the KDC conference and awards gala in Madison, WI.
  • National PR and online program for regional winners.
  • Customized publicity and marketing kit for each regional winner.

International Regional Winners are recognized for the best use of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove in the kitchen.

Prizes include:

  • A trip for two, for each regional winner, to the KDC conference and awards gala in Madison, WI.
  • National PR and online program for regional winners.
  • Customized publicity and marketing kit for each regional winner.