W.G. Tait, Inc. Bear Lake Trading Company Home Page


Story by Shelley Swift
Photos by E. Anthony Valainis

This kitchen has great looks, but what won it the gold medal for kitchen design is that it's a great kitchen to work in.

For example, the home owners are both over six feet tall, so the countertops are 41 inches high rather than the standard 36. Rollout shelves, vertical tray storage, even drawers shaped to hold linens and napkin rings are hidden but much appreciated by the homeowners, who cook and entertain often.

Glazed tiles in terra cotta, green and azure blue and chalked pine cabinets built like furniture make the kitchen beautiful, but its smart layout takes the prize.

The island is a design winner all on its own. One side is for seating or for buffet service, the other for food preparation. The countertop is curved to provide enough overhang for comfortable seating, while the under-counter storage has touch latches instead of knobs so lanky visitors won't scrape their knees. The working side of the island has a vegetable sink at one end, plus underneath are two additional refrigerator drawers, an ice maker, a microwave and drawers and shelves for pans.

Of course, the kitchen combines function with beauty. The colorful tiled countertops extend to a two foot tall backspash. Ten by ten inch ceramic tiles grace the floor. The builder, W.G. Tait, Inc., installed recessed halogen lights under the cabinets to provide a non-intrusive glow. The cabinets themselves are designed like furniture-the doors are flush with the cabinet fronts when closed. Some of the cabinets have seeded glass fronts to show off the couple's collection of Fiestaware.

Because the couple loves to entertain, top of the line appliances were in order. What looks like a giant armoire actually houses a pair of Sub-Zero refrigerators. The professional-style Wolf range has six burners, a grill and a double oven, topped with a custom-made mantel-style hood that is trimmed with woodwork to match the cabinets. Two dishwashers ensure easy party cleanup. The breakfast nook and the hearth room, in the same large space as the kitchen, echo its colors, and a walk-in pantry with a pass-through window for groceries is just off the kitchen.

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