The kitchen is almost universally the busiest room in any home. There’s no reason to inhabit one that doesn’t inspire you to start a great day. These are some of the top Kansas City kitchen designers.
Kitchens that Work | Story by Kimberly Winter Stern
Kitchens by Kleweno
Randy Sisk, a 30-year veteran of the Kansas City kitchen design industry, has seen just about every trend du jour come — and many go.
One design that has stayed for decades and is almost considered evergreen is the open concept. An approach Kitchens by Kleweno uses to kick that notion up a few notches, and one that encourages camaraderie while the cook is entertaining or togetherness when preparing a family meal, is the floating kitchen. It makes it accessible for guests and even caterers.
“Nothing attaches to the walls—it’s almost like a demo kitchen, where chairs are situated in front of an island so people can watch the chopping and cooking,” says Sisk. “All the components are in a tight pattern, formed by separate islands rather than a string of wall cabinets. People love it because guests can peer in from any angle and be part of the action.”
Counter Point: “Granite is still preferred for countertops, but some clients are venturing into marble. It’s more viable than in the past, with sealers that do a fantastic job of preventing stains. White marble is hot. We’ve even done recycled paper countertops that are very dense and user-friendly, as well as ones utilizing crushed porcelain.”
Functional Flair: “When people are considering remodeling a kitchen or building a new home, we recommend they look at the space’s function. The work triangle, comprised of cooktop, sink and refrigerator, should always be in sync, but there’s no reason it can’t be attractive.”
Cook’s Warehouse: “Many kitchens have massive cabinets that hold lots of stuff. Consider the pantry as a mini-kitchen, a multi-purpose and auxiliary room that can store anything from small appliances not used regularly to warming ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers—essential for someone who entertains. The kitchen is kept pristine while a caterer works behind the scenes, staging, plating, and cleaning.”
As showroom manager of Roth Living, Deatherage helps clients select appliances that fit them like a glove. And when working with home chefs and frequent entertainers, Deatherage starts with the big picture.
“A kitchen designer isn’t an indulgence when planning a space. In fact, they can help people avoid missteps and save money in the long run,” says Deatherage, whose lifelong passion is logical kitchen design. “We often get clients, especially in new–build projects, whose architect or builder drew up basic plans without a detailed kitchen design. We help clients understand appliance options for the most functional kitchen possible.”
For example, Deatherage counsels clients on avoiding a kitchen with dead ends.
“Good flow is imperative,” she says. “Everything else falls into place after that.”
Deatherage, an entertaining home cook, swears by her four-burner Wolf range with a griddle.
“I’ve found it’s always played a role when entertaining small groups or a crowd,” she says. “A griddle is versatile and helps home cooks think like professional chefs. Wolf makes a terrific model.”
Deatherage is a collector of tabletop treasures, from linens to platters, and often suggests pullout racks for clients to easily access tablecloths and special drawers for placemats, dishes and serving pieces. “A kitchen should be about ease of operation and convenience,” she says.
Induction cooktops are gaining traction not just with restaurant chefs, but also with the home chef. Wolf’s popular model offers the power, precision and control of gas but is more efficient.
“The induction cooktop doesn’t generate heat like gas, and the smooth service is visually pleasing,” says Deatherage.
Top Chef: “Invest in good-quality appliances, especially when it comes to cooking and refrigeration. Dependability is key, in addition to features that will fit your needs.”
Bright Ideas: “Install different lighting for myriad functions, and be able to control them. You want good lighting for prepping, but then when the party starts, you don’t want your kitchen to be brightly lit like an operating room.”
Washed Up: “Once a client has two dishwashers, they wonder how they ever cooked and entertained with just one. Two makes cleaning up after a large meal, party or holiday dinner a pleasure and a breeze.”
Read more about the other two of our top Kansas City kitchen designers by clicking the arrow below.