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High Impact

From cool chic to industrial with a twist, inspirational designs for kitchens and baths.

We never get tired of talking about kitchens and baths. For one thing, they are the most high traffic rooms in the house, especially now, when everyone is home and every room serves many functions. The kitchen, always the center of activity, is now even more so. The spa bath is more than just a place to escape the week, it’s now the place to escape the daily rigor of working and living at home. We are rethinking everything from storage to surfaces with an eye towards usefulness, but never sacrificing beauty in the process.

From modern monochrome to splashes of bright, sunny color, these kitchens and baths provide inspiration for your own spaces—whether they are in need of a full update or just a minor tweak. With these beautifully designed rooms as inspiration, you may see your next project in a whole new light.

The Orchard

At The Orchard, a new luxury tower in Lincoln Park, the interiors are designed by Chicago-based design firm Soucie Horner, and include bespoke kitchens individually crafted by Christopher Peacock. It is the first new development in the city to feature the work of the acclaimed kitchen designer throughout. The handpainted walnut cabinetry is custom-fitted for such things as spices and cutlery, and includes luxury details such as nickel fittings and hardware. Says Peacock, “These are really suburban sized kitchens for vertical living, and we designed them to be multi-functional, for the way people use these rooms today.” The kitchens also include Waterworks fixtures, and appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove.

Alice Benjamin

In an elegant white kitchen, created for a family of four by designer Alice Benjamin, the designer bleached the dark oak floors to add a sense of lightness and space, and painted the walls in Benjamin Moore China white. She added an island clad in quartzite, flanked by stools covered in bright blue faux leather from Holly Hunt. A deep country sink from Waterworks is fitted with faucets by ROHL, along with Sub-Zero refrigeration and appliances by Thermador and Bosch make this a truly functional space. The backsplash is a handmade subway tile by Waterworks with subtle nonuniformity that makes them shine.

Gail Drury

Gail Drury of Drury Design created this kitchen in new home for empty nesters who wanted two separate workstations and a layout designed for entertaining, cooking and convenience. It had to be easy to maintain, have accessible storage at appropriate heights for a taller couple, modern appliances and different lighting options with a variety of settings. The main prep sink is a Galley Workstation in the island, and the cooking area includes a Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer, a warming drawer below the Wolf double ovens, and an additional steam oven located at the end of the island. On the other side of the kitchen, a large sink and Miele dishwasher complete the clean-up station. A dry bar with full-size Sub-Zero wine cooler and under counter refrigerator are perfect for entertaining.

Susan Ruge

Susan Ruge of Smalldoor Design began this kitchen renovation just as Illinois started to lock down due to COVID-19. Her clients wanted to make their kitchen more “stay-at-home” friendly, so Ruge created a more livable space for this family with five adult children, their spouses, and girlfriends. The backsplash, clad in Artistic Tile tumbled marble contrasts with the Mick De Giulio for Kallista sink (available at Ann Sacks and K&B Galleries), and Perrin & Rowe faucets (available at House of Rohl and K&B Galleries). Appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove are illuminated by recessed architectural lights by Tech Lighting through CAI Designs. The sweet Roman shade in Santa Barbara Ikat by Schumacher adds a classic blue and white touch.

Dan Kittilsen

Designer and builder Dan Kittilsen of DJK Custom Homes designed this sleek kitchen for a newly constructed townhome in Naperville. Kittilsen worked with Dacor to provide the utmost in functionality, using the brand’s Contemporary line of appliances. Characterized by minimal and sleek aesthetics, the collection of appliances offers clean and simple design elements. Kittilsen chose a 48-inch Dual Fuel Steam Range, a 30-inch Double Wall oven, a temperature-controlled Wine Station, along with a wine column and wine cellar, and column refrigerator and freezer units, all in Graphite stainless steel. The Maxim Lighting pendants, through CAI Designs, echo the bold geometry of the space.

Mick de Giulio

In a streamlined modern kitchen for clients in South Florida, designer Mick de Giulio complemented his own polished and brushed stainless steel drawers with custom-finished white oak cabinets. The countertops are brushed quartzite. The main sink is from the de Giulio Collection, and a convenient secondary sink is Soltiere designed by De Giulio for Kallista (through Ann Sacks and K&B Galleries), with faucets by Dornbracht through K&B Galleries. Wolf wall ovens, a Gaggenau cooktop and microwave drawer, and Miele dishwashers make this kitchen the ultimate in style and functionality.

Staci Munic

Staci Munic of Staci Munic Interiors designed a master suite, including this spa bath, for clients that she met in Palm Springs during Modernism Week. The couple wanted to add a pop of Palm Springs vibrancy to their Chicago bedroom suite, which they described to Munic as a “beige, boring, dark, small and depressing.” The designer enveloped the entire suite in Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray, varying the finishes to create some glow, and added a pop of ocean tones with a Phillip Jeffries watercolor-esque wall covering. Textiles by Kravet and Pindler, shower fixtures by Dornbracht through K&B Galleries, and cabinet hardware by Katonah all add a luxurious feel.