Laurey W. Glenn

Helpful hints to transform your kitchen into a showstopping space.

Julie Feagin Sandner

Food tastes better when it’s made in a pretty space. Now there’s no official study backing that statement, so you’re just going to have to trust us. But have no fear: You, too, can get a gorgeous look. Kitchen designer Cyndy Cantley of Birmingham shows us a project that’s near and dear to her heart―her very own kitchen.

Love the Layout
Cyndy opened up the space by using a galley-style layout. With no island, it’s less crowded when she’s entertaining. At the far end of the kitchen, a pair of floor-to-ceiling cabinets flanks a cozy breakfast nook. The top of each cabinet features shirred yellow-and-white fabric panels. The material provides color and hides the hardworking space behind. One cabinet houses the microwave and pantry, and the other keeps baking essentials organized in one place.

Where To Spend and Save
Appliances usually take up most of the budget, followed by cabinets and surfaces. Cyndy loves to cook and entertain, so appliances ranked first on her list. But keep in mind, if you’re not a whiz in the kitchen, there’s no need for top-of-the-line appliances.

Nicely Neutral
Keep the major components neutral, and the look will be timeless. Creamy white cabinets and travertine floors create a soft palette here. The countertops are Calcutta Gold marble, featuring big veins in gray and taupe shades. To make the cooktop more of a focal point, Cyndy inset terra-cotta tiles into the field of subway tiles above.

"Kitchen Design Secrets Revealed" is from the March 2007 issue of Southern Living.

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