Dream Kitchen: International Flavor
The best kind of souvenir is rarely declared at customs. Inspiration is free, doesn't take up space in your suitcase, and pays off in countless ways once you get back home. Just ask Vikki Werbalowsky. Her kitchen wish list began on a trip to Italy with her husband, Mark. Nearly 20 years and countless trips later, her kitchen has European flair to spare.
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Interior design: Vikki Werbalowsky, La Bella Vie, Roswell, GA; 770/645-1445.
Vikki designed her home, built in 2000, with the kitchen open to the living room so that everyone can be together. "That's why the 8-foot long table is right in the center of the kitchen," she says. "Everyone sits around and eats and talks and laughs. And people can be in the living room and still be in on the action."
Rich, neutral marble and reclaimed materials set the tone for the space. Marble is not as high-maintenance as it seems, she insists. "In Italy and France, they have that stuff on their counters for 100 years, and the more aged it gets, the better it looks. Stains happen. Just go with it. Then it says, ‘We've lived here.' "
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- Kitchen table: Custom design, by La Bella Vie.
- Host Chairs: (slipcover added) Dining Arm Chair (#5206-41) by Lee Industries.
- Side Chairs: Louisiane Sunburt Chair by Grange, also available from La Bella Vie.
- Light Fixtures: Pur Home Collection, available at La Bella Vie and Ann Marie's Interior Details; 301/846-9767
The Living Room
Cedar ceiling beams help divide and define the rooms in the one open space. Deep archways and book niches further the European-inspired design. Niches on either side of the mantel add character and unique storage. To complete the look, Vikki layers texture rather than color to let the architecture of the home shine.
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- Wall paint: Acadia White (OC-38) by Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com.
- TV cabinet doors: Atlanta Entry Door, available through La Bella Vie.
Built-In Cappuccino Maker
Vikki says the best splurge in the kitchen was the built-in cappuccino maker. "I'm in love with it. The amount of joy we've gotten out of that has made it completely worth it."
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Coffeemaker: Miele, mieleusa.com.
Vikki says that her favorite view is from her kitchen window. "I love my sink window topped with a wood beam. Outside is my herb garden and a vine-covered pergola. Beyond that, it's only woods. It's amazing—I pinch myself every day."
"I use the peninsula area often as a buffet and bar for entertaining. I'll put ice in the sink and fill it with bottles of wine and Champagne. Seating areas with multiple uses are great for entertaining," Vikki says.
Stove and Cooking Area
A ledge and alcoves at the stove keep spices and oils nearby. Keep your cooking needs in mind when designing your space. Vikki says, "I love the Viking stove and cooking area. I would do that the same way a million times over! The flanking, movable shelves add functional storage."
For a Similar Look:
Artwork: Apples with a Green Bowl (KK093), hand-painted oil on canvas stretched on wood, 16 by 12 inches, $300; dutchtouchart.com
Using a mix of sleek modern stainless steel and classic wood pieces, Vikki created an eclectic yet cohesive look. The open shelving makes the space feel lighter and more open than closed upper cabinets would, and displaying artwork and pottery along side every-day dishware makes even the simplest of plates look special.
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Dishwasher: Bosch, bosch-home.com/us.