At Cantitoe Corners, Martha's estate in Bedford, New York, the kitchen works almost as hard as Martha herself. That's because it's been designed for maximum functionality -- plus it has ambience for days. Here are five of Marha's favorite details about the hub of her home. (Warning: You may be inspired to do a complete kitchen overhaul of your own.)
1. Natural Lighting
Solar shades in the same shade of gray (a calming neutral) as the walls provide visual continuity and protection from the sun when necessary. On overcast days, the shades roll up and disappear to allow in as much light as possible, as seen above.
2. Exotic Veneers
To add visual interest and soften the contemporary design of the cabinets, the drawers, doors, and backsplash were faced with a veneer of a tiger-striped wood called harewood -- dyed the same color gray as the rest of kitchen for more continuity.
3. Open Shelving in Lieu of Cabinets
Martha created a lighter and airier look in the kitchen by using shelving instead of upper cabinets. "I use everything in my kitchen regularly, and shelves make it all accessible," she says. "These nearly reach the ceiling, putting underused space to work." Combine shelving and cabinets if you don't want everything on display.
4. Clever Shelving Supports
Martha considered every corner of her kitchen in Bedford, right down to the shelving supports. "I like 'bird's beak' supports, an old carpentry style with notches that let shelves slide in and out," Martha says. No holes and no hardware mean the look is streamlined.
5. Organized, Accessible Stations for Everything
Martha keeps everything she needs for a perfect cup of coffee in one place. The espresso machine is situated on the countertop. French presses, teapots, and assorted cups are stored on the shelves above. Everyday flatware and teas are in the drawers below. Martha stores fresh coffee beans in the electric grinders next to the espresso machines.