20th Century Design

Kitchen Culture

By Iyna Bort Caruso

T hey may be less busy at the stove than their ancestors were, but today’s homeowners understand the value of welcoming and functional kitchens. Yes, they’re where we cook, but also where we lounge with a cup of tea or a glass of wine, read the paper while listening to music, respond to emails, or – perhaps most important – catch up with family and friends. Because they’re so crucial to establishing a home’s personality, kitchens should be as inviting as possible. As Christian Vermast of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada in Toronto notes, “The first place guests go to is not the parlour or the living room anymore, it’s the kitchen island.”

Indeed, according to the 2016 Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey, some 60 per cent of homeowners spend more than three hours a day in their kitchens. “We have gone from seeing kitchens as strictly utilitarian to very much turning them into a lifestyle choice,” adds Vermast, who says buyers are seeking open-concept designs and hidden appliances, which make for a furniture-finished look. 

That look can be costly. Among those polled by Houzz, fifteen per cent spent more than $75,000 to transform their kitchens into high-end activity hubs. A recent survey by the American Institute of Architects also finds that kitchens have become the home’s command centre, where the calibre of appliances and appointments reflects the owners’ tastes. San Diego-based Jamie Gold, author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work, knows this well. Kitchens today should be “knock-your-socks-off gorgeous,” she says. “It’s about making an impression.” 

New York-based writer Iyna Bort Caruso has contributed to The New York Times, Newsday and other publications. 

Ontario, Canada

The former rectory of a 19th-century converted church has been transformed into one of the most exceptional contemporary town houses in Ontario. A brilliant fusion of architectural significance and modern design, this home’s kitchen is equipped with top-of-the-line appliances and bespoke cabinetry and opens directly to both dining and great rooms.

6,250,000 $CAD  Property ID: E2NXNK | sothebysrealty.com
Sotheby’s International Realty Canada
Christian Vermast, Fran Bennett, Paul Maranger  +1 877 960 9995 


Offered for the first time ever, this storied family compound is situated on the most dramatic and private ski-in, ski-out lot currently on the market. Its beautifully crafted kitchen echoes the rustic European finishes peppered throughout the home.  

$8,500,000  Property ID: 2BY29G | sothebysrealty.com
Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty
Bill Fandel  +1 970 369 7700 

Fort Worth

In this exquisite home custom-designed for entertaining, the bold gourmet kitchen features a premium Lacanche range from France and Modern-Aire ventilation. Its 1,100-bottle glass wine wall enchants serious œnophiles and visitors alike.

$3,299,000  Property ID: M2GMK5 | sothebysrealty.com
Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty
John Zimmerman  +1 817 247 6464 

Pomeranian, Poland

In this luxurious two-storey apartment on the seventh floor of Granary Island’s modern Aura Gdańsk building, the interiors are finished with the highest-quality materials, including jasmine wallpaper and crystal mirrors, as well as mosaic tiles incorporating 24-carat gold and patches of topaz. A kitchen island with an illuminated, liquid-fuel, quartz fireplace is the clear centrepiece of this eclectic space.

11,400,000 ZŁ PLN Property ID: 3VBDWS | sothebysrealty.com
Poland Sotheby’s International Realty +48 783 939 343 


This custom-built home with stunning architectural detail offers entertaining space that is as vast as the waterfront views. While its high-ceilinged, open floor plan includes a separate dining room, breakfast nook and great room, this home’s heart is its chef’s kitchen, which features Thermador appliances, a large island and a butler’s pantry.

$2,395,000  Property ID: 4HTG27 | sothebysrealty.com
Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty
Chris Abbott  +1 850 259 7069  

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