One programmatic move transformed the kitchen of a traditional builder house into an urbane space that works as well for intimate dinners as it does for large parties. "There isn't a flaw in there," a judge said. "It's a perfect execution of intent." By relocating a powder room, Randy Brown opened up the kitchen and living areas, making room for a sleek glass bar that seats four. The stools are centered under an up-lit, cone-shaped ceiling, formerly an octagonal dining niche. When the owners entertain in a big way, the bar is a buffet for serving food and a buffer between the cooks and their guests.
Brown added warm cherry wood cabinets on skinny legs, black granite countertops, and a wall of shiny stainless steel appliances. To finish the transformation, he wrapped the opposite family room wall in the same materials to contain a fireplace and entertainment center. The strong concept impressed the judges, who called it "a very smart renovation."