10 Great Kitchens
When culinary zones are designed with a practical recipe and a dash of style, hanging out at home beats going out to eat.
Here’s a kitchen that takes ruggedness to new heights. Inspired by the rural beauty of Texas Hill Country, architect Rick Burleson incorporated old timber trusses into the room’s 15-foot ceilings and lined the walls with reclaimed barn siding. A weathered turquoise screen door (sourced from a local flea market) leads to a built-in pantry and serves up a shot of color. The transom over the pantry door is made of chicken wire, as are the cupboard screens on the upper level cabinets, which were faux-painted for a distressed look.
Other homegrown touches in this outpost halfway between Austin and San Antonio include a muscular island base fashioned out of native limestone, cowhide bar stools, and the requisite star of Texas as a decorative motif. Silestone countertops and polished concrete floors provide a smooth counterbalance to the rustic elements.
But this kitchen wins points for more than mere personality. It belongs to a larger, eco-friendly ranch compound built with large roof overhangs, on-demand hot water, metal roofing, and polyurethane foam insulation. All of the buildings on the property are oriented to minimize solar gain and to promote natural ventilation as an alternative to air conditioning.