Design own kitchen
State-of-the-art appliances have become an integral part of custom building and remodeling projects. Today’s most up-to-date kitchens may include a 48-inch dual fuel range with a gas cooktop and electric convention oven, integrated refrigerators and dishwashers that seamlessly blend in with cabinetry, and little perks like built-in coffeemakers and fancy ice machines.
Guy Gunter Home
To equip your kitchen locally, consider Guy Gunter Home, a luxury appliance company with a showroom in northwest Atlanta.
President Theron Gunter’s grandfather founded the business, selling iconic brands such as Sub-Zero refrigerators in the 1950s, before they were well known in the Southeast.
For true culinary enthusiasts, Gunter recommends the “combi” — a combination convection and steam oven made by such companies as Gaggenau, Miele and Wolf. It offers a quick, precise and healthy way to cook and bake that seals in moisture, nutrients and flavor.
“They are the all-around most versatile cooking method out there, ” Gunter says. “Once you cook with one, you never want to go back to anything else.”
Gunter’s other hot pick is the under-mount Galley Sink, which integrates a long, stainless-steel trough with sliding workstations that hold cutting boards, bowls, colanders and drain racks. Of course, that kind of sleek form does come at a price — in the $4, 000-$6, 000 range.
“This has been the single best product we’ve ever put on the showroom floor, ” Gunter says. “We’ve sold so many of these sinks. People just fall in love with them. And if price is no object, this is it.”
RAO Design Studio
Educated in industrial design at Georgia Tech, kitchen designer Matthew Rao of Midtown’s RAO Design Studio includes the equipment as merely part of the overall vision for a kitchen.
“The process starts with a program that includes all the needs, wants and desires the clients have for a space, ” says the award-winning designer. “And those are not limited to physical things. They’re about experiences, family, things they cook, budgets, visitors, lifetime expectations for the project.”
His recent clients, Adriana D’La Rotta and husband Albert Thumann, employed Rao to design an extensive kitchen renovation at their Midtown condo.
D’La Rotta and Thumann are art collectors and owners of Studio 905 art gallery on Juniper Street, near Rao’s studio. D’La Rotta is an architect and artist, as well as an avid home cook who had definite ideas about what she wanted in her kitchen, but needed someone to guide her through the design.
“When we met, she told me, ‘I am someone who loves to cook, but I can’t cook, because I don’t have enough room for anything’ ” Rao says. “She didn’t have space, she didn’t have storage, and she didn’t have the appliances she needed.”