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Good Show

Regional Award Winner KDC 2006-2007

A developer creates a showcase home with an exhibition kitchen that blends sophisticated entertaining with comfortable family living.

"He's a showman," says kitchen designer Jeanne Sei, of the developer who built a contemporary custom home for his family, that is also suitable for entertaining clients and business associates. Every detail of the residence located in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights—from the view of city lights twinkling as seen from the living room bar to the kitchen's stunning gold-leafed barrel-vaulted ceiling — showcases the best in style, material, craftsmanship, flow and function. Guests enjoy comfortable stools with tall arms during an evening of performance cooking across from the commanding Wolf 48-inch Dual Fuel range. On the opposite wall from the exhibition island is another island and another 48-inch Wolf range with matching stainless steel range hood that leads the eye through the space. The black glass backsplash "adds depth, reflection and drama," adds Sei. "It's glamorous." Each surface in the kitchen adds its own unique shape, color and texture to the story. Oak woodwork isn't just stained dark brown, but a deep, almost black, eggplant. Several cabinet fronts have a custom wave texture that plays beautifully in the light. Ribbed glass upper cabinetry creates an interesting, translucent veil, and lighted toe kicks add splash and make the dark islands appear to levitate.

When performance cooking isn't on the agenda, caterers work in a completely separate kitchen to allow guests to explore every detail of the "front of the house" kitchen. Sei says that by design, the flow of the space really makes it work well for entertaining, and congestion is never a problem. French doors lead to a special feature: a library room

consisting entirely of cookbooks. On the way in to browse the collection, guests are encouraged to help themselves to a glass of wine from the built-in sideboard bar with Sub-Zero undercounter refrigerator and Sub-Zero wine cooler.

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