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Entertainer’s Delight

Writer Meg Fox  |  Designer Franke DelleDonne Interiors and Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry  |  Location New Vernon, NJ  |  Photography Courtesy of Bakes & Kropp

Light-filled and gracious, this chef-worthy kitchen stands ready for any culinary adventure

The double islands are topped with Calacatta marble while perimeter countertops are Pietra Cardosa, two of designer Frank DelleDonne’s “favorite, timeless” countertop choices. The island in the foreground defines the entertaining and serving space; the other is for food prep. Two stainless steel-paneled refrigerators flank the entrance to the butler’s pantry.

Frank DelleDonne |Principal of Frank DelleDonne Interiors in Short Hills |973-376-5600 | FrankDelleDonne.com

A new build in New Vernon gave designer Frank DelleDonne and the design team from Bakes & Kropp — a manufacturer of high-end, luxury cabinetry — a blank slate to deliver a functional entertaining and cooking space that any chef enthusiast would envy: double islands, three sinks, two-full size refrigerators, multiple professional-grade ovens and more.

The homeowner “is a fantastic cook and the kitchen is always filled with friends and family,” says DelleDonne, founder of Frank DelleDonne Interiors in Short Hills. She is also a collector of champagne, “which leads to the most interesting pairings with food.”

An overhead pot-rack keeps favored cookware within arm’s reach. Additional storage space is concealed behind hand-painted walnut and oak custom cabinetry. Cutting boards and trays also have their own cubbies for easy access.

The cabinetry is a combination of white oak and hand-painted white on walnut from Bakes & Kropp, a brand chosen for its quality construction, wide material selection and “all the inner workings of the cabinets” such as hidden magnets on the doors to keep a close fit, walnut interiors and metal caps on the garbage pull-outs to deal with wear and tear, DelleDonne says.

The focal-point walnut hood draws the eye up with polished nickel accent bands. A pale glass backsplash adds a reflective quality and a bit of shimmer.

To mitigate the kitchen’s 11-foot ceiling, DelleDonne added substantial fascia crown molding around the perimeter of the 400-square-foot room “to make the scale human and reachable,” he says. Features such as stainless-steel door fronts complement the appliances and break up an expanse of cabinetry; the gleaming metal also unifies all the polished nickel finishes in the room.

This island, with its long stretch of butcher-block cutting surface, delineates the cooking and prep space, outlining a carefully considered workflow between the range, sink and built-in ovens.

An adjacent butler’s pantry stuns with its moody blue lacquered cabinetry and brass hardware. Elegant reeded glass insets partially mask a variety of serving pieces and “tons of champagne glasses.”

In the vibrant blue butler’s pantry, light is reflected from a high-gloss finish on the cabinetry and marble backsplash. Elegant ribbed glass insets and brass hardware contribute to the room’s luxe feel.