A dash of personal vision spices up these tasty kitchens.

family friendly

Builder Max Edelman, a former restaurant cook, combined his love of cooking with his impeccable sense of design when he built his family’s Taos home. For more than a year, Edelman collected items he knew would make his kitchen functional and beautiful, just as he now gathers ingredients on the kitchen island before preparing a favorite recipe.

Edelman’s penchant for symmetry drives the design: two columns frame the stove, and two floor-to-ceiling glass-front cabinets sit on either side of the sink. Crosswise and parallel beams line the ceiling. Edelman added color with a rich orange and white tile backsplash and the contrasting cabinet facing, along with rare burgundy Viking appliances. “In a specific way, that island is my work area,” Edelman says. “Because I’m fairly tall, the workspaces are 39 inches high. I can stand at the fridge and go to the sink and work off the countertop. It’s a good working triangle centered on that island.”

Max’s mother, Sara Edelman, who’s designed and built homes for 30 years, provided input on the kitchen. “Everything we decided to do we bounced off of her,” Max says. The cabinets indulge the family hobby: no upper cabinetry for these sous chefs (under age 12). Dishes and ingredients remain within reach. The soapstone-topped island allows Edelman to assemble while the family preps. A bar on one side gives frequent guests—who are often drafted to participate—a hangout space, and a circular design facilitates an easy traffic flow from different areas of the house.