A dash of personal vision spices up these tasty kitchens.

This article first appeared in Summer 2008 Su Casa

The kitchen represents a universal meeting place. Discussions of life, love, and the day’s events; celebrations of friendship; simple offerings of comfort; and the elemental sharing of sustenance—all take place in the kitchen. Modest or grand, this room serves as the repository of childhood memories and adult hopes, and its importance in our lives transcends functionality. Given the room’s significance, it’s no wonder kitchens increasingly express the individuality and artistry of their owners.

western culture

The golden prairie north of Santa Fe seems only a wink away from a time when horses served as transportation instead of recreation. The area embodies the perfect setting for a home that embraces all things Western. Gently sculpted adobe walls and northern New Mexico style give the house the gracious feel of an old hacienda, but one that has been thoroughly updated. For owners who love art as well as friends, food, wine, and entertainment, the kitchen is a magnet.

Majestic views of the Jemez Mountains almost play second fiddle to the welcoming room. Here, a double-sized range features a unique work of art serving in the usually humble role of backsplash. The punched metal mural, designed by Dan Chamberlain and made by Rod Perkins, depicts the Santa Fe plaza in the glory days of the Santa Fe Trail. Teeming with life and action, the piece is captivating.

Another iconic Santa Fe scene, an old home with small square windows and blooming hollyhocks, occupies punched metal cabinet doors. Finely crafted Spanish cedar cabinets produce a faint woodsy perfume. The architect and builder, Robert T. Ritter of Robert T. Ritter Companies, designed even the smallest details, such as the hand-forged hardware and the carving on the wood corbels that punctuate the ceiling beams. Modern conveniences, including a full-sized wine cooler and compact butler’s pantry, tuck into a hall that leads to the dining room. With its artistic atmosphere and comfortable appeal, this is a place to enjoy many happy trails.

resources for this home

contemporary welcome

art history