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A Perfectly Detailed Country Cook Center

September 01, 1985|JILL FLYNN

The goal was to create an inviting, comfortable ambiance--a place where family and friends would want to congregate to keep the cook company. 'It had to be able to handle a crowd' For five guests or for 50, this kitchen is the ultimate in workability. "It had to be able to handle a crowd," says owner Caryn Harb, whose family of six and busy entertaining schedule inspired the spacious, perfectly detailed floor plan. In the center, an all-purpose 5x8-foot butcher-block island offers convenient working spaces on four sides. Bar stools pull up under the extended counter top for sit-down work and snacking. The inset marble slab is perfect for pastry preparation. Underneath are handy bins for sugar and flour, as well as drawers for spices and an adjustable shelf for the appliance center. Serving platters and accessories are stored on the opposite side. A rectangular steel rack overhead shows off Harb's prized collection of copper pots, molds and utensils. For convenience, cooking takes place along one wall. The six-burner commercial range is equipped with a restaurant-size griddle, perfect for pancakes and burgers. A handy faucet located above the stove makes it easy to fill stock pots on the stove. An indoor charcoal barbecue completes the cook center.

Since the kitchen is located in the back of the house, away from the main living spaces, Harb was determined to create an inviting, comfortable ambiance--a place where family and friends would want to gather to keep the cook company. A clean, cheerful country look does the trick. Custom oak cabinets by Nicholas Cabinets of Burbank are stained to look like antique pickled pine. The dark oak floors are peg-and-grooved to go with the flooring throughout the rest of the house. Tall French windows, which replaced the tiny casement variety, bathe the room in sunlight.

In the breakfast room, which is situated off the kitchen, sun streams in through French windows and doors and casts a warm, soothing glow on the antique table and Queen Anne chairs. Walter Zengler's imported ceramic tiles, hand-painted with fruits and vegetables, color-coordinate with Pierre Deux's wallpaper to establish a classic country blue-and-white color scheme. Both the splendid fresh-vegetable arrangement and cut flowers are from Kipling's.

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