Joanne Kellar Bouknight
Taunton Press, Newtown, CT
Written by Joanne Kellar Bouknight and available from Newtown, CT-based Taunton Press, "Celebrating the American Home" showcases some 50 examples of American home architecture, including various kitchen applications.
Chosen by a panel of distinguished residential architects, the projects – selected for how well they illustrate great residential design – encompass a wide range of styles, from Connecticut Capes and seaside homes to quaint, western cottages and Midwestern ranches.
The book's introduction delves into the qualities that make each noteworthy, as well as considerations – such as choosing the correct site, scale, and livability – designers should note when beginning a new construction project.
Each chapter begins with a "Why This House?" introduction – written by one of the panelists who chose the projects for the book – that describes the attributes that make each project distinct and noteworthy, whether it be a design's unpretentious interpretation or its unique column treatment.
The chapter titled "A House in Tune" showcases a kitchen with a stunning split-level backsplash that is also complemented by acid-treated copper and aluminum panels behind and over the cooktop.
Country simplicity is the key to the Minnesota-based project featured in the "A New House with an Ageless Soul" chapter, which showcases an eight-foot ceiling complemented by encircling soffits and a natural wall color.
The chapter titled "Townhouse Transformation" chronicles a stately Illinois-based townhouse that offers a unique kitchen treatment. For example, the doors of the upper cabinets that face the breakfast room were glazed and an open grid of shelving was added to create an airy, transparent buffer. The flooring, which features a combination of light, zebra-striped hardwood and wider, dark-stained woods, adds contrast to the space, as well.
Each chapter contains plenty of color photos, as well as boxed information on the architect and the project's location for easy reference. Along the border of most of the book's pages are brief yet detailed descriptions of each project's nuances, such as one home's inviting entryway and another's cozy study.
Floor plans are also included throughout each chapter, offering further insight into the layout of each design and offering a more clear description of the work done.
Toward the back of "Celebrating the American Home," three panelists offer insightful essays on different residential design topics pertinent to kitchen design.
The book concludes with a comprehensive listing of all of the architects and designers featured throughout the book, including contact information as well as thumbnail images of their work.