For this issue of Designer Insights, I wanted to explore what it means to design a dream kitchen from a professional chef’s point of view. So, I invited my friend and fine dining chef Robbie Rensel to spend some time with me in our new house to discuss some of the features I included in my own kitchen and grill him on what he believes truly defines a luxury kitchen.

Robbie kicked off our time together by asking me what key features I incorporated into the design of our kitchen that were nonnegotiable. While there are so many features in our kitchen that I love, and we touched on almost all of them, there were a few that Robbie really seemed to get excited about. 

The first is the second island for entertaining. As someone who believes that dining is truly an experience, Robbie spends a great deal of time creating that luxury experience for others and having a dedicated space where guests can enjoy their meal while remaining in close proximity to the action is key! He also loved the fact that we incorporated a wet bar with a separate sink into the area near the entertaining island.

The second feature that Robbie especially liked was the dedicated appliance cabinet where we can store small appliances that we don’t want to keep on the counter. We incorporate these in our kitchen designs whenever we have the space because of the convenience factor and because it allows us to minimize clutter. As a chef, Robbie explained that it is key to have appliances and tools nearby and readily available so he’s not having to hunt for them while in the middle of preparing a meal. And as the father of three young children, Robbie definitely appreciates the ability to hide the clutter!

Robbie’s third and perhaps favorite design feature in our kitchen is not actually in our kitchen at all. It is our dirty kitchen, which is a separate area adjacent to the main kitchen that serves as our pantry and coffee bar, as well as a prep and clean-up space for larger gatherings. While Robbie loves being in the spotlight as he cooks and entertains for his guests, he also very much appreciates having a separate area for the messier aspects of his job.

Designing the kitchen of your dreams involves careful planning and a great deal of coordination on the part of the architect, builder, designer, and homeowner to ensure the desired outcome is achieved. As the heart of the home, the kitchen should be a harmonious fusion of style and functionality. Let Karen Black Interiors help you with your kitchen design. Call us today to get started! And for help outfitting your new kitchen or with planning your next luxury dining adventure, be sure to contact Chef Robbie. You can learn more about the experiences he provides at 

Karen Black