Here's a magazine worthy kitchen without massive stainless steel appliances and miles of marble. The countertops are the same material as the floor--earthy terra cotta Mexican tiles in a hexagonal shape. This home is in California so the Mexican tiles work well here, but the French antique cane settee and English cricket table balance the Southwest look.
The old Amana refrigerator is faced with mirror, which was an unusual choice even in 1993. The mirror would certainly keep me out of the Häagen-Dazs. Sure, the house has great architectural details and is filled with antiques, but the appeal also comes from furnishings added to and not permanently installed in the kitchen. The pediment over the window, butcher block island, antique prints, and plate rack all add character to the room.
(Sorry for the badly spliced photo).
The chandelier is lit with candles. I wish my ceilings were high enough to try this at home. I like the urn filled with shells too. The chairs are English.
I still like kitchens with the newest appliances and latest materials, but it's refreshing to see a beautiful kitchen with old appliances and no stainless steel or stone for a change.
All photos from "Kitchens" by Chris Casson Madden (remember her from the early days of HGTV?). Photos by Michael Mundy and John Vaughn. Published by Clarkson Potter, 1993.