Tuesday, July 20, 2010

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year by Jeff Lewis

I had the pleasure of attending the press lunch yesterday for the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2010. You might recall that Ina Garten designed last year's kitchen and this time they decided to step outside of the box and ask Jeff Lewis of the Bravo television show Flipping Out to design this year's kitchen. Jeff is known as a house flipper but also has a thriving design practice.

Even though I have seen Jeff on the show, I wasn't quite sure what to expect in real life! I have to say that he was actually very nice and the kitchen was really well thought out. I was able to speak with Jeff and he said he "wanted to create a modern contemporary kitchen with warmth which is really hard to do." I asked him if he had seen Ina's kitchen from last year and he told me that he had it torn out in one of his files. I think he was a little shocked to be asked at first too!

The team graciously posed for photos! From left to right, House Beautiful Editor in Chief, Newell Turner; Jeff's assistant, Jeni Pulos; The Kitchen Designer of the Year, Jeff Lewis; and House Beautiful Publisher Kate Kelly Smith.

As Newell Turner welcomed everyone and talked about the six months that it took to work on the kitchen, he was being filmed for Flipping Out! In fact, the entire party was filmed for the event including my chat with Jeff! If you see us on television with frizzy hair or sweaty faces, please remember that it was 94 degrees yesterday!

Since Ina Garten designed a traditional kitchen last year, it was nice that this year's kitchen had a more contemporary design style. Jeff and his team used lots of wood, glass and light. Since Jeff based in California, it also has a relaxed California feel to it. I especially loved all the succulents that were used to add a pop of green to the design.

While I was talking to Jeff, he was bothered by the fact that the stools were not lined up perfectly! There is a really funny video interview on the House Beautiful website of his housekeeper, Zoila Chavez talking about how hard it is to work for Jeff! He's definitely a clean freak!

I am personally not a fan of open kitchens so I really liked the wine/beverage rack wall that separates the kitchen from the seating area. It's a way to be open without having everything out in the open. I also really loved the Licht im Raum chandelier and Jeff Soderbergh dining table made from wood salvaged from the old Vanderbilt polo barn! How cool is that?!

The seating area featured furniture from Design within Reach and pillows from Kravet.

The outdoor furniture is from Restoration Hardware and the outdoor fabric is from Sunbrella.

The House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year will be open to the public until July 23, 2010. Check the Calendar of Events for a complete listing of cooking demonstrations, tastings and times to meet Jeff Lewis!

Jeff Lewis talking to Jeff Soderbergh, the man who made the fabulous dining table!

It's kind of weird to attend a party where they are filming a reality show. The cameras and camera men always seem to be in the way! But a fun time was had by all! Definitely check out the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year designed by Jeff Lewis if you are near Rockefeller Center! Who knows, you might be filmed for the Flipping Out! But if you miss it, you can always see it in the October issue!

Photos by Heather Clawson and from House Beautiful

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