A beautiful kitchen is composed of much more than what meets the eye. In our quest to find the most beautiful kitchens in America, we decided to enlist the experts. Landmark magazines including ELLE Decor, VERANDA, House Beautiful, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, and Southern Living all contributed photos and descriptions of what they felt to be the most beautiful kitchens they encountered.
These submissions, spanning the country, ranged in design from country chic to sleek and modern, family friendly, and white-washed and pristine. Each photo came with a description on the appliances, design inspiration, story, functionality, owners, layout, or general kitchen theme.
Some notable submissions included a townhouse in Washington, D.C., a cottage in Washington state, a home in New York, another in Atlanta, a few from different locals in California, a vacation home in Florida, a home in Arizona, another in Texas, two in Tennessee, another in Alabama, one from South Carolina, another in Louisiana, one from Missouri, another from Minnesota, and more.[slideshow:
"Beautiful," we thought, should be based on a few main criteria, including function, layout, amenities, design aesthetic, inspiration, and personal preference. A quality so hard to describe, we gave a broad definition to make sure not to confine to brevity of the topic of beauty. The experts determined their top five from a list of 26, and assigned a designated number of points to each. After receiving all of their answers, we were able to compile and rank the top 15 most beautiful. In the case of a tie (there was only one), we weighed the point designations given and made an executive decision on how The Daily Meal would have their kitchens designed.
The interior design experts we selected to be on our panel are all top-ranked in both interior and kitchen design. They have been recognized by publications such as Good Housekeeping, ELLE Decor, New York Magazine, House Beautiful, and more. Participating designers included HGTV stars Sabrina Soto and Hilary Farr, DD Allen, Benjamin Dhong, Lindsey Coral Harper, Marshall Watson, Michael Formica, Robin Bell, Brad Weesner, Campion Platt, Betsy Brown, Alexa Hampton, Susan Zises Green, Carey Maloney, Tobi Fairley, Julie Massucco, Angie Hranowsky, Ginger Brewton, Shazalynn Cavin-Winfrey, Mary McDonald, Mick De Giulio, Mark Stech-Novak, Alex Papachristidis, Vicente Wolf, Jason Bell, and Jill Sharp Brinson.
Each designer offered an array of comments pertaining to their votes. Some commented instructionally, giving advice for how they would have improved the space. Others showered their top five picks with praise. And while each kitchen submitted was a work of art, the top 15 have exceeded expectations, truly giving them the mark of the most beautiful kitchens in America.
Tyler Sullivan is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter at @atylersullivan.