In years past, House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year was built in exhibition spaces in New York and San Francisco. But on the 10th anniversary of the feature, Newell Turner, editorial director of the Hearst Design Group, wanted to shake things up.
"We decided, 'Let's try it at a higher level,'" he says. "This is the first time we have done Kitchen of the Year in a private residence. It is a very big deal."
Staffers and sponsors with ties to New Orleans selected the city and issued a call for kitchens in need of renovation. Helen and Scott Jenkins' 1860s center-hall Uptown house proved to have the "perfect setup to showcase a kitchen," Newell says. The Kitchen of the Year was a highlight of the Junior League of New Orleans' annual kitchen tour in May.
Ken Fulk, creative director of Ken Fulk Inc., got to know the family's needs and then worked on understanding the space. He ultimately removed a wall, opening a sitting area to the kitchen, added an island and installed salvaged carriage doors that open onto the back porch. The result is a "practical, not precious" space where the Jenkins, their three children and dog can congregate, Fulk says.
"It captures the essence of the kitchen as the new American living room," Turner says. "I know this is going to become the center of this house." — MISSY WILKINSON