Best New Kitchen

The modern farmhouse kitchen stands out thanks to a few high-impact wood features.

In a typical year, Kathryn Heinauer designs 15 to 18 kitchens for Barrington Homes in Wexford, her family’s custom home design and construction company. In the past four years, they’ve primarily been white. 

While she’s happy to fulfill clients’ wishes and deliver on their alabaster dreams, Heinauer’s creative side has been itching for a change.


“I’m ready for wood,” she says. “I’m hoping wood is going to make a comeback.”

In an effort to hasten the revolution, Heinauer snuck two, high-impact walnut features into her latest design, a modern farmhouse kitchen that earned this year’s Best New Kitchen title. Judges praised the volume of the space, as well as the wooden ceiling beams. 


“It draws your eyes upward rather than just a typical kitchen where you look across a horizontal plane,” judge Stephen Schill, founder of Schill Architecture, LLC in Cleveland, says. 

The home, located in Pine Township, was built on spec and is listed for $1.975 million.


“We always try to push the limits,” Heinauer says. “Our customers get ideas from looking at our personal homes and our spec homes, and we want to show them what’s possible.”
Heinauer’s husband, Grant, the company’s president of construction, stocked the home with unique elements, including distressed, white oak floors and 8-foot-tall double front doors made of iron. But at nearly 660 square feet, and boasting two islands and a cathedral ceiling, the kitchen is the home’s centerpiece. 

The cedar ceiling beams and custom walnut bulkhead and hutch — all stained a warm, grey-brown — pop against the bank of white cabinets. Quartz countertops, two dishwashers, two cast-iron apron sinks, two counter-depth refrigerators and a 48-inch professional range complete the working space, which opens to the second island and a bar area. 

For the wine connoisseur, there are twin temperature-controlled wine cabinets that together hold more than 100 bottles. A 60-square-foot pantry with five rows of shelving is big enough to store food and small appliances.

But Heinauer’s favorite element is the picket grey backsplash, which adds visual dimension to the kitchen’s otherwise clean lines and offers clients an alternative to trendy subway tile.


“It’s a lot of textures and a lot of colors,” Heinauer says, “but we brought them into rooms throughout the house to tie everything together.”

The grey-blue paint of the islands repeats in the office, the hardwood floors extend throughout the house, and the wood beams that make such a statement in the kitchen reappear in the family room, foyer, master bath, bedrooms and game room. 

“We really wanted a warm feel to reflect that modern farmhouse look,” Heinauer says. 



Architect: Grant Heinauer
Designer: Kathryn Heinauer/Grant Heinauer
Contractor: Barrington Homes LLC
Appliances: Bridgeville Appliance
Lighting: Cardello Lighting
Flooring: Paracca Flooring
Tile: Paracca Flooring
Countertops: Premier Granite / TSH Concrete
HVAC: Sorick Heating and Cooling
Electric: B & B Electric
Cabinets: Kitchen Craft
Door and Windows: Pella
Plumbing: Tim Wise Plumbing, Inc.
Hardware: Top Knobs
Furnishings: Arhaus, Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware
Glass for Climate Controlled Wine Cabinets: Rex Glass & Mirror 
Sinks/Faucets: SPLASH/Nicklas Supply
Barn Doors: Artisan Hardware

Categories: Best of Design