BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
The latest trends in kitchen design and historic preservation appeared Saturday, April 28 for guests on the New Moms’ 33rd Annual Kitchen Walk in Oak Park and River Forest. Varying in style and budget, the ten newly renovated kitchens were selected by a committee of professional designers and architects for innovation, attractiveness, and purposeful design. Over 800 people attend the Kitchen Walks each year.
Each kitchen has a great story to tell in addition to a terrific look. One recently remodeled kitchen was featured on the first ever Kitchen Walk 33 years ago. Another has been retrofitted with antique furnishings from a French department store, a doctor’s office, and an old cargo ship. Specialty tablescapes by local designers and merchants were created for several kitchens.
Addison Osta-Smith, winner of MasterChef Junior’s fourth season, was tapped to provide food at several stops along the tour, along with local restaurateurs.
Proceeds from the Kitchen Walk directly benefit young mothers and their children served by New Moms, which interrupts the cycle of poverty by providing housing, job training, and supportive services to families in need. Theirs is a holistic approach in working with young women living in poverty and often homeless, including job training, housing, and support to be the very best moms.
We jumped at the chance to chat with designer Denise Hauser, who has participated in the New Moms Kitchen Walk for 9 years, about her involvement and for advice on maximizing your kitchen.
What is it that you love about the Walk?
It’s a fun celebration of beautiful spaces for a great cause. Having your business be a part of a charity is a very special thing. Each kitchen on the walk has a unique story. My kitchen is more of a small space story.
What makes a terrific functional kitchen?
I would say there are several things: that the kitchen flows, and you can move naturally in the space—ergonomically things make sense. Things are quick and handy, within reach, and the storage is planned out properly so it’s easily accessible. The function makes it attractive. If it’s just beautiful but not good to work in, then it’s not going to be an attractive kitchen.
What are some emerging trends in kitchen design that you implemented or inspired you?
The biggest trend that I see in kitchens is personalization. Each kitchen is unique aesthetically and unique in function. Customization and personalization to the uniqueness of each person’s lifestyle is key.
For more information about the Kitchen Walk, go to newmoms.org.