A passion for precision and clean-lined living drives the design of a Deer Valley kitchen.
By Brad Mee, Photos by Scot Zimmerman
Broad beams soar above the spacious kitchen designed to foster relaxed living, gourmet cooking and casual entertaining. Dark wood floors anchor the space defined by modern design and clean-lined simplicity.
Dennis and Elke Levine love living in Deer Valley’s scenic mountains, but they have no desire to reside in a dark, lodge-style hilltop home. Instead, they opt for light, bright and modern. The couple has a passion for streamlined, European style, and it runs throughout their interior into the hub of the home, their spacious kitchen.
“We wanted a clean look but one that fits a mountain home,” says Elke who drove the design process with a clear vision of the kitchen space. Working with the home’s architect, Jack Thomas (who is also Park City’s mayor) and kitchen designer Brent Jespersen, that is exactly what she and Dennis created.
Giving a nod to the mountain’s rustic setting, the Levines selected 22-foot reclaimed beams from the Ogden Defense Depot to soar above their open kitchen. Remnants of old paint and iron hardware enhance the beams’ raw character, a must-have for the Levines who consulted with designer Rion Locke to fine tune the scale and finishes of the overhead feature.
“The beams help warm the room,” says Elke, who selected oil-rubbed, 10-inch wide planked oak flooring to do the same. A keenly curated mix of textures and sleek cabinetry of contrasting colors also contributes to the room’s comfortable, contemporary feel.
White surfaces dress the kitchen’s cooking and prep area. ”I love the white,” says Elke. “My previous kitchen had dark cabinets, and I never knew if they were clean or not. These are beautiful and so easy to keep spotless.”
Throughout the room, planes of matte white lacquer and dark acacia wood define the décor as they enclose storage, dress walls and form open shelves. “I wanted cabinetry that looks like furniture and insisted on a manufactured kitchen with pieces that precisely fit to the millimeter,” Elke says. Working with Jespersen, owner of Poliform SLC, Elke and Dennis selected Italian-made Poliform cabinets and wall systems to create a room that flaunts both functionality and flair.
Anchoring the room, a white island gleams atop the dark wood floor. A single basin sink punctuates the white quartz countertop. “I don’t like double sinks. A single is much easier to use and clean,” Elke says.
Overlapping the Caesarstone, a plane of acacia extends into the room to form a counter-height table surrounded by plush, armchair-like stools. “We wanted a counter where people sit across from one another rather than lining up in a row,” Dennis says. Behind the table, an oven, steam oven and warming drawer reside in a broad wall housing the kitchen’s refrigeration systems and extractable pantry units hidden behind wood panels. “The vertically grained wood columns amplify the furniture look,” Jespersen says. Additional storage discreetly extends on each side hidden behind white door panels.
Surrounded by spectacular views, a chicly furnished nook performs as a luxe lounge just steps from the kitchen’s cooking area.
At the kitchen’s west end, a cozy, window-framed nook sits surrounded by spectacular views and houses a second seating area furnished with custom high-back settees and a small coffee table. “Jack Thomas insisted on this space,” Elke says. “At night you can see the lights of Park City and in the morning you can see the mountains.” Across the room, a wall system of storage cabinets and illuminated cantilevered shelves perform like art. “The mix of alternating sizes of upper wall cabinets creates interesting geometry,” Jespersen says.
Throughout the kitchen, the cabinetry, furnishings and finishes unite to create a fresh, modern style for mountain living. “It’s simple and to the point, open and clean feeling,” says Elke. “I’ve had every kind of kitchen and this is by far the most modern and my favorite.”