With five active children, a bustling household and a love of entertaining, Ilana and Daniel Stromberg needed a kitchen that was at once functional and beautiful. “I wanted our kitchen to look clean and fresh, but be durable enough for our busy family,” Ilana says. “Our children often have friends over, and are very active — I didn’t want to have a house where they are constantly told not to touch.”
The Strombergs had sold their outgrown University Park cottage and were in the midst of building a new home farther north in Preston Hollow. But they were struggling with how to design the heart of the home — and needed expertise to help them format a well-organized, well-planned space. Longtime Cantoni patrons, they found the help they needed in design consultant Josh Delafuente.
“They didn’t want any stuffiness or ostentatiousness, but an open space that felt welcoming,” Josh says. They also longed for a spot for every utensil, dish and pot, with easily accessible tools for the children, who love to make smoothies. (Ilana is exceptionally organized and had every item catalogued.)
Inspired by the home’s surrounding acreage and architectural details — a mahogany folding door that separates the kitchen from the dining space, mahogany accents on the walls, and a large service window that opens to the patio — Josh created a pure-white design with light wood floors and richly stained woods.
They began with the minimalistic Atelier Collection and selected durable white lacquer cabinetry, handcrafted in Italy — which also boasts plenty of drawer space for easy-to-find utensils — and topped it with thick slabs of white quartz and a white marble backsplash. They lined the bar with white leather Toto barstools, now a favorite amongst the Stromberg children, who take a seat every morning for breakfast and in the afternoons for homework.
In the adjoining dining room, they played off the wood tones with the burned oak Eliot dining table designed by Giorgio Cattelan and Kefir dining chairs, both made in Italy. “The home has the casual and inviting feel that Ilana wanted,” Josh says. “It’s clean and modern, but warm. It truly seems as though nature is brought indoors, and that was the intention.”
Ilana says the end result is exactly what she envisioned. “We love the galley sink, which has a clean-up sink behind, and all of the usable counter space,” she says. “I also love our vertical storage above the ovens and microwave. Oh, and the service bar to the outdoors. The list goes on — we spend so much time in the kitchen and we all love it.”
But her favorite aspect? Working with Josh. “It was lovely — he was just terrific,” she says. “He gave me a truly fabulous, functional and pretty kitchen. It’s really amazing.”