“Every project is a collaboration between the homeowner and design professionals,” Karen Kettler, owner of Charlotte-based Karen Kettler Design says. “Partnering with builders, interior designers and architects ensures that the client’s needs and personal style are taken into account.”

One of the most personal rooms in any house is the kitchen. To many, this is the heart of a home. Families gather for meals. Friends and loved ones sit and converse while making dinner — or watching someone make dinner. The kitchen is a refuge where you get your favorite snack or drink before settling in for a movie.

We’ve rounded up some beautiful kitchens created by Southern designers that are sure to inspire!

Natural Elegance

This Christopher Phelps-designed home, built by Arcadia Custom Homes, is located in the Meadows at Weddington, a neighborhood designed for an elegant country estate lifestyle. This theme of natural elegance was carried over into the kitchen by Traci Zeller of Traci Zeller Interiors.

“I wanted to keep the construction finishes natural yet elegant,” Charlotte-based designer Traci says. “The Currey & Company pendants are a perfect example of this juxtaposition.”

The Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances are professional-grade for serious chefs, while a built-in coffee system and breakfast bar (hidden around the corner) ensure happy mornings for everyone. The polished nickel faucet is by Brizo. The Caesarstone “Frosty Carrina” countertops feature both the subtle veining and delicate beauty of marble but the easy care of quartz. They were selected to complement both the white cabinets and the farmhouse-inspired island.

Bright and sunny mornings in this kitchen ensure a happy day ahead. Image: Dustin Peck Photography

A Family-Friendly Kitchen

Home to a young family, this Nashville residence deserved a layout that fit the family’s needs. Derek Van Mol and boutique design-build firm Van Mol Restoration “created an open space that was more functional for the family,” as Derek explains. While updates were made through the home, the kitchen was a central focus. A wall was removed, and the two spaces were combined to create a more spacious kitchen and eat-in dining area. “The kitchen is the center of the home — everything flows through there,” Derek says.

To offset the low ceilings, the color palette was light, neutral colors, which helps brighten the space. In addition to the white quartz countertops, grey cabinetry and hardwood floors, one favored design element is the custom railing that separates the kitchen from the entryway. A request from the homeowner, the piece is both practical (it keeps her toddler in the space) and visually interesting.

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Light finishes open this kitchen up, while specific design details accommodate the family’s needs (like this custom railing!). Image: Shannon Fontaine

Light & Bright

Ever wonder how an interior designer designs his or her home? Well, we got a sneak peek into the Cotswold home of interior designer Ali McPhail through her dreamy kitchen designed by Karen Kettler. “Ali has great style already, and she chose some beautiful materials like the Italian marble countertops (Gioia marble supplied by Cosmos Granite and Marble) and decorative lighting,” Karen says.

In addition to the kitchen, Karen also collaborated with Ali to design her master bath, powder room, mudroom and the kids’ bath. “Cabinets are one of my favorite things to design, and we were able to work a lot into her space,” Karen says. Touchstone Fine Cabinetry created the cabinetry and all knobs are by Atlas Hardware. The faucet is by Rohl, the sink is by Kohler, and the backsplash is by Crossville Tile.

The decorative lighting adds a unique touch to this classic white kitchen. Image: Champagne Maker

A farmhouse sink beneath a window is one of our favorite kitchen pairings. Image:  Champagne Maker

The large island lends itself to long conversations after dinner or homework after school. Image:  Champagne Maker

Light Envy

Lee Robinson of the Lee W. Robinson Company, a Louisville-based designer, designed this space, which includes custom Tommy Mitchell light fixtures. “I want every home I design to fit with the lifestyle of the homeowner but to provide a bit of modern glamour for them, as well,” Lee says. “For this project, I brought in details like glass mirror tiles around the hood, which provides a space that is functional, but beautiful.”

The kitchen features appliances by Wolf and Sub-Zero. Lee incorporated hidden features in this kitchen design to provide for a clean and uncluttered vibe. Check out the “waterfall” island feature, which is a design detail where the countertop slides down the side of the island creating a continuous waterfall effect.

The waterfall island with its striped marble is a clean, yet impactful statement. Image: Tim Furlong, Jr.

Rustic Elegance

Frank Snodgrass and his architectural firm, Building Graphics, created the floor plan, Traci Zeller designed the kitchen, and Arcadia Custom Homes built the home, which is located in the Cheval equestrian neighborhood minutes outside of Charlotte.

The cabinetry-style doors hide the entrances to the wife’s home office and the adjacent scullery. Dual islands provide both workspace for two chefs and seating for family and friends. The Currey & Company orb pendants with a slightly washed chestnut stain on the curved wooden slats add flair. The white silestone countertops are a sleek contrast to the walnut-stained wood floors.

RELATED: Updating Three Spaces Brought Life Back to This Historic Home

The double islands are a useful and interesting feature of this special kitchen — plenty of space for the cooks!

Modern Shades of Gray

This modern Myers Park kitchen designed by Karen Kettler is a departure from what is often seen in Charlotte design, which, according to Karen made the project “interesting and refreshing.”

The white quartz countertops are by MSI Stone, the backsplash is Bianco Bello by Emser Tile, the faucet is by Hansgrohe and the appliances are by Bosch. All stunning, but the showstopper is the cabinetry. “The high-gloss graphite gray cabinets by Touchstone Fine Cabinetry make a big statement creating an overall polished, sleek and stylish look,” Karen says.

Clean, sleek and modern — this kitchen stuns. Image: Dustin Peck Photography

The high-gloss cabinets make a statement all on their own. Image: Dustin Peck Photography

Anyone else feeling inspired to update their kitchen? We certainly are!

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Treat your eyes to more beautiful photos of interior design here.