Kitchens - The Heart of the Home

Architect, Alice Arterberry, talks kitchen design.

Article by Jeff Nash

Photography by Courtesy of JPM Real Estate Photography

Originally published in East Austin Lifestyle

Alice Arterberry is a partner at Arterberry Cooke Architecture. A native of Boston, she has a fondness for the beauty of the New England seasons and the classic backdrop of historic Boston, Walden Pond, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Currently, she divides her time between Southern California and Austin using her combined background of architecture and landscape in her approach to design. In Austin, she partners with Danny Spears and CAPTEX Construction to create many of the most beautiful homes in our city. A guiding principal is Alice's belief that the kitchen is the heart of the home. ATX Lifestyle sat down with Alice to learn more about her thoughts on kitchen design for our October Food issue.

What inspired you to become an architect?

I have always loved to build and create space, even as a young kid. I believe that the quality of space has a direct relationship on our experience of life. I am passionate about creating functional and beautiful environments that positively impact people.

Why do you enjoy designing kitchens?

Kitchens require a tremendous amount of design and planning, and they have endless potential for offering beauty and functionality.  Kitchens are the place that people gather, and a great kitchen design is key to how a home connects people to space.  

What is the most important question that homeowners most frequently fail to ask during the design process?

How can we get all the features we would like in our desired square footage?

What is your current favorite design trend?

Working pantry or back kitchen.

What is your least favorite design trend?

Glossy laminate cabinetry.

If money wasn't a consideration, what would you put in every kitchen you design?

A 60” range.

 One kitchen or two, is the prep/life kitchen the way to go?

If you have the space, absolutely.

Is there a realistic square foot price you'd recommend for a kitchen remodel?

The kitchen is typically the costliest room in the house. With so many finishes and fixtures and choices within, kitchen costs vary dramatically.  It’s also the room used more than any other and a great place to focus your investment.

With the supply chain a mess, what expectations are you setting with your clients for a building timeline?

Depends on many factors, but 8-12 months for most new construction homes at minimum.

What appliance brand is your favorite?

Thermador and Subzero/Wolf/Cove

Do you like open front cabinets?


Are butler's pantries cool?

Yes, extremely.

Is multi-media now a necessity?

While not a necessity for great space, we always incorporate it.

What's the minimum number of seats in a kitchen?

4 at an island.

Is book storage obsolete?

No, Not obsolete.

If you were designing your own kitchen, what could you never live without?

An island that creates daily opportunities for family connection.

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