Best of Design 2023: This New Kitchen Has Beautiful “Earrings”



When Georgia Phillips was dreaming up a kitchen for her new home, she quickly knew what she didn’t want.

“I redid our kitchen two or three years ago,” she says. “It was beautiful, but I did it all in white. For this new kitchen, I chose the color palette. I wanted warm tones and a lot of contrast and just went from there.”

She and her husband, Bob, worked with Costa Homebuilders in Elizabeth Borough to design their sleek-and-modern space in Peters, which judges named Best New Kitchen this year.

The contemporary space features chocolate-brown cabinets flanked by a quartzite backsplash and countertop, chrome fixtures, stainless-steel appliances and a 10-foot-by-4.5-foot, quartzite-and-wood island.

Setting the design apart is the abstract chrome light fixture that floats above the kitchen island.


“People are afraid of lights,” Phillips says. “I view the light fixture as the earrings on top of a beautiful outfit; that’s the first thing your eyes are drawn to. The trick is to get the scale right. I’ve seen so many people with beautiful kitchens and they have this rinky-dink, out-of-place light. I think it cheapens the space.

“I wanted something clean and contemporary but not busy. I think we got there.”

Our Best of Design judges agree.

“I thought the wood tones added a lot of warmth to the composition,” says judge Stephanie Schill Hayden, an architect at Schill Architecture in Cleveland.

“I think this is clean and simple but still a really strong, well-designed kitchen,” adds judge Katie Savakis, a project designer at Vocon, which has offices in New York City and Cleveland.

Anthony Ferrare, sales manager with Costa Homebuilders, notes the company worked closely with their clients to meet their needs.

“Their kitchen is seamlessly integrated between the entry from the garage and rolls into the great room,” he says. “It really is the central hub of the home, the heart.”

Costa also partnered with Canonsburg General Woodcrafting to find Phillips’ desired shade of brown for the cabinets.

“The wood is actually cherry, but we had them sealed with the actual color I wanted so they aren’t pulling the red out,” Phillips explains.

Ferrare notes the home was built for a family with cutting-edge taste. “They had a vision and came to us, and we helped them make it happen,” he says.

When designing her new home with Costa, Phillips says she budgeted more for the kitchen to add custom features such as a built-in Bosch coffee maker, an under-the-counter ice maker and a Sub-Zero beverage cooler positioned near the back door for easy access while entertaining.

“They allowed us to be as involved as we wanted to be,” she says.


Architectural Design: Costa Homebuilders
Interior Design: Georgia and Bob Phillips
General Contractor: Costa Homebuilders
Cabinetry: Canonsburg General Woodcrafting
Countertops: Primo Marble & Granite

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