Published on March 29, 2019

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If you could design your dream kitchen from scratch, what design elements would be the most important? For Garance Doré, photographer, style icon, and founder of Atelier Doré, the answer is quite unexpected. When our Spring Issue cover star enlisted the help of interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel to reimagine her Los Angeles home, she knew the kitchen needed to be both functional and stylish—a surprisingly difficult balance to strike. Ahead, she invites us inside her newly renovated kitchen and explains which design decision was the most important. Come on in…

Gaaaaaah! You should have heard my reaction when I saw the Café Collection. Sarah [Sherman Samuel] and I were starting to work on my house and the only thing I could think of was light, light, light!

I was dreaming of a bright, warm, welcoming kitchen. I wanted it to be the center of the house. I wanted to get myself back into cooking, and the way I like to cook is how we do it in the South of France—it’s like a sophisticated version of a lazy hang out. Meaning you serve everyone a glass of chilled white wine, you get on one side of the island, seat your guests on the other side and give them small tasks as you’re talking and making the meal. “Could you slice these zucchini? Cut this cheese? Can you pass me the olive oil?”

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Needless to say, the kitchen becomes a sort of character in the evening—and has to look as cool and stylish as the host. But also be functional: because serious cooking is underway.

So seeing that someone had imagined the perfect appliances right at the perfect time—aka when I was decorating my house (no, I don’t think the world revolves around me, why?)—was the first “Gaaah!” moment. The second one came because I have always liked a kitchen that’s a mix of old school common sense, like real handles (my previous dishwasher was super sleek and didn’t have a handle, so just the fact of opening it was a thing) and perfect modern functionality. I am the daughter of a chef and I grew up in functional kitchens where everything was thought about.

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Also, Café Appliances are customizable. Meaning, I could not only pick the color (Matte White alert!) but also the hardware (hello, Brushed Bronze!). Seriously, I had never seen anything so beautiful—and so perfect for me.

Truly, I don’t know which one is my favorite. The fridge opens wide so you can organize everything perfectly in the compartments. It feels extra spacious. At first, I didn’t want a water dispenser, but now it’s my favorite feature. It comes with a water filter so the water’s delicious and you can choose your perfect temperature—which is a totally new level of luxury to me, hah.

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The range is next level in beauty, but also in power and functionality. It tells you the exact temperature in there, which seems like it should be required for every oven, how could you cook before that? And there again, handles, switches, everything feels perfect and easily controllable with one hand.

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As far as the dishwasher, as you’ve gathered I was in a very complicated relationship with my previous one, all tactile and tech and complicated and with no handle. The Café one is all of that, modern and sophisticated and all—but it’s also extra simple and easy to use.

If you’re like me, you never read a manual, don’t you?

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See more renovation stories: 

This Kids’ Bathroom Is So Chic That Even Adults Will Be Jealous
This Tiny Bathroom Before and After Is Truly Jaw-Dropping
Would You Let Strangers Design Your Kitchen? Emily Henderson Did

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