Design a Kitchen Worthy of Jose Garces


Homeowners aiming for a casual-yet-classic kitchen design need look no further than one of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants for design ideas. The décor showcased at Garces Trading Company can inspire decorating ideas for your home kitchen.


Homeowners aiming for a casual-yet-classic kitchen design need look no further than one of Philadelphia’s most popular restaurants for design ideas. The decor showcased at Jose Garces’ self-proclaimed “European-style cafe and bar,” Garces Trading Company, works well at home too, even though your dinners may not taste as fantastic as those prepared by an Iron Chef.

White Subway Tiles for a Bright, Clean Look

Subway tile, a type of glossy, brick-sized ceramic, has long been a top choice in residential kitchens and bathrooms. At Garces Trading Company, white tiles adorn high pillars and walls, yet in home kitchens subway tiles are commonly used as a backsplash. Though you can pair the basic white tile with white grout application, darker grout outlining white tile adds a different dimension, as do unique patterns and colors. For those homeowners who maintained the original tiled backsplash in older kitchens, this is one part of the decor that doesn’t necessarily need updating when it comes time to renovate.

Butcher Block-Style Tables Add Casual Atmosphere

Long tables in the dining area of Garces Trading Company are constructed of butcher block-style wood. The dining area in the front of the restaurant offers higher, pub-style seating next to large windows, which provide a view of Walnut Street. The lighter wood used throughout the restaurant emphasizes the casual setting more than a darker, formal wood like cherry.

Open Shelving Increases Aesthetics and Efficiency

At Garces Trading Company, open shelving displays wine bottles, coffee, and clear jars filled with the master chef’s favorite ingredients. Atop a long counter behind the newly installed bar sits an array of oils and vinegars. To copy this look in your kitchen, arrange glassware, plates, and cups in plain sight to create visual appeal. A quick way to open shelving would be to remove the front doors and add decorative trim. If you prefer glass over open shelving, many cabinetmakers offer alternatives to standard wood front doors, which can be installed on a case-by-case basis.

Overhead Lighting Makes a Statement

Suspended from high ceilings at Garces Trading Company are metal-framed globe lights casting a soft glow over the dining area. Above the bar are black-shaded pendant fixtures. For homeowners seeking easy kitchen updates, new lighting fixtures are at the lower end of the renovation-price spectrum, but still quickly and pleasantly change the look of an entire room. Dramatic globe pendants work well above food-preparation and serving areas, such as center islands. Industrial-style metal shade pendants aren’t as immediately eye-catching, but they blend in well above a bar.

Accessibility of Favorite Kitchen Items

Professional chefs like Jose Garces know how to maximize kitchen efficiency by ensuring frequently used appliances and utensils are accessible without cluttering up food preparation space. Think about what foods and drinks you prepare on a daily basis and design a kitchen to provide instant access to items you need. Rotate small appliances and other tools through your kitchen as your routine changes.


Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and a partner in a real estate investment firm focusing on residential properties. She previously worked in the financial services industry and has earned an MBA from Villanova University. Jennifer enjoys writing about real estate, home improvement and small business.

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