Form Meets Function in the Heart of a Palm Springs Residence

The kitchen is the heart of the home – and for this modern masterpiece designed by Mark W. Daniels, AIA, that’s especially true. This stunning streamlined kitchen by designer Matthew D. Rao of RAO Design Studio, Inc. in Atlanta, features the SieMatic SLX kitchen series and includes a sleek wall of tall cabinets in a contrasting Black Oak veneer that helps bring the beauty of nature in while maintaining its modern flair.

“The sleek and minimal yet highly functional kitchen sets the aesthetic for the entire home,” said Rao. It represents the area’s iconic Desert Modernism, a concept using strategically placed windows and doors, butterfly-wing rooflines, open floorplans, clean lines, and pocketing sliders to blur the boundaries between inside and outside while focusing on leisure and entertaining.

“Similar to the modernism-inspired elements of the home, the SieMatic SLX kitchen series allows full functionality while also paring back to a beautiful, simple form,” says Daniels. As the architect further explains, “When the drawers and cabinets are open, you can see the inner workings and details that allow for effortless functionality while still acting as a clean, integrated feature within the kitchen.”

One of the noteworthy aspects of SLX is its innovative lighting feature. Tucked inside the recess channels of the cabinetry’s handle-free design, LED lights add a warm glow. “The lights add another dimension as the kitchen seems to glow from within” Rao said. Even with such stand-out features, the kitchen manages not to overshadow its surroundings. Rather, it helps to maintain the visual hierarchy among all the home’s elements, including the surrounding mountainous landscape.

Thanks to the LED-lighting, a 2-centimeter granite countertop seems to float in midair above the expansive island. Finished in Pebble Grey lacquer, the island lends a sense of drama while offering space for prep work, cooking, eating, cleanup, and additional storage. Rao positioned the island so that all of the workspaces face outward to the open living space to take advantage of the gorgeous mountain views.

Behind the island, Rao placed a sleek wall of tall cabinets in a contrasting Black Oak veneer. In addition to housing the oven, espresso machine, and steam oven, all from Gaggenau, the tall cabinets offer plenty of storage space. Inside, SieMatic’s signature MultiMatic organization elements allow for easy access to pantry items, dinnerware, and wine glasses. There are also plenty of pullout drawers for pots, pans, and other cooking necessities.

Since entertaining is a fundamental part of Palm Springs life, Rao included a wet bar just off the kitchen. He chose SieMatic’s stainless steel finish—a material he considers to be the perfect neutral, to set the bar apart from the remainder of the kitchen. With a sink and lots of space to store glasses, bottles and accessories, it’s always at the ready for gatherings, impromptu or otherwise.

According to Rao, there were two keys that were instrumental in the successful design. First is moderation. “Restraint is absolutely necessary when creating a space that’s functional and purposeful yet clean, luxurious, and modern. It’s easy to get carried away with the details,” said Rao. The second is teamwork. The project is the result of side-by-side collaboration between Rao, Daniels, interior designer Sharon Kiss of Ambiance Interiors, and landscape architect James Lord, ASLA, with Surface Design, Inc. “It was an extraordinary team in that, without exception, every member of the team was able to help another,” says Kiss.

Though each team member offered their own area of expertise, the individual parts came together in a way that blurs the lines between kitchen design, architecture, interior design and landscape design so that one experiences the space as a whole.


About SieMatic
SieMatic is a premium kitchen brand with a long history and an international reputation for excellence in design, timeless elegance, and a high level of functionality. The company’s constantly evolving reinterpretation of the modern kitchen is exemplified by the design principle behind its three style collections: PURE, URBAN, and CLASSIC. SieMatic products are manufactured in Germany under environmentally responsible standards with a commitment to providing distinctive kitchen solutions. They are available in over 60 countries throughout five continents. For more information about SieMatic and its products, visit

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