Noted chef Tyler Florence recently introducedHouse Beautifulmagazine’s Kitchen of the Year, July 18, when the new space debuted to the public in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza.

Noted chef Tyler Florence recently introducedHouse Beautifulmagazine’s Kitchen of the Year, July 18, when the new space debuted to the public in New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza. Florence chose Shaw Floors’ Grand Canyon hardwood, a hand-scraped hickory flooring, as part of the project.

“The floors themselves, to me, are almost the most important piece of furniture in a room,” said Florence, popular chef, Food Network host and House Beautifulcontributing editor, during the opening day luncheon. “Your floor decision is probably the most important decision you can possibly make.”   

From July 18-22, the “new American living room,” as Florence has called the conceptualized kitchen, was open to the public, providing an opportunity for visitors to experience this year’s 1,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art kitchen. The Kitchen of the Year brought to life Florence’s vision of an open, functional and welcoming space. Along with these key elements, the hardwood helped brighten up the cheerful kitchen space by “bouncing light back into the room,” said Florence. “They [hardwood planks] just seem so beautiful and simple at the same time.”

Using 100 percent post-industrial wood byproducts, Grand Canyon features an organic, brindled coloration. The product is hand-scraped and distressed by individual craftsmen to provide a special beauty and charm, according to Shaw Floors. The color chosen for the kitchen is Bright Angel.

“We are right in line with Tyler Florence’s conception of flooring and its importance in bringing a room vision to life,” said Kathy Young, Shaw’s director of marketing. “We believe that the 100 percent recycled construction of Grand Canyon hardwood confirmed Tyler’s vision of high quality and comfort in a family-focused kitchen.”

This year’s Kitchen of the Year was held in conjunction with “Tastes of Summer,” an outdoor food festival that features samples from Rockefeller Center’s most popular restaurants. Tyler Florence visited with fans throughout the week, and daily cooking demonstrations, tastings, kitchen tours and more were scheduled for visitors. For two weeks starting Aug. 1, the kitchen will become Bar 30, where customers can socialize and take in the sites of Rockefeller Plaza. Additional information about the Kitchen of the Year will be made available on the House Beautiful website,www.housebeautiful.com/KOTY.

Fans of the Kitchen of Year can also visitwww.housebeautiful.com/homestylerto tour the kitchen using Autodesk Homestyler online home design software. The online portal provides visitors opportunity to experience the entire 2,500 sq. ft. facility in 3D, and with the click of the mouse learn more about the products used throughout.

Other Kitchen of the Year partners included KitchenAid, KraftMaid Cabinetry, Kohler and Restoration Hardware.