Designing this kitchen was quite a challenge. The original kitchen had been added onto almost 20 years prior to my visit with the client. The addition was done in such a way that it was quite disjointed. There were support posts, changes in ceiling heights, windows that were oddly placed and an old chimney that was hidden behind the existing cabinets. We had to find a way to integrate the space. In addition to this, the husband and wife had differing opinions about style. She wanted a warm contemporary and he wanted a traditional design. The home’s style is traditional, so, I felt that it was important to incorporate both tastes, which, in the industry is touted as “transitional”. The L shape of this kitchen, along with all of the obstacles, made it difficult to bring the spaces together in a functional, yet aesthetic way. We struggled to find a design solution, and, it wasn’t until the third or fourth meeting that I took my pencil and drew an S shape on the wall that was the most difficult to incorporate. This S shape, a daring design move made from an instantaneous inspiration, took hold and became the trademark of the client’s new kitchen. Their first name begins with an S which only made this design all the more serendipitous. Because the S shape felt more contemporary, we decided to put the contemporary quarter sawn sycamore cabinets on this side and all other areas were designed with a darker stained more traditional maple cabinet. In order to blend the darker colored maple with the lighter sycamore, we placed curved appliance garages in the darker maple finish under the curved sycamore cabinets. This curve houses the main sink and then swoops gently into the built in banquette. The organic shape creates a continuous soft line, which distracts the naked eye from the disjointed nature of the space.The ceiling posed a challenge where the height changed before the small cathedral ceiling where the cook top was to be placed. In this area, the curved cabinets were designed so that the center arc of the cabinets opposed the centerline of the Sub Zero. We used a modified coffered ceiling detail to connect the arc with the Sub Zero in order to distract the eye from this awkward existing ceiling condition. It worked like a charm.With the traditional cabinets inhabiting the expected ninety-degree angled areas and the contemporary cabinets inhabiting the unexpected curved area, this difficult space eventually came together like peanut butter and jelly. With the availability of high-end appliances like Sub Zero, Wolf and Best, we were able to make the most out of our unique design inspiration.
Project Year: 2006
Country: United States