2005 NKBA DESIGN COMPETITION
The design challenges from a layout point of view were working within the existing footprint and using the existing hood and island and stainless steel counter top. The sinks, hood and cooktop placement were firmly established so my approach was to get the desk area out of the middle of the kitchen and move the refrigerator closer to the sinks. By switching these two areas, the desk is now adjacent to the entry from the garage and allows for a message area as you enter the house. The addition of some floating shelves and differing cabinet heights added interest to this end of the kitchen. We also included some file drawers to help minimize the countertop clutter. The refrigerator is now within steps of both sinks allowing a more functional flow between appliances.
Adding to the emphasis on design, the tall elements are installed slightly higher than the wall cabinets, giving movement to this large kitchen while avoiding the monotony of just filling the walls with cabinetry.
With guidance from the interior designer, the owners input, and the cabinetry knowledge and experience of a kitchen specialist, a great union of form and function was created; a space that is enjoyable to both live and work in. The input of all team members meshed for a great design experience and a wonderful end result – a new kitchen was born.
What dichotomy in a statement, a spa retreat in an office, especially in a cabinetry design studio. That was the goal we wanted to achieve when this bathroom project was initiated. The room needed to serve a multitude of purposes, a bathroom for staff, a public bathroom for clients, a design statement powder room display with handicap accessibility– a tall order for such a small room.
The existing handicap water closet and safety bar needed to stay. With that said, I knew I wanted a relaxing space for all of us to enjoy. Selection of materials and finishes were the primary approach. Afromosia wood was selected because of its similarity to teak without the oily properties to affect the finish maintenance. Selecting a dull matt finish for the wood set the stage for other finishes. A pre-finished natural bamboo floor enhanced the warmth of the afromosia and gave lead to using natural bamboo poured into a resin as the inserts in cabinetry doors. I wanted the walls to be soft without a lot of pattern but some texture. Our faux finisher provided us with a wonderfully subtle Venetian plaster as a backdrop to the soothing finishes selected.
In an effort to pick up on the growing popularity of Asian-inspired design, it was decided to work toward a minimalist approach with more organic materials. The curved wall remains as the backdrop for a low bank of overlay drawers and a tall storage unit that grounds three “floating” shelves. The shelves are illuminated for display items and staggered to allow a T.V. lift to rise out of the dresser at the touch of a button.
The opposite wall is a collection of simple shapes with inset doors and drawers that are interestingly arranged around a storage headboard and platform bed, striking a balance between storage and “negative space”. The hard edges of the simple boxes and countertops are counter-balances by the soft curves of the shelves and radiused end panels.
The owners of this typical, plain-Jane claustrophobic condo kitchen were eager to open up the space and take advantage of beautiful Gulffront views. They were also enthralled by all the classic accoutrements offered by a well-known premium cabinet company. Confined to a relatively small footprint, the designers had to deal with mechanical issues
in lowered ceilings and a drain stack for the building that couldn’t be touched. Perhaps most challenging was packing so much style into such a small area while maintaining a functional working space.
The color and material selections, inset door-style, solid surface countertop details and hardware selections further enhance the feeling of timeless elegance that the homeowners wanted. No longer a dated, functional closet, the kitchen is now a fabulous focal point in this resort getaway, almost as mesmerizing as the distant sunset.