EUROTECH DESIGNERS: TRACEY SCALZO & DAVID ASHER
GUEST DESIGNER: CLAUDIA PORTER
Claudia Porter uses her kitchen. I mean Claudia Porter really uses her kitchen. She loves to cook and loves to prepare meals for family gatherings. Her husband, Dr. Alan Porter, works a long day. It is an emotionally draining day, working long caring hours with cancer patients. Nothing helps refresh his spirit like coming home almost every day to a carefully prepared, home cooked meal and sharing some “catch-up” time with Claudia. When one uses a kitchen as much as the Porters do, it needs to be very well designed.
How do you design a new kitchen for a “hands on” client who has had the “perfect working kitchen” for 15-20 years? You don’t. You design a new kitchen WITH her.
Claudia and I spent countless hours working on her kitchen design. We started in her existing kitchen making lists of what she had, where it was stored and how she uses it during meal preparation. Claudia has a special place for all her kitchen ware. I measured width, depth and height of everything; dishes, glasses, cookbooks, pots and pans, trays, everyday flatware, silverware, utensils, etc. Then we dealt with location; what was where and what was it close to. Claudia would act out and go through the motions of all types of food prep, confirming what needed to be stored where and in what quantities.
We then had to transfer all of this information into the design of Claudia’s new kitchen. Claudia and I worked from a preliminary layout prepared for us by EuroTech designer Tracey Scalzo. Tracey laid out the kitchen according to Claudia’s original ideas for the kitchen. Could the cook top and hood be the focal point? Could the 36” Sub Zero freezer and the 36” Sub Zero refrigerator frame it all in? Could the ovens, microwave and warming drawer be close by? With Tracey’s layout in hand, Claudia and I started choosing locations for her kitchen goodies based on how she worked in the kitchen and what size storage spaces we had for all that we measured. Item by item, cabinet by cabinet, we tweaked the layout, stretched this, shortened that, moved this, changed that.
We re-worked the layout over and over again until we had it all where it needed to be. As Claudia told me, “We may be moving to a new home, but my interests and ways of doing things haven’t changed”.
Once all of the functional matters were addressed, we got to work on the aesthetics. Claudia wanted all of the walls paneled with moldings applied, hand carved corbels on the island and under the custom wood hood.
The tri-level crown molding was wrapped around the entire room. The main section of the crown was a grape and vine motif supplied by Enkeboll. The finishes, one for the kitchen
perimeter and one for the island, were chosen with the guidance of the project’s interior designer, Anne Folsom Smith. To top it all off, “Uba Tuba” granite with custom details was supplied by European Marble.
Was all the time and erffort worth it? Did we succeed in making this kitchen a great kitchen to cook in? Did we succeed in making this kitchen as beautiful as Claudia expected? Here’s what Claudia has to say:
“Perfect! It radiates warmth and hospitality. Even our schnauzer, B.J., has a nurturing spot to curl up and not be under foot. This kitchen is not just a space where meals are prepared. It is a place where stories are shared, seasons celebrated and memories created. It is T.L.C. for my soul”