Kitchen Design Challenge

JENNIFER ROWE, CKD Traditional/Transitional

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Project Profile

  • Name: Jennifer Rowe, CKD
  • Style: Traditional/Transitional
  • Region: Southeast
  • Company: Kitchens ETC, LLC
  • Project: Skrien Residence

Alys Beach is a Mediterranean-style beach community along Florida’s Emerald Coast. The homes within the community are the essence of luxury living – designed and constructed for the most discerning property owners. Kitchens Etc. was charged with designing a functional kitchen retreat for the Skrien family.

In developing the plan, we aimed to maintain the home’s Mediterranean style while incorporating the homeowners' needs – such as a distinct area for entertaining, an open floor plan with an effortless flow between the kitchen and the neighboring areas, a large work area and multiples of kitchen appliances in order to provide multiple cooking stations. In fact, we incorporated the Thermador Freedom® collection refrigerator column and freezer column to allow the design to be more flexible, two Thermador Masterpiece® Series double ovens for their sleek styling and built in microwave and warming drawer, a Thermador dishwasher for quiet and efficient cleaning and a Thermador built-in coffee machine which eliminated the unnecessary clutter of counter appliances. We also paired the 36” professional six burner gas rangetop and 24” electric griddle to accommodate the homeowners' cooking preferences. With the sheer number of appliances, our main challenge was maintaining the consistent look and feel their architect had developed throughout the remainder of the house, including the adjoining courtyards. We didn’t want the kitchen to resemble an industrial, catering kitchen – we wanted an open design that flowed effortlessly into the adjoining areas.

“We wanted to fulfill the Skrien’s desire for increased functionality with efficient work areas while maintaining the home’s contemporary, Mediterranean style.”

At Kitchens Etc. we understand that kitchens are becoming a household hub – with multiple cooks working in the kitchen and more entertaining and family activities conducted there. We wanted to fulfill the Skrien’s desire for increased functionality with efficient work areas while maintaining the home’s contemporary, Mediterranean style.

We achieved the perfect design by including natural light, solid surfaces of natural stone and tile and custom paneling on many of the appliances in order to integrate the appliances into the wood cabinetry. A balance between counter, storage and appliances was attained by disguising the traditional look appliances with wood paneling, hiding them under the counter and gaining more counter space. As a result, we were able to customize the kitchen into zones to meet the homeowners' needs.

DEREK BYLER, CKD Contemporary/Modern 

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Project Profile

  • Name: Derek Byler, CKD
  • Style: Contemporary/Modern
  • Region: New York
  • Company: Heart of the Home Kitchens
  • Project: Mehaffie Residence

This inviting kitchen is centrally located in the home and the open floor plan accentuates the fluid transition from kitchen to adjacent living areas.

The owners wanted a minimalist and contemporary aesthetic in their kitchen design. This was accomplished by incorporating both modern professional style appliances and sleek sophisticated cabinetry. They also desired a kitchen in which they could entertain many guests. The kitchen is specifically set up for entertaining. The islands define the space and allow host and guests to mingle comfortably. The designer used two different and contrasting islands topped with four different shapes of Black Matrix granite, which are supported by custom made stainless steel cylindrical columns.

“The reflections of light from granite, mirror, stainless steel and cabinetry are dramatic and eye-catching in this lively kitchen.”

The theme of sinuous shapes playing off hard lines is carried through in the perimeter cabinetry. Custom turned pilasters featuring inlaid radius stainless steel bands flank the twin Thermador freezer, refrigerator and also on the 98 bottle Thermador wine column. The reflections of light from granite, mirror, stainless steel and cabinetry are dramatic and eye-catching in this lively kitchen. The highly functional cooking area is set against a mirrored backsplash featuring a 48” Pro Grand® Thermador range and stainless hood. The owners expressed desire was that their kitchen be unique and totally personalized, which led to the commissioning of a local artist to hand paint the one-of-a-kind mural behind the range. If you look closely you can see their name in the design!

AIMEE NEMECKAYContemporary/Modern

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Project Profile

  • Name: Aimee Nemeckay
  • Style: Contemporary/Modern
  • Region: Central North
  • Company: Susan Fredman Design Group
  • Project: City Kitchen

An urban couple was looking to update their four-story townhouse in which they’ve lived for 16 years. The designers, Aimee Nemeckay and Terri Crittenden, were challenged to re-imagine the compact space and create an open environment more conducive for the couple’s frequent entertaining, while keeping much of the existing architecture intact.

Located on the second floor, the kitchen was isolated from the adjoining living and dining rooms. To open up the space, the design team shifted the room’s entire orientation and extended the culinary experience beyond the confines of the kitchen. The newly opened floor plan seamlessly blends each space while also defining their individual identity and function. With warm tones, rift-cut oak cabinetry and custom-paneled Thermador appliances, the contemporary kitchen is an open and gracious galley-style format that enables multiple cooks to comfortably share the space.

“the design team both subtly defined and linked each space to contribute to the open, free-flowing floor plan...”

Serving as the primary prep area, the back wall features a large single basin sink, a Thermador Sapphire dishwasher and a 36” Thermador refrigerator that is mirrored by a tall pantry located on the other end of the run. Across the galley, a 48” Thermador Professional Series Range stands as the kitchen’s focal point and is topped by a stainless steel Professional Series hood. The thick, matte-finished granite countertop flanks the range and continues around the floor’s shared wall – creating a bar area in the transitional space – and seamlessly becomes the countertop for the living room media cabinet.

Featuring the new kitchen as the centerpiece of the main living area, the design team both subtly defined and linked each space to contribute to the open, free-flowing floor plan desired by the homeowners.

JAMIE NICHOLASTraditional/Transitional

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Project Profile

  • Name: Jamie Nicholas
  • Style: Traditional/Transitional
  • Region: New England
  • Company: Jamie Florence Designs
  • Project: Warm Inviting Kitchen

The new owners of this beautiful house needed to renovate a home that had not been touched in thirty years. A spiral staircase in the original kitchen that leads to an unfinished basement was deleted and relocated to another portion of the home.
A partition wall was also deleted to allow for a more open layout.

The large five foot square island was a must for the couple who love to entertain and welcome helpful hands for prep work as part of their social occasions. Although the main purpose of the large island was for ample prep space there is still seating for two set at the opposite corner of the major working sides of the island. The island cabinets are loaded with custom cutlery inserts, roll out shelves, plate drawer organizers as well as a double pull out bins for recycling and trash which is in addition to the other double bin pull out located to the right of the sink.

“The freezer and refrigerator columns were the perfect set up for the owners. The addition of a custom wine column in between was a nice way to house the red wine that the couple like serving with their meals and it also created symmetry for the cabinet set above.”

The freezer and refrigerator columns were the perfect set up for the new owners. The addition of a custom wine column in between was a nice way to house the red wine that the couple like serving with their meals and it also created symmetry for the cabinet set above. The range wall is complete with storage directly behind the range in the island for pots and pans as well as dividers in the top drawer for the main cooking utensils, while tray storage and spice storage are located in the cabinetry to the right of the range.

The cabinets are walnut which complements the hickory wood flooring. The ledger stone backsplash ties into the natural grounds that surround the home. With the new warm color scheme the kitchen is now truly the heart of this home.

JUSTIN PARKER Traditional/Transitional

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Project Profile

  • Name: Justin Parker
  • Style: Traditional/Transitional
  • Region: Distributor
  • Company: Prestige Mouldings & Construction, Inc
  • Project: Sea Terrace

This customer was very specific about what they wanted and how they wanted to function in the kitchen. Every square inch was planned for organization and daily use. They wanted to create a smooth transition from the rest of the house, which was fully remodeled at the same time.

“Every square inch was planned for organization and daily use.”

The major challenge was making sure that all of the appliances had a location that worked both aesthetically and functionally. We modified the layout a couple of times, trying to incorporate all the refrigeration the customer required.

JEFF BROWN Traditional/Transitional

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Project Profile

  • Name: Jeff Brown
  • Style: Traditional/Transitional
  • Region: Mid Atlantic
  • Company: J.S. Brown & Co.
  • Project: Western Inspired Kitchen Addition

Growing up in Idaho, our clients were accustomed to a more rustic and western style. They asked us to design a more functional kitchen for them and their three young children that would blend contemporary western elements with the traditional style of their home.

The existing kitchen was out of date and too small. They wanted an addition on the back of the home that incorporated a mudroom, an island with seating and a breakfast nook for everyday meals. This was harder than anticipated with the narrow pie shaped lot their home is on. We tackled this obstacle by reorienting the kitchen 90 degrees and bumping out the back of the home about five feet.

“They were immediately drawn to the sleek crisp lines of the Thermador brand...”

We blended their rustic western taste with traditional style through the use of materials. White painted cabinets make the space feel open and airy. Crown and detail moldings add a traditional flare. Wrought iron lanterns over the island, iron accents on the hood and island legs add rustic elements to the space. A reclaimed oak sliding barn door hides the sometimes messy mudroom, but also serves as another rustic focal point.

Our clients requested top of the line, no fuss and easy to clean appliances. They were immediately drawn to the sleek crisp lines of the Thermador brand. The 24” Freedom® Refrigerator Tower and 18” Freedom® Freezer Tower in combination with the 36” gas rangetop and double oven make short work of dinner time meals by not only being efficient and professional, but also keeping the sleek stylish look as to not deter from the overall kitchen design. Clean-up is simple with the 6-cycle dishwasher. Matching appliances complete the overall design by adding contemporary lines to the rustic and traditional elements.

MORGAN KEISTER Traditional/Transitional

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Project Profile

  • Name: Morgan Keister
  • Style: Traditional/Transitional
  • Region: Southwest
  • Company: Morgan Kofron LLC
  • Project: Paradise Valley Residence

It’s an absolute truism that guests gravitate to the kitchen. As a designer, I believe that’s because the kitchen is the energetic center – the soul – of the home. That’s a lot to ask of a room, but I love a challenge. I’ve created many kitchens for my clients over the years, but the one pictured here is the first one I’ve done for myself. (Talk about a challenging client!)

The starting concept was a combination Great Room / Kitchen, but with a twist. I imagined myself hosting family and entertaining friends, enjoying each other’s company as I created fabulous meals, but in a space that enhanced the entire experience for everyone – not just me. One result is that guests can get very close and feel part of the preparation action, but there is a division of space that allows them to not feel in the way or overly compelled to offer a helping hand just to be polite. Every appliance I need is within reach, but they’re behind the working bar. Visible, yes, but not encroaching on the dining and mingling areas where most of my guests gather.

“I imagined myself hosting family and entertaining friends, enjoying each other’s company as I created
fabulous meals”

To a large extent, I created a Thermador working kitchen and bar complete with a Thermador Wine Column, Thermador Dishwasher and additional Thermador Convection oven. I purposely created a symmetrical space to accommodate a natural traffic flow, provide ample food prep, storage and cleaning areas and, just as importantly, to create a visual / atmospheric balance free of useless nooks or isolated dead space.

This room has been amazing when hosting Thanksgiving for 45 people. Not only did we make a turkey on the rotisserie that everyone raved about, we made memories that will last forever. Needless to say, the client is thrilled!

TAMIE GLASS Contemporary/Modern

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Project Profile

  • Name: Tamie Glass
  • Style: Contemporary/Modern
  • Region: Central South
  • Company: Tamie Glass and Ulrich Dangel
  • Project: Ledge Mountain Residence

European Styling That Fits a Gallon of Milk! Playing all roles – designer, client, and contractor – this husband and wife team tackled the challenging renovation of a kitchen in a 1979 modern home. The open plan was originally built with multiple levels, resulting in a kitchen plagued by a 7’ ceiling. Additionally, it was separated from the living area and extensive views beyond by a half wall running the length of the home that only exasperated the problem. The existing island was too deep to be functional and created tight clearances in critical areas.

To make way for the transformation, cabinets were donated, the half wall was removed, and the entire kitchen floor was lowered. The genesis of the kitchen design was a balance of aesthetic appeal and utility. The kitchen serves as a hub for the main living floor where the couple spends most of their time and becomes the main attraction for entertaining. Often working from home, cooking meals together is part of their routine that frequently overlaps with brainstorming sessions. Therefore, the compact layout allows for two work areas, one for cooking and another for prep and cleanup, which transitions easily to an attached table for eating, sketching, and socializing. For large gatherings, the island becomes the perfect buffet, while two niches with tambour doors behind the stainless steel block conceal drop-off and drink prep areas.

“The full overlay cabinetry and Thermador’s Masterpiece Series were a natural fit and supported the designers’ goals for a sleek and integrated appearance without sacrificing function and innovation.”

Upper cabinets are replaced by flexible slatwall to accommodate artwork as well as hanging utensils. The full overlay cabinetry and Thermador’s Masterpiece® Series were a natural fit and supported the designers’ goals for a sleek and integrated appearance without sacrificing function and innovation. The low profile induction cooktop offers a sophisticated look with responsiveness and speed, while the new Steam and Convection oven provides an alternative cooking method for the health-conscious couple.