Kitchen design is never formulaic. Every single time there’s a different answer to a question, “How do I put together appliances and cabinets in such a way that they form a whole, which is a pleasure to look at and work with?” It’s a challenge of meticulously planning something to feel effortless.
When it comes to kitchens, form and function go together. Although, there are many standard considerations, unique requirements are always present. I’ve written about the work triangle and the importance of creating coherence and balance, yet every new project calls for a brand new approach and a set of guidelines.
The kitchen I am designing now needs to be respectful of the existing country house with its particular language, details, character. Instead of introducing something sleek and minimal, as I’ve done for this client’s city apartment, I opt to embrace a lived-in rustic warmth of a charming Bridgehampton home that gets better with age and use.
Besides, my client loves to entertain; his entire house should have a casual, inviting feel, prime for get-togethers. The kitchen will set the tone.
Thus, the challenge of kitchen design is to create a traditional space that morphs into a fresh, untraditional congregation spot.
I have a working layout. It’s time to explore cabinetry options that evoke old-world European style. I think of Martha Stewart kitchen cabinets available exclusively at The Home Depot. As such, I make an appointment with a kitchen designer at my local store, Michael Bowers. I’ve worked with him before, he is really helpful, knowledgeable, and thorough! And I do appreciate someone who pays attention to details.
We look at various door styles and colors first. I gravitate toward a “slender framing detail” of Overbrook design finished in Feather Gray (see cover image). We sit at Michael’s desk for 3 hours! Seriously. But we get it done. It’s a fun process for me, because it fosters subtle fine-tuning and further customization. With Michael’s help the design comes together — I might as well pick the material for the countertops. There are a few options; my favorite is Charcoal Soapstone Suede by Silestone.
Michael provides me with an estimate for both the cabinets (not installed) and countertops (installed). Next step is to do some comparison-shopping. There’s an excellent kitchen showroom called Absolute Appliances located near me. They are an authorized dealer for Omega Cabinetry. In addition, I’ve emailed a company called Plain English Design (they have just opened a store in New York) to get their take on the kitchen. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.