Design Idea Center Displays Passions and
By Barbara Capella Loehr
CHICAGO, IL Good design starts with good ideas, and good ideas can
start with a passion or a twist on an old familiar theme. With that
in mind, this year’s National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA)
Design Idea Center (DIC) will showcase a host of ideas that mix
personal passions with cutting-edge design and that will marry
state-of-the-art function with warm style.
Indeed, the 2004 DIC will offer a trio of designs two kitchens
and one bath inspired by celebrity culinary and spa desires
designed by Woman’s Day Specials. Additionally, it will feature one
vignette a kitchen, dining area, entertainment/family area and
porch/loggia inspired by blending Old World French design with high
function designed by Bon Appetit.
Built to be the NKBA’s annual centerpiece of design and
function, the DIC is scheduled, as usual, to coincide with the
Kitchen/Bath Industry Show, set here for April 2 to 4, 2004.
Turning to celebrity
chefs and Food Network stars Alton Brown and Paula Deen, and stage,
TV and movie legend Carol Burnett for inspiration, Woman’s Day
Specials created two eat-in kitchens and one bath with the help of
the KraftMaid Design Team, project manager Mervyn Kaufman and
interior designer Ingrid Leess of Ingrid Leess Design in New
The goal for the three-part project dubbed “Personal Passions”
was to create distinctly different designs inspired by the stars.
According to Leess, “each celebrity wanted different things in each
of their spaces.” For example, she says, Alton Brown wanted a
clean, modern, accessible “cooking lab” type of kitchen, while
Paula Deen wanted a family kitchen that exuded Southern charm and
warmth. And, Carol Burnett wanted a cozy, functional bath.
To start, Leess, working with KraftMaid and Kaufman, put
together Deen’s dream kitchen using a Southern Comfort theme. “She
wanted the colors to be warm and the space to have more of an Old
World theme,” notes Leess. “She was also interested in being able
to entertain and have family present, so we laid it out in a U
shape so she could whip around and have accessibility.”
To achieve that, Leess and Kaufman incorporated many of
KraftMaid’s cabinetry suggestions, including the use of not only
wood cabinetry but also painted and glazed cabinetry along with
darker stained cabinetry. Two cabinet styles dominate, with a third
tone introduced to accent the dining side of the island and the
high-backed utility bench.
Brookfield Maple in Hazelnut was used while Durango Hickory in
Cognac was applied to the island’s work side and to the enclosures
on the major appliances. Brookfield Maple in Garnet was introduced
to the bench and dining side of the island.
“The mix adds to the charm, and gives the feeling that the look
has evolved over time,” says Leess.
Kaufman and Leess added even more Old World/Southern charm and
warmth to the kitchen through the use of three different quartz
stone surfaces by Silestone, all with double-ogee edging. Each
stone choice was also used to define each specific area within the
A split-level island separates the food-prep area from the
dining area. In addition, it ensures a subtle separation between
cook(s) and guests.
In terms of function, a DACOR cooktop was installed with an oven
beneath it instead of a traditional range since Deen expressed a
preference for wall ovens. Leess and Kaufman accommodated her
request by including a “tower of appliances” by DACOR: a microwave,
warming drawer and wall oven. The duo also incorporated two DACOR
dishwashers into the design, as well as several refrigerator and
freezer drawers, a refrigerator/freezer and raised wine storage,
all by Sub-Zero.
Lastly, “one of the nicest things about the kitchen is the
Kohler faucets and sinks, which bring color into the room. The main
sink, for example, features a warm, brick, rosy color Roussillon
Red. It’s paired with a beautiful brushed [bronze] faucet for a
mellow, soft look,” Leess point out. A satin bronze sink in the
island also lends the same mellow, beautiful feel.
Wood flooring with a ceramic tile inset on the dining side of
the island finishes the design.
In contrast, Alton Brown wanted something a little sleeker with
instant accessibility to cooking items and tools, says Leess.
Using KraftMaid’s Sedona Cherry in Cashmere on the bottom
cabinets and KraftMaid’s Sedona Maple in Pewter on the upper
cabinets as the starting point, Leess and Kaufman devised an
extended galley kitchen design with a peninsula that features an
“unfussy” stainless and wood design a modern man’s kitchen, notes
“He wanted accessibility, and he likes to see things right at
hand, so we gave him a lot of wood-framed glass and open
cabinetry,” she says. To add that slick, clean, modern look,
stainless steel inserts were also applied to several
Continuing in that vein, Staron by Samsung countertops in Pebble
Blue were applied throughout the kitchen. “I had it built up to be
2″ thick to add chunkiness, and kept the edge simple, using just a
right-angle edge. Drain channels were routed in next to the Poise
undermount, double sink with beveled mirror edge by Kohler, and
rods were incorporated into the counter next to the GE range,”
Complementing the countertops is the Italian glass tile
backsplash from Hastings in “a running bond pattern that I
striped,” notes Leess.
GE appliances, which include the free-standing range, a Monogram
36″, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer, two dishwashers, built-in
microwave and beverage center with glass door, round out the
functionality. And, a 8-1/4″Wx43″L trough sink by Kohler that is
approximately 6″ deep installed in the peninsula can either be used
for prep or filled with ice and cold drinks for guests.
Commercial laminate in Slate by Alloc completes the look.
Last is the bath inspired by the desires of funny lady Carol
Burnett. “We asked her what things she wanted most in a bath, and
she told us she would love a glass vessel sink and a fireplace
placed near a soaking tub.” In addition, her wish list included a
glass steam shower and a lighted make-up vanity table.
Designing with all of that in mind, Leess and Kaufman devised a
large, yet cozy, classic, yet slightly contemporary bath for
Burnett in deep, rich and creamy tones. The duo started with an
elegant cabinetry style in a dark stain on separate,
furniture-style pieces from KraftMaid. Mandolay Cherry in Kahlua
was used on the vanity, tall storage and TV armoire, and Mandolay
Maple in Bisque was applied to the tub area.
The vanity features two levels, the first accommodating the
Kohler Vessels spun-glass lav in aquamarine. Aqua-colored Patricia
Bay quartz Silestone was paired with the sink. The second levels,
on either side of the sink, feature cream-colored Capri Limestone
quartz Silestone. This cream color surface was also applied to the
A white ceramic diamond mosaic tile from Hastings was applied to
all of the walls with Botticino marble accents, also from Hastings.
And Hastings’ Touchstone Gold limestone-look ceramic tile covers
the floor. One-inch Hastings Botticino tiles were inlaid between
the large tiles to create a lattice look, while polished 6″ Noce
marble tile from Hastings outlined the lattice look.
An Iron Works whirlpool tub in white, a MasterShower system in
brushed chrome and a separate water closet with a white Leighton
Comfort Height toilet, all offered by Kohler Co., round out the
The idea behind Bon
Appetit’s vignette dubbed “Experience Provence the Old and the New”
was to reinterpret Old World style through the eyes of French
Provencal design and marry it to modern amenities fit for a 21st
century kitchen, says Sarah Belk King of Sarah Belk King
Productions, Inc. in Richmond, VA.
King served as the project manager on the design, and worked
with interior designer Vicki Jesse of MCS Design and Production in
Richmond, VA, as well as with Yorktowne Cabinets and the company’s
master craftsman Eric Grim and in-house designer Andrea
Indeed, King and Jesse showcased “the latest in design within a
theme” in this vignette, whose focus was on family dining and
entertaining. To convey this Old World French Provencal theme, the
duo used lots of color seen in the warm, yellow ochre wall paint
and the cabinetry, tile and accessories as well as in the unusual
obtuse angle of the island, which lends both a quirky touch and
high function to the space as it separates the main cooking area
from the entertainment center/desk area. On the side that faces the
TV, a built-in banquette covered in French-style fabric provides
Taking a cue from Yorktowne Cabinets, the team started applying
color in the “main cooking area [kitchen], where we used a vanilla
color for the base and wall cabinets. Then, in the entertainment
center area we used a ‘cherry-ish’ warm brown, and in the dining
area we used Yorktowne’s new color, Spruce, which looks like the
underside of an olive leaf a cool, silvery color,” says King.
Staggered wall cabinets and different drawer sizes add visual
interest. Sóko hardware throughout the vignette’s design
adds a decorative touch to the cabinetry.
DuPont Zodiaq countertops which look just like granite with
flecks of brown and gray lend a more modern edge to the French
Three Elkay sinks add both beauty and function to the space,
comments King. For example, she says, an apron-style, single-bowl,
stainless steel Elkay model is tapped for the kitchen’s main sink,
while an Elkay floor sink is seen in the porch/loggia area, serving
both as an unexpected sculptural element and as a simple place to
wash gardening tools.
Among the appliances that give the space function are two
dishwashers, a Wolf range and a Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer and
wine refrigerator, and several Küppersbusch USA products,
which helped tip the design’s modern edge, adds King. The
Küppersbusch products include a wall oven, a built-in
cappuccino maker and a built-in induction wok, which is
“unexpected” in a Provence designscape because it is generally
associated with Asian design and cooking. “It becomes a focal point
in the island because of its sculptural beauty in a place where you
would normally see a cooktop,” King notes.