NKBA 2002 Design competition: Category 2: Medium
(more than 35 square feet and less than 50
square feet of countertops)
1. Large, Inefficient Kitchen Gets Contemporary
While a large kitchen is generally viewed as desirable, in the case
of this kitchen project, designer Gioi Ngoc Tran, of the San
Francisco, CA-based Applegate Tran Interiors, found the large space
to be inefficient and poorly designed.
To address the clients’ request for a kitchen that would be both
contemporary in appearance and highly functional for cooking and
entertaining, Tran reworked the layout with a “less is more” theme,
opening an area to the dining room and front entry. This allowed
the room to take better advantage of natural light, while
emphasizing the stunning view of the San Francisco Bay.
Custom vertical eucalyptus cabinetry sets the scene, while black
granite countertops add elegant appeal.
The center island designed to support a structural column while
offering a working and dining counter serves as a focal point for
the room. Adding visual interest, “The contrasting play of angles
and curves creates a more sculptured island,” Tran notes.
To keep the kitchen functioning at optimum levels, Tran selected
a Thermador cooktop, oven and microwave, Miele dishwasher and
coffee system, Sub-Zero refrigerator and Vent-A-Hood
Doussie flooring provides a beautiful finishing touch.
2. Unfitted Design Defines One-of-a-Kind
“Something different” was the request brought to designer David
Heigl, CKD, of the Lincolnshire, IL-based Cabinet Werks. To provide
the clients with the one-of-a-kind kitchen they desired, he
developed an unfitted design that incorporated a wide array of
unusual materials, colors, shapes, textures and styles.
Custom cabinetry from Neff Kitchens includes a variety of
colors, such as golden maple, brown cherry and mint green, while
limestone flooring and countertops in everything from stainless
steel and butcher block to soapstone and scone add a range of
textures. To tie the areas together visually, Heigl repeated the
use of these materials throughout.
A mixture of shapes and angles also add to the room’s unusual
appeal. The angular shapes of the corner hutch piece and the hood
over the cooktop contrast with the shapes of the drywall niche
around the refrigerator and wine rack.
The way the materials interact is also key to the design, he
notes, adding that, “The large turned post supporting the circular
dining counter, as well as the rounded stainless steel legs
supporting the table interact with the shapes of the cooktop table
and the island.”
The kitchen features a Thermador oven, cooktop and microwave,
Gaggenau dishwasher and custom ventilation with Best blower.
Campagma limestone tile flooring, a Kohler Undertone sink and
Franke Triflow faucet in chrome finish off the look.
3. U-Shaped Kitchen Reworked for Two Cooks
A U-shaped kitchen is hardly ideal for a two-cook family.
Fortunately, designers Nancy Lind Cooper, CKD, of Cooper Kitchens
Inc., and Neva B. Freeman, of Neva B. Freeman Interior Design, both
in Santa Rosa, CA, rearranged the kitchen to allow for a large
communal island, while storage areas behind the island provide the
primary cook with a secluded place to work.
The design team carefully considered the ideal location for each
appliance. A prep sink includes a single-drawer Fisher & Paykel
dishwasher, while the clean-up sink is integrated with a Bosch
dishwasher flanked by a hutch for dish storage. The kitchen also
features a Thermador oven and ventilation, DACOR microwave, Wolf
cooktop and Sub-Zero refrigerator.
Aesthetically speaking, the designers wanted to create “a
timeless-looking kitchen” that would just get better with age. To
do that, they began with hand-made French pine cabinets from
Sweetheart Cabinetmakers, aged and distressed to mimic antiquing.
The island granite was honed and the color enhanced to achieve
richness without the sheen, while Jerusalem Gold Classic honed
limestone countertops also add a sense of classic elegance.
A hammered antique copper sink and bronze faucets from
Waterworks are located in front of a Walker Zanger terracotta and
stone Italian Villa Rustica marble mosaic. A limestone cornice
behind the cooktop frames the second mosaic, while the hood is
hand-trawled plaster with a rich terra cotta finish.