We recently partnered with Steve Gray Renovations and his team to complete a condo remodel in Downtown Indianapolis. One of the highlights of the space was their new modern kitchen design. Below we discuss the challenges and details of implementing this design style:
Beautiful Challenges of Modern Kitchen Design:
The modern design of our client’s overall home included chunky elements, such as a thick fireplace mantle and shelving. That look was continued into the adjacent kitchen within the open concept floor plan. However, thick countertops add a level of complexity to the overall kitchen design. Fortunately, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery was on our remodeling team. As experts in cabinetry and appliances, they were valuable partners in implementing the style of this project. The countertop height required special accommodations within cabinet design and appliance installation. Ferguson created a layout with the specs appropriate for the homeowner’s vision, and we completed the design with the homeowner through finish selection.
The kitchen island served as the centerpiece of the kitchen. We used quartzite for the countertop, a natural material that has the look of marble without the durability issues. To achieve the thick mitered edge style our client wanted, we needed a skilled fabricator. There are two ways to make a thicker top – stacking two small layers just on the edge of the slab and smoothing it out, or placing one piece on its side along the slab edge and joining them smoothly at the corners. The latter is a more expensive option since it requires great skill, however it offers the most cohesive look. Fortunately, the superb craftsmen at Tremain Tile, Marble & Granite was on our team. The final product made the island one of the stars of the space.
White-on-White Color Scheme:
Our client was set on a white-on-white kitchen, which can be tricky to implement due to the many variations of white. Many different materials need to complement each other without matching. The key to the success of this type of color scheme is evaluating the undertones of each material to ensure your choices coordinate with each other and the overall design.
Choosing the right backsplash tile is a great example of the challenges of this design scheme. Since it was going to be on the same visual plane as the white cabinetry, it was extremely important that the tile undertones complement them. Persistence was the key to success here, as we had to keep identifying and testing options. It is not until you get both materials into the space that you can truly see how they will work together. The final choice was one that had a neutral effect on the cabinetry, providing the flow on that plane we were looking for. Both elements look white, not some other color, which can happen with this color scheme.
Modern Kitchen Design Details:
Our client chose flat-panel cabinetry with a full overlay to support the clean lines of the design scheme. The metal finishes included brushed nickel for cabinetry hardware and stainless steel for the range, hood, refrigerator and dishwasher. The oversized pulls on the drawers continue the thick scale of the home. The dark, neutral tone of the manufactured wood flooring was continued in from the rest of the main level, and providing a lovely anchor for the light nature of the space.
We had designed a gorgeous island which also needed a final touch – lighting. Our client shares our love of impactful lighting, so we were on the same page in making our choice the star of the show. Particularly in a white kitchen, gorgeous pendants can add the visual interest that will keep the tone-on-tone color scheme from getting monotonous. Scale was also important here; too small and the pendants would have faded into the design. The large imported, hand made Italian glass ball fixtures we installed not only bring color and light to the space, they continue the hefty nature of the design and add visual interest. The light pattern they create places artwork on the ceiling when they were lit. Finding those fixtures was not easy! Our client was very involved in the process, sharing in the research and evaluation duties. The end result leaves no question as to the focal point of the kitchen.
The island design called for four bar stools to sit opposite the workspace of the kitchen. In keeping with the light nature of the space, we wanted to cover them with a light, neutral velvet. Many of our clients worry about the durability of putting light colored fabrics on bar stools or kitchen chairs, however we offer a wonderful solution. Over the past few years, we have been using a material called Crypton Home Fabric for these situations. It is very durable, repels stains, and spills do not absorb rapidly, staying beaded for a long time. Once our clients see how great it is, they request for many other spots in their homes! Crypton Home Fabric was the perfect choice for this kitchen as well.
An adjacent eating area was not very large, so our clients wanted to have flexibility in how they used it. To accomplish this goal, we created multi-purpose furniture. The space includes a built-in bench that could be used with a table or on its own. We also designed a custom piece that would serve as a sofa table when closed down, and a flip-top dining table when they needed it for that purpose. Finally, we had two light-weight ottomans created to sit in front of the fireplace but could also become two additional seats for the dining area.