Sustainable Cabinets Spur Sleek Kitchen Design

Annapolis, MD — New construction projects are often a blank slate: a piece of property, a blueprint, a few ideas. Every once in awhile, however, one comes along that has a dramatic element so special, the design could not help but be positioned to highlight it.

For Jonas Carnemark, CR, CKD, principal and lead designer at KONST–Kitchen Interior Design, that element was the expansive bay upon which his clients’ property was situated.

“The owners of this new home wanted a sophisticated, but in no way stuffy kitchen welcoming to both family and friends,” says Carnemark. “Minimal, clean design and open sight lines to maximize the stunning views from their waterfront lot were a must.”

Carnemark says the key elements on his clients’ wish list centered around having their 326-sq.-ft. kitchen seamlessly transition both physically and visually into the adjoining central entertainment area.

Also important to his clients were ample, smart storage solutions for their growing family. Carnemark would employ several tricks to meet these needs.


This project came to Carnemark’s KONST showroom through word-of-mouth referral because of his work with SieMatic, the German maker of frameless veneer kitchens.

Carnemark cites the SieMatic cabinetry as an important green element of the design, noting that its veneers are made of wood harvested from sustainable managed forests, and the cabinets exceed the U.S. Green Building Council’s established standards for LEED certification.

But sustainability aside, the selection of this cabinetry, with its long lines, emphasizes the room’s height and airiness, Carnemark notes. It also serves to create a transitional visual flow through the kitchen, dining area and entertainment room, to the wall of large windows, looking out over the deck area and bay.

The mahogany flooring, running throughout the three spaces, is another important element to making this transition work.

“The Santos Mahogany floor was the first selection by the clients,” explains Carnemark. “The cabinet colors were based off of the floor color – it adds a natural, warm feel to work well with rest of the contemporary house and views of the bay.”

The cabinet selected to set off the floor tones is a Walnut Veneer with a vertical grain pattern in the main area and Magnolia White Matte Lacquer elsewhere.

Topping the island cabinetry, and cabinetry at the rear of the kitchen, is a custom stainless steel countertop; custom stainless steel sinks were integrated into it. Granite tops the perimeter cabinetry and the custom table.

“Serving almost as a bridge into the family room, the sturdy granite table begins the passage into the adjoining space,” says the designer.

The combination of materials found in other elements of the space repeat at the table, which has stainless steel legs and four industrial-style contemporary chairs around it.

Other warm tones were added, including a crimson glass tile backsplash; the wood and warm colors offset the potential chill the stainless accents might have otherwise added.

Forms and Function

Carnemark describes his clients’ wishes as including durable materials and, of course, expansive storage.

“The cooking couple wanted to do it all – from gourmet dinner parties to daily meals with the kids – so we made sure the program put all the necessary tools of the trade within easy reach,” says the designer.

Carnemark created work stations surrounded by storage. In addition to the prep area on the island, there is counter space beside the Wolf range top. Above the range is a stainless steel hood from Best. To the right is a built-in coffee center from Miele. To the left is a fully integrated Sub-Zero refrigerator affixed with custom cabinet panels.

On the perimeter is a streamlined storage wall featuring a sliding door system for the wall cabinetry, while below are horizontal drawer bases with long stainless pulls. The forms of those pulls are repeated in the trio of long, cylindrical pendant lights hanging above the table. They act as another visual cue to bridge the spaces.

“The [recessed] lighting treatment and storage wall aligns with the home theater and fireplace; it creates the desired seamless transition,” says the designer.

The cabinetry along the perimeter also frames additional appliances, including built-in Wolf ovens. Other appliances in the space include separate Sub-Zero freezer drawers, a Thermador microwave and Miele dishwasher.

While open-plan kitchens have become a wildly popular trend in the past few years, they are not without their potential drawbacks.

“Open kitchen plans come with a caveat,” says Carnemark. “There is the potential to generate traffic and clutter. Two [design] program details helped make sure our clients, who have two young children, will avoid both.”

One solution devised for these issues was the creation of a spacious pantry hidden behind the range wall for extra food and storage of cooking supplies.

The second was the creation of an additional prep area. Carnemark continues: “Tucked in the corner next to the powder room, a butler’s pantry houses a second dishwasher from Miele, sink and icemaker.” This was included to address the clients’ desire for a kitchen that would aid them in entertaining guests.

With its mix of materials and sleek contemporary product selections, Carnemark’s bay view kitchen allows his clients to transition easily from entertaining to everyday living.

For more about this project, click here.

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