One Kitchen Designer 'Gets It Done' for American Chopper Star

MONTGOMERY, NY — When clients arrive in Paul Teutul, Sr.’s custom motorcycle shop, Orange County Choppers (OCC), here in upstate New York, they know that whatever the request, it will get done – no fuss, no muss. In fact, Teutul, Sr.’s mandate is to “just get it done.”

He makes that apparent every week on American Chopper, the Discovery Channel’s show that gives viewers an insider’s look at the world of custom choppers. He says it frequently to his son, Paul, Jr., OCC’s chief designer and custom-bike fabricator, and to Vincent (Vinnie) DiMartino, another key OCC custom-bike fabricator. And he doesn’t care so much how client requests “get done,” as much as he cares that his shop produces those requests efficiently, and with quality.

So when Teutul, Sr., who also owns the steel fabrication firm Orange County Ironworks, was building a 5,000-sq.-ft. log-style home here, plus an 8,000-sq.-ft. garage, he wanted to find locals who shared his high standards and his propensity for “getting it done” right.

Enter Ed Kurpell, a local kitchen designer who had previously designed both Teutul, Jr.’s and DiMartino’s kitchens. He came recommended by both of them to Teutul, Sr. He also shares Teutul, Sr.’s love of cooking.

“I’ve been cooking all of my life, and have worked in kitchens as a cook. Being that Paul, Sr., enjoyed cooking, he wanted a kitchen where he could do lots of it comfortably. So, given my background, he trusted me to design something that would meet his culinary needs, and that included professional-style appliances,” notes Kurpell.

Indeed, Teutul, Sr. entrusted Kurpell to design the 19'Lx16'W kitchen for his new-build home, plus a separate pantry featuring a Bosch front-loading washer and gas dryer and a shower area for Teutul, Sr.’s dog, a huge Mastiff. He had Kurpell design the home’s five baths, as well.

“For the kitchen, Paul, Sr. had very few specific demands. He wanted a traditional kitchen that went with the home’s log style. And he wanted cherry cabinetry that was much more red than brown, and that had lots of almost ‘Queen Anne-like’ furniture details,” recalls Kurpell, who, at the start of this project, owned a kitchen design firm in nearby Walden, NY. He has since sold it, and now designs for Olde Stone Kitchens & Country Flooring in nearby Fishkill, NY.

“However, and true to his no-nonsense persona on American Chopper, he was exact in those demands. In other words, ‘Just get it done,’” Kurpell says, which was part of the challenge. “He told me what he wanted, but gave me the control to pretty much design what I thought would fit his functional and style needs. He told me, ‘Give me what you would give yourself.’ So I wanted to be sure that when he walked in and saw the finished product he would love it.”

Right From the Start
Kurpell went to work on designing the kitchen with Teutul, Sr.’s words in the back of his head, starting with the cabinets. And to ensure his client’s every custom request for the kitchen cabinetry was met, Kurpell enlisted the help of Marty Klie of custom cabinet manufacturer, Elm Mfg., Inc. in Denville, NJ.

“I contacted Marty because I was looking for a company that could do the flush inset door Paul, Sr. wanted, plus give the cabinets the detailed furniture look that he wanted. He also wanted a farm-style sink, so I needed a special cabinet designed to support and showcase it,” explains Kurpell.

After some back and forth, the three of them finally sat down to nail down Teutul, Sr.’s requests, as well as outline the rest of the details Kurpell specified for the cabinets.

The trio decided on Elm’s English Manor stain, which achieved the dark red cherry look Teutul, Sr. sought. The stain would be applied to Elm’s Chester door, which was chosen for the wall cabinets, as well as Elm’s Chatham door, which was chosen for the base cabinets and for the cabinets for the 6'3" island.

Behind each exposed cabinet, and at the end of each cabinetry run, fixed doors were built into the frames of the cabinets to add a special finishing touch. Plenty of custom storage options – such as “super” lazy Susans, roll-outs, a tray divider and a spice rack built into the door of one of the wall cabinets – were also included.

Concealed hinges from Blum, Inc. complete the custom cabinetry design.

Functional Finish
With the cabinets in place, Kurpell moved on to specifying the appliances.

Because Kurpell is a cook, he installed a six-burner, RT366 stainless steel rangetop, oven and hood from Wolf. He then incorporated a stainless steel, 48" Sub-Zero refrigerator, along with a built-in, stainless steel Sharp microwave with a trim kit, and a stainless steel Bosch dishwasher.

Kurpell then installed the Kohler Co. farm-style, apron- front sink Teutul, Sr. wanted into the cabinet that was specially built to accommodate it. He paired it with a Kohler faucet in antique bronze.

To further mesh with the redness of the cabinets and the tumbled marble flooring that was previously chosen by Teutul, Sr., Kurpell also incorporated Santa Cecilia granite countertops and a tumbled marble backsplash.

“The granite had some flow to it, with some browns, beiges and a little bit of peach. And the marble backsplash was also a beige earth tone, featuring a small deco detail that picks up on the cherry cabinets,” describes Kurpell. Both were installed by a local fabricator, the designer adds.

Kurpell finished the design by lighting it with a series of recessed cans, allowing the natural light to pour in through the sliding glass doors in the adjacent, open Great Room that overlooks the brook in front of the house.