Residential Kitchen Over $100,000
Team Efforts Result in a Unique Design Connection with Kitchen Remodel
In kitchen and bath design terms, making a connection quite often requires a team effort.
This was certainly the case for this dramatic kitchen remodel, which was the result of a collaborative effort between designers Chaden Halfhill and Carl Rogers, both of Silent Rivers Design Build, based in Des Moines, IA.
In fact, Halfhill adds that the pair also received critical help from design team members Loren Starr, Tom Terry, Tom Bloxham, Jason Anderson and Rob Vandemark, as well as worked closely with the client throughout the design and construction process.
According to Halfhill, the goal was to establish a central core for the client to prep, cook, clean and entertain, while keeping the kitchen visually connected and accessible from all directions.
“[The client] needed to maintain clear views of her children, and wanted the kitchen to function as the center of the home,” he says. “A prerequisite was to maintain the architectural flavor of the home, especially retaining the brick floor and the cedar ceiling.”
To accomplish this, the design team expanded the refrigeration cabinet to include a closet next to the freezer, which allowed for needed storage – while also maintaining the custom-paneled repetition established by the side-by-side freezer/refrigerator combination.
“This third unit provides storage for coats, while the repeating Sub-Zero grill plate allows ventilation for the concealed audio booster equipment,” he says.
But, the project was not without its challenges.
“When we removed all of the wall surfaces of the existing kitchen, we discovered that the original framing had failed in several locations. Improperly installed support beams and headers had allowed certain areas to sag as much as ¾". So, we restored [as needed],” he says.
He notes that the steel posts added a one-of-a-kind element for the project, as well.
“The steel posts helped generate a visual detail, but their existence was critical to the structure of the house,” he says. “We needed to support the floor and roof loads above, yet minimize obstructions for the cook.”
He continues: “Entry to the kitchen from the front door aligns with the large cooking island, piquing interest and inviting one to enter the kitchen. Walking through a wall of cabinets, this entry is demarcated by cantilevered shelves and a suggested metal ‘arch’ above.”
The team also incorporated hand-made, rusted steel panels to better define the space.
He explains: “The panels were inspired by a rusted photo frame that the client had collected, so we explored ways to force and control rust on the metal, [eventually] finding a gun-cleaning solution that created the tones we desired.”
Halfhill also adds that the project took an unexpected twist midway through its construction.
“As we began to reinstall cabinetry and apply interior finishes, the lead artisan for this project decided to change careers!” he says. “We were fortunate that others in the company stepped in to help fulfill the vision of the kitchen.”
Storage was also a concern, as the design team created a hidden pocket door to provide access to a mini-office that controls the intercom system for the house.
Lastly, Halfhill notes that the breakfast bar in the great room provides an area for the client’s children to access drink drawers.
“The visual intent was to link the kitchen and the great room with common cabinetry [and] subtle distinctions,” he concludes.
Residential Universal Design
Kitchen Offers Improved Flexibility for Physically Challenged Client
Asked to renovate a kitchen for a handicapped client, Sean Delauney used his previous experiences to point the way.
Delauney, designer and salesperson for Nash Construction, Inc. in Marshall, VA, explains: “This client developed confidence in our capabilities on a previous project, after which the person hired us to fine-tune their ideas, and complete what would ultimately become a complex renovation.” He continues: “We worked closely with the kitchen cabinet designer and owners to create a cabinet layout that complemented the home [while providing] practicality for complete wheelchair access.”