Traditional Kitchen Receives Touch of Architectural Flair

LAGUNA HILLS, CA Barbara McLane, CID, ASID, focused on architectural flair to add sophistication and style to this kitchen. McLane, of the Santa Ana, CA-based By Design Kitchens etc., is a licensed interior designer who specializes in architectural kitchens, so this project was right up her alley.

As the sole designer on this project, McLane, was able to transform this kitchen from average to extraordinary through the use of eye-catching architectural moldings from Enkeboll. In fact, the end result was so notable, the kitchen won top honors in the Enkeboll's design competition, which honors ingenuity and artistry of trade professionals who use Enkeboll's architectural accents in their designs.

In the beginning
The owners a young professional couple were looking to "revitalize" their original kitchen, and had gone through several design possibilities when McLane was referred to them by some of her former clients.

"It was the last space they were tackling after re-doing their entire home," says McLane.

Each of the clients had their own individual wishes and requirements for the kitchen, but basically, it all boiled down to creating the right blend of function and beauty. As McLane explains: "The husband desired highly functional and state-of-the-art appliances, while the wife loved sophisticated style, furniture-quality cabinetry and Enkeboll ornamental wood carved moldings."

They also wanted the kitchen to mesh with the rest of the home, and wanted it to reflect the traditional furniture style seen throughout the house.

To capture the right aesthetic, McLane took a cue from the architecture of the home and applied several styles of Enkeboll moldings, corbels, ballast threads and wine story panels on custom cabinetry that had a distinct furniture feel to it.

"They had beautiful furniture in the home, and I wanted to capture that feel in the kitchen [And] the style of the home was traditional, so architecturally, we blended the kitchen by using elements similar to those in the home," says McLane.

She adds, "For me, incorporating architectural elements is my number-one requirement in a design. I love to preserve it, but also to enhance it. I always want to keep the architectural integrity of a house, and even enhance the structural beauty of it."

In terms of function, she gave the owners a wide range of high-end appliances that serve to facilitate entertaining, which they do quite frequently. This included a 36" Sub-Zero 650 refrigerator with matching cabinetry panels; a GE Advantium wall oven; a DACOR convection wall oven; a Miele dishwasher; a Gaggenau halogen cooktop; DACOR downdraft ventilation; a Broan trash compactor, and a Kohler stainless steel PRO CookSink featuring a Franke faucet.

However, before McLane could do all of this, she first had to tackle some serious challenges.

Go reconfigure
First of all, the original space was "confined. It was a small space," McLane explains.

"And, I knew the original peninsula had to be reconfigured," she adds. "It was uninviting, with long upper cabinets above it that separated the kitchen from the adjacent breakfast nook and family room. It needed to be much more open."

To that end, she ripped out the upper cabinets and created a new peninsula using traditional-style, custom cabinetry from Corsi. She used the same cabinetry with an inset door and a plethora of storage options, which included a custom hutch and pantry area, throughout the rest of the kitchen and adjacent bar area.

In the kitchen she enhanced the cabinetry's already elegant look with Enkeboll corbels that support the light bridge over the sink and existing French country window, and with Enkeboll grape pierced moldings that serve as crown moldings and as an
adornment to the sink's custom apron front.

In the adjacent bar area, the same cabinetry received the same treatment, plus Enkeboll wine story panels.

But, in the peninsula, she incorporated glass displays on the side facing the nook and family room so the wife could display some of the artifacts that the couple collects. Glass displays in the adjacent bar area and an open cabinetry niche above the wall oven and microwave/convection oven were installed for the same purpose.

To further enhance the peninsula, McLane applied Enkeboll ballast threads that were sliced vertically in half to the side that faces the nook and the family room.

Three pendant fixtures hang above the peninsula to provide light, as well as a slight separation between the kitchen and adjacent nook and family room.

She gave the peninsula a raised buffet that the couple now uses frequently when entertaining, and topped it off with Broeche du Benau, a French marble. It was an unusual choice, because marble is not as durable as granite is in a kitchen. However, McLane notes that the countertop choice worked wonderfully in this case (though it does require sealing once a year).

"The owners absolutely loved it, and the marble added a lot of beauty," she says, adding that she used it for all of the countertops. Another type of marble that the owners already had used in the rest of the home was applied to the floor, and McLane added white accent tile to it.

"It pulls the purple and gold colors from the rest of the home into the space," she notes.

Rounding out the surfacing choices in the kitchen, French Beaumanier limestone was applied around the window at
the sink and to the wall that connects the pantry and hutch area to the bar area.

Vexing ventilation
With the aesthetic challenges tackled, McLane then had a functional challenge that came in the form of the original vent hood.

"The original hood was in the middle of the upper cabinetry of the original peninsula," says McLane. "So along with the cabinets, we removed that hood."

She replaced it with downdraft ventilation that works with the cooktop in the peninsula, located behind the raised buffet.

Project Highlights

  • Designer Barbara McLane transformed this kitchen using several design elements, including Enkeboll moldings.
  • The moldings, corbels, ballast threads and wine story panels add architectural flair, enhance the traditional, custom Corsi cabinetry and lend the kitchen a furniture feel that meshes with the look of the rest of the home.
  • Redesigning this small, 'confined' kitchen required McLane to reconfigure the original peninsula. She did so by removing the upper cabinets and an obtrusive vent hood that sat above it. She then created a new peninsula using the custom cabinetry, installing glass displays and incorporating a raised buffet that hid the cooktop and new downdraft ventilation.
  • She added state-of-the-art function by incorporating several appliances, such as a Kohler Pro Cook Center sink and Advantium convection/microwave oven, both of which the owners love, notes McLane.
  • Products include: Traditional custom cabinetry by Corsi with inset door; Enkeboll moldings, wine story panels, corbels and ballast threads; Sub-Zero 650 refrigerator; GE Advantium wall oven; DACOR convection wall oven; Miele dishwasher; Gaggenau halogen cooktop; DACOR downdraft ventilation; Broan trash compactor; Kohler stainless steel PRO CookSink;
    and Franke faucet.