New-Build Kitchen Design Has Trick Up Its Sleeve

New-Build Kitchen Design Has Trick Up Its Sleeve

By Barbara Capella Loehr

That's why it was key for Julie Thompson, CKD, to not only incorporate optimum functionality and a beautiful style into this kitchen, but also to convey a sense of magic, whimsy and wonder.

Indeed, when Thompson signed on to design this kitchen, her clients knew exactly what they wanted, and she worked very closely with the husband, who had some specific requests to accommodate both his magical and musical requests.

"It made for quite an interesting project," notes Thompson. For example, the kitchen itself pulls double duty as a disco during parties the couple throws, while the nearby magic room is full of surprises the husband uses to entertain up to 40 guests at once.

According to Thompson, the couple made initial contact with Decorá to supply cabinetry for the entire home, and that's how she was tapped for this project.

In addition to being an independent designer with her own firm, Julie Thompson Design, in Huntingburg, IN, she has also done a fair amount of work during the last 15 years for the project's cabinetry supplier, Decorá, and for other companies under the umbrella of Decorá's parent company, MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

As a result, she not only designed the kitchen, but also had a hand in the aforementioned magic room, along with the great room, dining room, master bedroom and bath. All of these rooms are part of the home the couple had built here to start their new life as husband and wife and begin a family of their own.

This home was a "a major production for my clients," says Thompson. "They wanted a home that could accommodate the family they eventually wanted, but the husband was also planning to make it showcase for his work. So the home also had to accommodate entertaining corporate clientele hence the 40-person magic room."

Thompson began her kitchen design with a sleight of hand that enabled the kitchen to be transformed into a dance floor for guests, per the clients' request.

She designed a moveable island that has a butcher-block top, a simple vanity drawer and an open bottom shelf on four legs, all set on casters. It can be stowed away in the kitchen's walk-in food pantry to allow guests to dance the night away on the ceramic tile floor, under the lighted, revolving disco ball installed in the ceiling.

The island features Sherwood green accents, as well as granite countertops and Decorá Lexington Cherry cabinetry with Brandywine finish and coffee glaze. This striking island, in combination with the tile floor, helps to anchor the natural Tuscan feel the couple wanted in the kitchen, says Thompson.

She amped up the Tuscan feel in the adjacent great room and dining room through the draperies and furnishings, but anchored it to the kitchen design through the continued use of the same cabinetry seen in the kitchen. The magic room, hidden behind a set of double doors in the great room, also features an amped-up "Tuscan Carnival" feel anchored by the same cabinetry, only with Jet Black accents.

Thompson used the same cabinetry style, finish and glaze in all four rooms, along with and matching ornate moldings, turnings and onlays, to tie the kitchen and other rooms together.

The kitchen also features a cooking area that has drawers to hold pots and pans, and 6" open shelves for easy access to cooking spices, utensils and other items. A bookcase installed nearby allows the couple's cookbook collection to be at the couple's fingertips.

"The husband does not like to eat out because he is on the road so much for work, so cooking was very important in this kitchen," explains Thompson. To that end, in terms of cooking functionality, the same area features a DACOR range, a DACOR wall oven and a DACOR built-in microwave with matching trim kit. A DACOR hood liner was installed underneath a decorative furniture hood made from matching cabinetry and rough plaster to add to the Tuscan feel and create a focal point, says Thompson.

She installed a corner sink in the cooking area, plus a Miele fully integrated dishwasher and 48" GE Monogram refrigerator with matching cabinetry panels next to the main double sink. She allowed for lots of countertop space on either side of the sink for prep work and clean up.

The kitchen is open on one side and features a raised curved bar fashioned from matching base cabinets and granite tops that overlooks the great room. This room is filled with matching Decorá cabinetry built into the wall, plenty of theatrical draperies and three balconies where the couple can toast their guests. The dining room, also featuring matching Decorá cabinetry, is located off the kitchen.

"The design is very open so that guests can interact with the couple in the kitchen," notes Thompson.

Just beyond the kitchen and great room sits the magic room, where the husband can "wow" his clients with sleight of hand and optical illusions. It, too, features theatrical flair as seen in the room's stage, furnishings, draperies and matching Decorá cabinetry with said black accents. The cabinetry also conceals a host of magical surprises, such as a floating wine bottle, animatronic monkeys and a revolving bookcase leading to an upstairs tower room that overlooks a lake, notes Thompson.

Thompson continued the Tuscan feel in the couple's master bedroom and bath, focusing on creating a luxurious feel, particularly in the master bath.

The cherry cabinetry with a coffee glaze is similar to the cabinetry used in the kitchen and other rooms, but it features Decorá's Kingston styling with a Suede finish. This time she applied "partial overlay doors as opposed to the full overlay doors in the kitchen," Thompson notes.

"The bath was meant to be luxurious, like a great hotel bath, but better," she says. To that end, Thompson created a furniture-feel vanity area with Kohler Vintage series sinks at kitchen countertop height with vanity depth. It sits between a walk-in shower and a whirlpool tub set into a corner with two windows topped with theatrical drapery. Additionally, she created a matching make-up area using the same cabinetry.

The bath also has a separate room with a toilet and bidet for privacy.

Because the husband is a magician and stages performances at home, lighting was key to not only the kitchen and the master bath, but to all of the rooms especially the magic room, Thompson points out.

There's plenty of natural light, streaming in from both the large window installed above the main double sink in the kitchen, as well as from the adjacent great room's large expanse of glass on one wall. However, this is enhanced by an all-digital lighting system that the husband had specifically installed.

It controls every light source in the home, from the lighting fixtures above the raised, curved bar in the kitchen to the chandelier in the master bath, Thompson concludes.