Contemporary Kitchen Reflects Designers' Vision

Contemporary Kitchen Reflects Designers' Vision

By John Filippelli

Burke, along with his wife, Linda, and designer Matthew Mawer, worked to create an eclectic, casual and contemporary design for the Burke's home, complete with a floor plan suited to their active, flexible lifestyle. 

Though they were facing rigid height restrictions and water line setbacks from city ordinances, the designers incorporated a three-car garage and an autonomous living unit for Linda's father within the layout. Their solution to the challenge of tight quarters was "less rooms with more open, flexible space," Burke states. Since the active areas were open, flexible and relatively small, furniture was kept to a minimum.

Calling the kitchen the focal point of his 'Great Room' design, Burke points out that the kitchen and Great Room encompass 43 lineal feet, with the kitchen ceiling reaching 9'3". The space features a slew of 'spec' home materials and product lines.

Burke is quick to point out that "designing and building efficiently is as much about time as it is about cost, and as much about ingenuity as it is about expensive selections." Citing his belief that a large price tag does not necessarily look and feel expensive or dramatic, Burke defines his design style as "the ability to take materials and put them together in such a way that is unique, different and not being done in the general marketplace."

Infusing these elements allowed Burke to create a space that he succinctly describes as "more comfortable than elegant, more industrial than traditional residences, and more 'artsy' than architectural designs." He adds, "Every inch of cabinetry, tile, slate and molding as well as the placement of every appliance and light fixture must appear to be part of a grand plan of simplicity and efficiency."

Cabinetry delight
Millenia-styled cabinetry from Canyon Creek, complete with Centennial Shaker doors and a Whisper White/Slate Gray patina, is one of the many highlights of the space, he remarks. Using well-designed cabinetry for efficiency and function was critical, because of the limited amount of space available for the active areas.

Burke chose to run the 43 lineal feet of continuous cabinetry from the phone niche to the pantry storage space and the Sub-Zero refrigerator, then to the counter and Dacor range and hood to the China hutch display, which features a pull-out drawer space for table linens. The kitchen base cabinets were painted slate gray to contrast with the T&G natural maple floor, Burke notes. 

All of the other cabinet doors are wide-rail shaker style, designed to blend with the prevalent geometric styling. The slight Whisper White allows the good grain to add softness with a hint of texture, Burke explains. The white also worked with the color of the porcelain tile countertops, the honed slate backsplashes and geometric breakfast bar in the great room.

As he notes, all of the kitchen cabinets feature upgraded, full-extension hardware and roll-out shelves for easy access. The cabinetry features stainless steel restoration hardware, as well as a hand-formed cherry-light valance and horizontal detailing.

Storage drawers for CDs and videos are contained in the base cabinetry that meets the sculptural fireplace with honed slate. Jerusalem gold limestone and corrugated metal are anchored by the A.V. Cabinet, and add to the contemporary feel of the design.

Describing the importance of storage for the design, Burke explains, "The spaces and location of working and storage areas are carefully planned, both for our 'spec' homes and for our own home. We exhaust all means to achieve these goals."

Complementary Style
A wealth of high-end appliances were used for the design, including a Sub-Zero refrigerator with maple door panels and a Dacor 36" commercial-style cooktop, both of which blend comfortably with the design theme, according to Burke. A stainless steel hood fan from Vent-A-Hood gives the space a contemporary feel, while two Bosch stainless steel dishwashers, a 36" stainless steel Franke sink and a commercial-style stainless steel faucet from Kohler Co. complete the look. 

These materials were chosen as much for their function as for their aesthetics, according to Burke. Offering an ease of use and accessibility, the appliances allow the couple to easily navigate the space, whether entertaining or enjoying a quiet night at home. A 12"x12" honed slate backsplash blends with the cabinetry and enhances the cooktop and hood fan, Burke notes.

The Great Room offers a slatebreakfast bar, skewed at an angle, as well as a wet bar and a built-in buffet in the dining room, ideal for entertaining guests, Burke observes.

Completing the kitchen is maple T&G flooring in a natural hue (which was used for the entire main floor), which complements the soft tones of the cabinetry.

Additional aesthetic appeal can be seen in the 12"x12" porcelain tile kitchen counter, in a Grigio hue. The porcelain tiles were selected after the designers ruled out concrete countertops due to cracking concerns, Burke notes. In addition, the color of the porcelain was exactly that of concrete, and gave the kitchen a more stable application and warmer, cleaner lines, according to Burke.

Burke notes that lighting was key to the project. "[The lighting was crucial] in defining areas, moods and activity," he remarks. This was achieved by using mostly line-voltage lighting fixtures with a few dimmers, and only a few low-voltage combining traditional fixtures, track lighting and free-form pendants.

The cabinetry in the master bath replicates that used in the kitchen. Burke chose the same Canyon Creek cabinetry in Millenia style with Centennial maple doors stained Whisper White. The vanity in the master bath measures over 20" long and 36" high, complete with built-in dressers and a make-up vanity area. The cabinets are suspended to feature down lighting, adding a dramatic feel, Burke says. The decktops of the cabinetry are honed green slate, and the slate is seen in the floor tiles as well, creating a warm, cohesive look for the space.

  • Designed as both a refuge from the clients' hectic schedules and an informal gathering spot for friends and family, this kitchen features a rustic log cabin design theme and a stunning mountainous view.

  • Softened by a combination of stone and natural woods, the kitchen features custom cabinetry of solid pine wood, with a beadboard painted in a hunter green hue. To add a provincial warmth, the mouldings offer a rustic white pine sheen and square stock flat boards

  • The 16-ft. solid pine island is a focal point of the kitchen, and features earthen-toned granite counters that span tree column to tree column, creating the perfect setting for buffet-style entertaining.

  • A stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator and Viking range and hood add function to the space, while complementing the farmhouse-style design of the kitchen. A Fisher & Paykel dishwasher is strategically placed, and offers separate pull-out drawers that can also be used for storage of pots and pans.

  • Natural and artificial light complement the design, adding subtle warmth while enhancing the rear elevation mountain view.

  • Products include: Custom cabinetry in solid pine with a bead board painted hunter green hue; stainless steel Viking range and hood; stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator; Fisher & Paykel stainless steel dishwasher and Grohe faucetry.


project highlights