Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2018

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The key to making everything come together was finding a pattern that also fit with the modern style of the house. "Many of the cement tiles that are popular today are more traditional, such as the arabesque pattern," she adds. "Others are too abstract," notes Balodemas. "Finding something in between that offered a clean, modern style was admittedly hard to find." While the tile enhances the island's aesthetics and gives it its focal-point status, it also offers extra protection in a location that is susceptible to damage, especially when seating is provided. "We felt that this tile is not only beautiful, but also very durable," says Shahsavarian. "Our clients' kids often do home- work at the island. Now, when they sit at the stools, there isn't as much worry if they kick against it, as compared to drywall or cabinetry. It solves two requirements…the functionality of having a durable surface and the aesthetics of having some- thing that looks cool." Durability also factored into the equation in regard to the inclusion of the waterfall edges, adds Balodemas. "The quartz falling down both sides gives extra protection from people who are standing at the ends of the island, or who are walking around it," he says. Because the island is such an important element in this home, the designers further enhanced its functionality by incor- porating the microwave, dishwasher and sink. "For this family, the island has become the center of the house," he concludes. ▪ FOCAL-POINT NEUTRALS Neutral needn't be boring, as demonstrated in this kitchen where Lou Balodemas, AIA, and Veena Shahsavarian, AIA, Balodemas Architects, in Washington, DC, brought bold, graph- ic, neutral-colored cement tile front and center by showcasing it as the backsplash and repeating it as the island's outer façade. In relatively monochromatic colors, including black, white and stone, the Cle Barcelona Two tile is given center stage against relatively simple white quartz that tops the island and cascades gracefully in waterfall edges. The tile also coordi- nates seamlessly with the Kitchen Craft Integra cabinets in a Gloss White finish for wall cabinets and a Prosecco thermofoil finish for base cabinets, which were actually where the design process began. "But from the start of the project, our clients were interest- ed in using cement tile," says Shahsavarian. Bold, neutral-colored cement tile gives the island its focal-point status in this kitchen designed by Lou Balodemas and Veena Shahsavarian. The black, white and stone color palette takes center stage, set against simple white quartz, which tops the island as well as perimeter cabinets and cascades in waterfall edges. While the tile enhances the island's aesthetics, it also offers extra protection in a location that is susceptible to scrapes and scuffs. Photos: Anice Hoachlander, Hoachlander Davis Photography 86 Kitchen & Bath Design News • August 2018 ISLAND PORTFOLIO

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