Kitchen & Bath Design News

OCT 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Page 62 of 83

an overall trend toward personal expression in design," she explains, "and vintage is right in step with that trend. Today's clients are definitely curious about using vintage elements or accessories in their homes, even if the general look isn't necessarily retro. "A kitchen we remodeled recently illustrates how well you can marry retro and up-to-date functionality," she continues. "Our client, a single homeowner, loved retro design, but she also wanted the conveniences of a contemporary kitchen. We borrowed some extra space from an adjoining office and chose bright, optimistic yellow as the dominant color. Even the retro-inspired appliances are buttery yellow. Simple maple cabinetry was painted white, and playful positioning of contrasting floor tiles, again using yellow and white, is a quirky interpretation of the traditional checkerboard pattern. Radius corners, rounded edges and black trim of the expan- sive ceramic countertop recall art deco. It all works, and the client is ecstatic." Meredith Ericksen of Tuscan Blue Design, in Frederick, MD believes that a true retro-styled space feels quite specific, but agrees that the overall style and its details blend beautifully with other styles. "It's easy to add a bit of retro style, say, to a craftsman or farmhouse-styled home," she notes. "The clean lines and fun shapes of retro design add a bit of vintage charm to spaces." Those clean lines came to the aid of Bart Lidsky of The Hammer & Nail, in Ridgewood, NJ when he was asked to design a kitchen for a fan of modern art. He explains that the space feels colorfully mid-century modern and yet totally up to date. QUALITY FACTOR Often, a retro kitchen is an updated version of what was al- ready there, according to designers. "People who are attract- ed to older homes usually fall in love when they see a retro kitchen," says Grace. "Then it becomes a matter of updating it to make it work and look its best. In our area, there are a lot of craftsman bungalows, and retro kitchens suit them. Plus, Designer Christine Nelson adds a lot of up-to-date function and bursts of retro color in this food writer's kitchen. A remodeled kitchen designed by Rosella Gonzales is unabashedly retro, but provides all the function of 2018. Minneapolis designer Christine Nelson uses handcrafted ceramic tile in retro colors to add personality to a kitchen. these older homes are built really well. There's a lot of quality there. They're worth keeping. For example, the cabinets are usually very solid and it makes sense to keep them and just paint or refinish them." Grace Design Associates is actually an award-winning landscape design firm, but Margie Grace admits that kitchen remodeling has become her passion. She is currently working on her 27th project and, like all the rest of her designs, it's retro-inspired. Older homes are also well-loved in the Minneapolis area, notes Christine Nelson, an award-winning kitchen and bath designer. In fact, her own house was built in 1927 and, nat- urally, she remodeled the kitchen. Featuring striking cobalt tile work as well as warm orange and red accents, this kitchen shows influences of mid-century modern, a perfect match, it turns out, with a contemporary vibe, winning it honors in the National Kitchen & Bath Association's design competition. A fan of Susan Susanka's Not So Big House books and philosophy, Nelson has become known for designing smaller, Photos: Mark Ehlen Photo: Amy Baur October 2018 • 63 STYLE ALERT

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