Kitchen & Bath Design News

DEC 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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In this, my previous home in New Jersey, St. Charles frameless cabinets with laminate doors for the cabinetry set the stage. White Corian tops with a 'cool' roll-over edge were very special. I was experimenting with new material applications, so I tried the floor tile as a backsplash and as the finish on the walls framing the island cabinetry and the extended eating area that replaced the expected kitchen breakfast table. Today, we all realize the impor- tance of personal- izing each space for the client. Well, here is a '90s kitchen where Pete Giorgi and I did just that. The client had purchased a 'Big Boy' hamburg- er joint original statue and wanted it to be part of his beach house kitchen. We said 'Of course!' • Layout Preferences: Kitchens continued to be opened up to adjacent spaces. Designs with free-floating center islands began to take the place of enclosed U-shaped arrange- ments. The kitchen table was replaced with seating at the back of an island or peninsula cabinet section. • Business Models: The specialty of kitchen and bath design within the general construction industry spread across the country. Dealers (so named because they were aligned with certain cabinet brands) and their designers were clamor- ing for training from their manufacturer partners and the NKBA organization. Women joined the sales/design teams and multi-branch retailers entered the kitchen business. INSPIRATION FROM THE 1990S Today we view the kitchen as the heart of the home, and we challenge ourselves to create spaces where everyone can gather together to cook – and share their chosen life. This idea about a well-planned kitchen's impact on the client's quality of life be- gan in the '90s. Early TV cooking/lifestyle shows inspired us all. Julia Child became a TV cooking show star by teaching serious cooks how to cook. Martha Stewart, who began her TV career in 1995, transformed the kitchen from a place to cook to a place to live. Ina Garten continued to expand the idea that everyone could enjoy cooking when she went on the air in 2002 with her "Barefoot Contessa" show. Family members began viewing cooking as a hobby rather than a chore. Soon, everyone was becoming a cook, or at least a cook's helper, and everyone wanted to be in the kitchen – it was "party central." Additionally, the beauty of new countertop and backsplash materials launched an entire new design category. These new Photo: Courtesy of Ellen Cheever Photo: Peter Leach 46 Kitchen & Bath Design News • December 2018 DESIGNER'S NOTEBOOK

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