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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entered the U.S. market. Designers wanted appliances to disappear into the cabinets. Black glass and stainless steel were the hot finishes, while fully outfitted second sinks became the norm in these huge kitchens. • Layout Preferences: Living rooms were disappearing so that the kitchen gathering space could dramatically expand. New-construction designs included high ceilings in these kitchen spaces. Designers also began to connect indoor kitchens with outdoor living spaces. Because of the expansive array of new point-of-use appliances, the trusted triangle layout guideline expanded into plans being eval- uated after identifying multiple pathways through these multi-tasking spaces. • Business Models: Company marketing managers started to forge alliances with other sources to collaborate on displays or photography sets to ensure a unified "look" was created. No longer did the cabinets alone define the style: All ele- ments of the space contributed to the room's personality. While shelter magazine editors continued to influence consumer style preferences, talented kitchen designers began to gain recognition as the style leaders within their communities. INSPIRATION FROM 2000 TO THE PRESENT Talented kitchen designers have increasingly become respect- ed members of the design community. These specialists led to kitchens becoming an integral part of large, open spaces within the home – or expertly concealed working centers hidden behind functional door hardware systems. Our current ability to personalize spaces so effectively is grounded in the work of manufacturers who re-imagined their products from single-purpose items to multi-tasking centers. Today, sinks grow or shrink in size and serve as both a water vessel and countertop work surface. LED lights change in Kelvin tem- perature with a touch. Appliances offer refrigerators that have a switchable drawer: freezer to refrigerator. Ovens combine a variety of cooking methods, all pre-programmed for ease of use. This idea from the early 2000s that the space plan and the equipment in it must be flexible to suit the family's lifestyle is the foundation of good design today. surfaces moved the worktop beyond being just a landing spot, to a product able to help define the personality of the kitchen. This change launched the shift from cabinet styling dictating the aesthetic to the room being designed as a totally integrated and organic space. Today, good designers select all materials – often at the same time – considering each equally important as they create unified-yet-eclectic combinations of shapes and forms for great personalized kitchens. Design Highlights from the '90s • The Look: As the kitchen became part of an open gathering area called the "Great Room," clients wanted cabinets to look more like furniture than storage boxes. Cabinets were fashioned after historical furniture pieces and constructed with inset joinery. Only the best cabinet companies could produce highly detailed rooms awash with Old World elegance. Very complex glazed finishes in soft colors and strong accents were popular as well as highly detailed decorative hardware. At the same time, a modern, minimalistic contempo- rary style showcasing gloss or matte polyester or acrylic finishes was gaining traction. "Over-the-top," hard-to- produce exotic veneer roomscapes were requested. Great innovations were also occurring in the casework con- struction, with full-overlay cabinetry become much more available. • The Details: Other than a decorative light over the table or island, lighting remained a functional element, with halo- gen under-cabinet lighting replacing fluorescent systems. • Surfaces: Stone was everywhere: counters, floors, walls. Stone tiles or "subway" glazed tiles were used for back- splashes. Solid surface continued to gain favor in Europe while, in the U.S., the new countertop of choice was dramatically patterned granite with signature waves of movement. Floors were wood or wood look-alikes. • Appliances/Fixtures: Appliance companies began expand- ing into multiple categories. The integrated look of built-in appliances gained in popularity as European companies In the early years of the new century, an explosion of manufacturing and engineering innovations supported the designer's focus on creat- ing a totally integrated living environment in the kitchen. This kitchen showcases the cabinetry sophistication of a veneer sequenced match layout across the door panel and the flat center panel created by Premier Custom-Built cabinetry for Giorgi Kitchens. That problem micro- wave from the '80s is now behind doors on one side of the integrated refrigerator, and the dishwasher is raised to facilitate access. Photo: Courtesy of Pietro A. Giorgi, Sr., CMKBD, Giorgi Kitchens & Designs and Ellen Cheever, CMKBD, ASID, Ellen Cheever & Associates December 2018 • KitchenBathDesign.com 47

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