Kitchen & Bath Design News

MAY 2019

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

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ANN ARBOR, MI — When Leslie Murchie Cascino set out to help design her parents' Park City, UT vacation home, she wanted to incorpo- rate elements that would herald its mountain location…without being too conventional or heavy handed. "The property overlooks the Deer Valley ski resort, the Jordanelle reservoir and the Uinta mountains," says the owner of Bonnie Wu Design, in Ann Arbor, MI. "My parents wanted a home that felt appropriate for those sur- roundings…like a ski home in the winter and a place to hike in the summer. For many people, that means warm colors and earth tones with natural wood and lots of reds, oranges and hunter greens. But they didn't want something that looked too much like a log cabin. They didn't want to fall into the predictable traps they had seen in so many other homes in the area. Instead, they wanted to do something a bit unexpected." With that goal in mind, Cascino collabo- rated with the Jaffa Group (architect) and JOC Construction (builder) to tone down the expected traditional mountain-style elements, reserving them as a backdrop highlighted in architectural features such as the ceiling beams, limestone fireplace and rustic white oak wood floors that run throughout the living room, dining room and breakfast nook and into the kitchen. That left room for unexpected elements to shine in the open-concept kitchen, such as the Sea Pearl quartzite countertops and custom Swirl Woodcraft cabinets color-matched to Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue and accented with Top Knobs hardware. "They wanted a natural material for the coun- tertops…something that was earthy and connect- ed to nature, without being too 'warm,'" she says. "Marble immediately came to mind, but they anticipated frequently hosting family and friends and they didn't want anything quite so precious. When we found these quartzite slabs, the subtle greens and grays spoke to us. And, the slabs offer enough veining to be interesting, without being too loud. They work beautifully with the limestone fireplace and hearth as well as the oak floor, ceiling beams and iron hand rails. There's a lot going on, and the countertops say enough… without saying too much." The material's polished finish adds to its interest, offering a wider depth of field that en- hances its aesthetics, the designer indicates. "You can more clearly see the pattern of the stone and some of its crystalline structure," she states. The countertops also serve as inspiration for the cabinetry, which cools the home's color palette with its grayish blue/green hue. "My parents love the color because it's so different from what is expected," she says, noting that it's usually the first thing visitors comment on. "We went through a couple of rounds of tweaking to get a color that wasn't too pure, or too dull. It takes up a lot of visual space, so it needed to be just right with the perfect blend of blue, green and gray that works nicely with the countertops and the light that flows into the space." ADDRESSING STORAGE While the kitchen's aesthetics often grab initial attention, Cascino gave equal consideration to function, creating a layout that balances cooking needs and storage requirements with entertaining essentials, all of which needed to be accomplished with minimal wall cabinets. "We didn't have many wall cabinets because we didn't have many interior walls," she says, adding that the latter's inclusion would have significantly compromised the view. The kitchen's sole wall includes a few cabinets combined with a paneled Sub-Zero Kitchen Showcases the Unexpected BY KIM BERNDTSON This designer's parents wanted a vacation home that would work with its surroundings without being predictable. Now, 'mountain' features serve as a backdrop, allowing more surprising elements to shine. 'COOL' CABINETRY Serves as an unexpected design element that cools the home's color palette QUARTZITE STONE COUNTERTOP Connects the home with nature and adds interest, without being too loud DOUBLE ISLANDS Enhance flow throughout the kitchen while offering much-needed storage Photos: Leslie Murchie Cascino; Bonnie Wu Design 30 Kitchen & Bath Design News • May 2019 PROJECT CASE STUDY SPOTLIGHT ON CREATIVE, PROBLEM-SOLVING KITCHENS AND BATHS

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