Kitchen & Bath Design News

AUG 2019

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To further highlight the material choices, Curtis crafted the island top as interlocking 'L' shapes. "We wanted the floating white oak to feel like a feature point…like it's something special," she says. "We didn't want it to feel standard, but we also didn't want it to feel disjointed with anything too wild or crazy. We liked the idea of the wood sitting on top of the granite." Curtis designed the island's base with currently trending open shelving, crafted in a unique way. "It's open shelving that isn't completely open," she ex- plains, noting the addition of lights that give the kitchen a warm, cozy glow at night. "It's like mixing straight out open shelving with cabinets so they act as a functional as well as a design element. It's a great place for my client to store cook- books or display unique pieces that are easily accessible." Curtis kept the rest of the kitchen relatively quiet so the island can shine as the focal point. "The island isn't necessarily 'loud,'" she says. "But it's so interesting that it creates a focal point naturally that grounds the space." CURVES AHEAD Multi-functional islands are a frequent request for many cli- ents of Ernesto Garcia, ASID, Ernesto Garcia Interior Design, in Phoenix, AZ. In the case of the kitchen seen at right, the designer combined workspace and clean-up with seating at a raised bar. While the kitchen side is relatively traditional with a sink and adjacent work surfaces, Garcia sidestepped the predictable and amped up interest on the seating side with dramatic, wide-sweeping curves at the cabinet bases and countertops. "Each side of the island offers a different perspective," he says. "There's a 'basic' kitchen side, but the bar side wraps around and fuses into it. It's a classic shape, but there's also a lot of movement." Garcia often includes rounded edges or curves on islands, particularly in small spaces. "They make circulation throughout a kitchen easier, especially since many islands are in the middle of a room," he explains, adding that in this case, the curves visually and physically direct flow throughout the open-concept condo, such as to/from the bedroom and to/from the dining room and living room. "As the island curves, it opens up the space in front of you so you can easily move around it. Curves also eliminate any sharp corners or edges that people might bump into." These clients also wanted their island to provide a more organic, 'softer' feel, Garcia notes. "The rest of their condo has a lot of crisp, incredibly sharp lines," he continues. "I didn't want to continue that look with the island. Instead, I wanted to make the kitchen's central element more sculptural with loose shapes and curves." The rich veining of the custom Silver Oak veneer on the island's base (supplied by An Original) – which he stained a warm taupe gray to contrast, yet relate, to the cabinetry used around the kitchen's perimeter – also emphasizes the curves. A wide kickplate comprised of Mother of Pearl mosaic en- hances the look and protects the wood. The designer repeated the mosaic as the backsplash around the kitchen's perimeter as well as the thin backsplash behind the island's sink. Raising the quartz bar countertop, which offers a neutral base against the highly textured mosaic, emphasizes the curves and clearly separates it from the task-oriented, count- er-height section below. "The island has very specific functions, each defined de- liberately with their form," he adds. "It works so much better than their previous island…and it's much less predictable." Ernesto Garcia gave this multi-functional island interest via dramatic, wide-sweeping curves at the cabinet bases and counter- tops. The rounded edges provide a more organic, 'softer' feel, contrasting with the crisp lines of other design elements. The rich veining of the oak veneer emphasizes the curves while a wide kickplate of Mother of Pearl mosaic protects the wood. Photos: Alex Rentzis, SpartaPhoto CHARACTER PIECE FINDS HOME Since this condo renovation already included several natural stone countertops, Kim Collins, ASID, Collins & DuPont Design Group, in Bonita Springs, FL, opted to mix it up and use wood for the nearby bar island. It also complements the breakfast table – which is crafted from a variety of woods and custom sized/shaped to fit the angular space – and contrasts against the luminescent cabinets that feature a finish similar to what is used on automobiles. "We wanted to include the natural, organic feel of wood," she says, noting a collaboration with fellow designer Alina Dolan for the kitchen and Thomas Riley Artisans Guild who implemented the plan. "And, since other wood used in the space is mainly oak, we decided to use walnut, which has some of the most beautiful graining of any wood." August 2019 • 79

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