Kitchen & Bath Design News

MAY 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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Superficially, design focal points may be all about 'being seen.' However, digging deeper, they offer much more than just a pretty face. BY KIM BERNDTSON Making a Statement esigners typically agree that the foundation of any suc- cessful kitchen design focuses on function. Making sure the layout is efficient for food prep and cleanup, and ensuring there is enough space for appliances as well as utensils, dishes, pots and pans, dry goods, etc., is usually where the design process begins. However, once functional needs are addressed, designers can shine the spotlight on aesthetics, and that usually starts with something dramatic or eye-catching to define the space. "The most important thing is to make sure the space works, so it's definitely function first," says Jenn LaMariana, design director, Signature Interior Designs, in Brooklyn, NY. "But then we can build around it." Rebecca Sutton, AKBD, Kitchen Design Concepts, in Dallas, TX, agrees. "Most of the time we're designing based on how a client will be using a space, making sure we have enough room for everything," she says. "Then aesthetics work in behind that to determine what materials and details we can add to create something special." An indisp ensable component within the realm of aesthetics is the inclusion of focal p oints, those show-stopping elements D that draw attention, turn heads and even generate conversation. "They are the 'aha' moments," says Ronni Fryman, senior designer, Kitchen Places, in Ventura, CA. Focal points can also be conversation starters, adds Sutton. "Usually they are what generate the most reactions from any- one who comes into the space," she explains, citing remarks guests often make, such as 'oh, that's beautiful,' or 'what is that material?' However, a focal point is more than just a pretty face. It does, in fact, play an important role in a design. "You always want something to bring the eye into the space, to tell it what to look at first," states Meredith Weiss, Merri Interiors, in Commack, NY. Valerie Helgeson, Design Directions, in Oklahoma City, OK, agrees. "Focal points are important for anchoring a space," she says. "They can add interest, or even give a point of reference that might be the jumping off point for the rest of the design." "A design needs something to speak the loudest, to shine above everything else," adds LaMariana. "Support pieces are important, too, for a balanced design. But you definitely need one thing to anchor the space and make it feel special." 52 Kitchen & Bath Design News • May 2018

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