An exotic presence bold colors and materials in this kitchen by Jennifer Gilmer

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Bold colors and materials in this kitchen by Jennifer Gilmer
View of kitchen designed by Jennifer Gilmer.  cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, brown, black
View of kitchen designed by Jennifer Gilmer. Features wood floors, pine veneer finished cabinets, repeated wood/natural thees. Calypso Orange glass splashback, and accesories finished in wood.

Sometimes only minor changes are needed to achieve a dramatic remodel. Fresh surfaces, better connections and expanded functionality are key factors that can transform the character of your kitchen.

When designer Jennifer Gilmer was asked to reconsider this kitchen, most elements were already set in positions that suited the owner. So instead of shuffling stations around, the design stayed roughly within the existing layout and focused on creating a lighter, breezier space, much like the European kitchens the client had seen in magazines, says Gilmer.

"To achieve this, the island and the majority of the existing cabinets were replaced with new cabinetry finished in a sustainable pine veneer given the look of Macassar an exotic African hardwood. The rest of the casings are in white laminate, offsetting the dark wood tones.

"Countertops continue this use of contrast, with black stone on the island and white stone on the perimeter counters."


Before photo cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, flooring, hardwood, home, interior design, kitchen, real estate, room, wood, wood flooring, brown
Before photo

A bank of cabinets in the hallway was also reconsidered as part of the project. This now provides additional storage, and includes an office niche close to the kitchen.

"A frame design element on the hallway cabinets, the island, and the integrated refrigerator helps draw the various areas together," says Gilmer. "To make sure the island countertop would be durable, we had to take care joining the veneer edging to the granite surface."

In keeping with the smart, modern feel, the white cabinets are edged in polyurethane with the look of stainless steel. This plays off the door hardware, the range hood, and the lighting.

The back-painted glass backsplash adds to the impact and was selected by the owner. This vibrant splash of orange on the wall contributes to the contemporary look and offers a mid tone between the white and dark surfaces. Open shelving optimizes the backsplash and avoids closing off oblique views out to the garden.

View of kitchen designed by Jennifer Gilmer.  cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, flooring, hardwood, interior design, kitchen, laminate flooring, real estate, room, wood, wood flooring, brown, orange
View of kitchen designed by Jennifer Gilmer. Features wood floors, pine veneer finished cabinets, repeated wood/natural thees. Calypso Orange glass splashback, and accesories finished in wood.

"While the new hall cabinetry provides a relaxed, informal approach, I also improved the kitchen's relationships with other areas," says Gilmer. "The base cabinets and counter have been extended and tapered on the long side of the room, contributing more usable workspace and also stretching the domain of the kitchen out towards the breakfast area.

"I designed an elongated custom hood to accentuate this the main vent is over the cooktop, but the hood also extends to one side, echoing the long cabinetry and leading the eye down the room toward the new seating."

The seating area has been transformed. A bench seat in Macassar is backed with the same white polyurethane as the cabinetry. Its stainless steel legs chime with the other metal elements.

"The space is now more dynamic, and better set for cooking and socializing," says Gilmer.

Nov 30, 2011
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