How to Create a Custom Kitchen, According to an Interior Designer
Personalization is key.
Updated Aug 2, 2019 8:48 AM
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Whitewashed kitchens have had their fair share of time in the limelight, and while we have this preconceived notion of what one would entail, there are always certain drawbacks involved. Until now, embracing a truly whitewashed aesthetic did not come without certain restraints. Sure, you can outfit your custom kitchen with white cabinetry, marble counters, and a matching backsplash, but when the time comes for selecting appliances, you find yourself facing a decorative conundrum of sorts: choosing between a limited selection of stainless steel options.
For as sleek and contemporary as they may be, the imbalance of color invites an unwanted element of contrast that entirely offsets the preconceived scheme.
Curious as to how this trend plays out in real kitchens? Luckily for you, we caught up with designer Sarah Sherman Samuel, who recently took on the task of redesigning the stunning L.A. kitchen of none other than author and photographer Garance Doré.
With a goal of creating an inviting yet sleek and contemporary space, the two turned to the Café collection to customize Doré’s kitchen with an all-white matte finish. Here’s what went down.
In its original state, Doré’s kitchen featured high-gloss white cabinets on the top and dark cabinets on the bottom—a combination that felt off in the space. Seeing as to how the high-gloss finish didn’t fully resonate with either of the two, Samuel decided to take a more natural approach to the finish of the cabinetry.
“The black/brown cabinets felt too heavy and dark, so by bringing in all-white cabinets, we [were] able to brighten everything up,” says Samuel, adding that “by keeping the appliance finishes matte, we got a more nuanced and organic feel to the space. Garance really wanted to brighten the space up, so we brought in a lot of white to help bounce around that California light. The Café Appliances come in Matte Black or Matte White, and the Matte White was perfect for the bright monochromatic scheme.”
So how does that exactly translate into the space? Handmade pottery, white concrete, and leather were a handful of the textural elements that informed the inspiration for the kitchen’s redesign, doubling as the ideal supplements to the lacquered, high-gloss detailing.
Bringing in textural layers atop the smooth, matte finish of the cabinetry proved to be an integral component of lending a distinguished element of interest to the kitchen. “Incorporating different shades of white, as well as layering in different textures and patterns, is key to keep an all-white kitchen from looking too sterile,” notes Samuel.
Take a closer look and you’ll notice the subtleties in the design that lends to the dynamic finish of the kitchen. On the cabinets, vertical lines establish a sense of visual depth, complementing the streamlined grid of the backsplash. The smooth Matte White appliances are seamlessly integrated within these thoughtfully curated details, pleasantly offset by what Samuel describes as, “the coarser texture” of the countertops modeled after concrete.
Given Café’s diverse array of decorative options available, achieving a customizable space came with a relative sense of ease. Having the leeway to choose from a curated scope of hardware options contributed to the style-centric finish of the kitchen, where the sleek pulls brought on a delicate hint of contrast to the otherwise warm palette the rest of the home so beautifully embodied. “It only made sense to carry those warm tones into the hardware in the kitchen,” says Samuel of her decision to migrate said details within the kitchen. “When it came to the appliance hardware, we loved that Café makes it so easy to customize a space with all the different options… Brushed Stainless, Brushed Copper, Brushed Black, and Brushed Bronze. We ultimately went with the Brushed Bronze because it feels modern, a little unexpected, and brings warmth to the room.”
The result was a visually dynamic space that carried the established aesthetic of choice with an elegant yet entirely contemporary disposition. “Being able to customize the hardware on the appliances was huge in creating a cohesive kitchen space,” adds Samuel. “It creates the opportunity for the appliances to become a true design feature and it elevates the whole space.”
In addition to loving all of the customizable options that allowed Garance to create a space that reflects her personal style, the functionality of the Café suite is not to be overlooked. For her home, Garance has selected the Hestan Cue cooktop and Café dishwasher and refrigerator. The Hestan Cue cooktop offers a function called Gourmet Guided Cooking that provides video access to hundreds of recipes from world-renowned chefs, in addition to precision heat control features that automatically adjusts pan temperatures. Talk about cooking made simple. The dishwasher and fridge are enabled with Wi-Fi technology, so you can operate right from your smartphone. Beyond tech, the dishwasher boasts Deep Clean Silverware Jets for a flawless polish, and the fridge offers a counter-depth design (to keep the space super sleek) and an internal water dispenser. It’s easy to say this will be one style-driven yet high-tech kitchen, and we can’t wait to see the final result.
Check out the full line of Café appliances at CafeAppliances.com