Pair of kitchen renovations shows off individual style
By Lyla Haggard | Photos by Robert Lawson
The heart of today’s American home has become the kitchen. No longer is food prepared behind closed doors, magically appearing at the table, course by carefully timed course. In earlier decades, guests would nibble canapés and sip martinis in the living room while delicious aromas wafted throughout the house, emanating from a room they rarely saw. Now most kitchens are located not only near the dining room but as an integral part of the family room, where friends and family gather around to chat and nosh while the cooks—no longer just a wifely role but a dual-chef experience—chop, grate, stir and sauté.
Whether you prefer cool, sleek contemporary lines or a more traditional mixture of warm colors and textures, as the two kitchens featured in this article exemplify, the myriad options and decisions can be overwhelming. These homeowners turned to George Gobes, founder of Park Avenue Designs in Tampa, to customize this important space in their homes.
Cool and contemporary
For this completely renovated home, which was totally gutted, Gobes worked closely with contractor Chris Campbell and designer Christian Kamaris to continue in the kitchen the dramatic angular design established throughout the rest of the house. Graceful Italian halogen art lights overhead and LED lights underneath the cabinets give a sophisticated effect. The striking contrast of the bright white cabinetry, quartz countertops, huge white Corian-topped island, white walls and French stone floor against the dark coffee-colored stained bamboo display cabinets and 1,200-bottle wine cellar makes a definite contemporary statement. Corian was chosen to top the work island in order to accommodate the 19x52-inch sink without having seams. Two modern faucets allow two cooks to work conveniently at the same time. The overhead cabinets also open upward for greater efficiency and access.
Since the homeowners enjoy cooking together, it was important to create a space large enough to accommodate various tasks. A 27-inch double drawer side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerator, along with a mini-fridge, provides plenty of cold storage. An induction cooktop, quick-bake oven, warming drawer and two dishwashers allow the homeowners to cook and clean for a large group with ease. The Futuro Futuro range hood, ordered from Italy, completes the contemporary design. The hood’s four metal grills, which detach easily for cleaning, appear vertically on the wall in back of the cooktop, becoming a design element on the painted glass backsplash.
Kitchen designer: George Gobes, Park Avenue Designs; Contractor: Chris Campbell; Designer: Christian Kamaris; Cabinetry: Superior Wood Products; Flooring: Nova Gold stone; Faucets: Dornbracht; Appliances: Sub-Zero refrigerators; Miele induction cooktop, oven, coffee system, warming drawer and dishwashers; Futuro Futuro range hood; Glass backsplash: Gardner Glass Products
Warm and eclectic
Built only sixteen years ago, this home had an attractive kitchen that was just beginning to look a bit dated when floor repairs in the family room offered an opportunity to bring it up to match the rest of the house, which had been modernized room by room over the years. Gobes’ challenge for these homeowners was to establish a new workflow by changing the footprint of the kitchen while still integrating it into the existing décor of the remainder of the residence.
Working with interior designer Gail Levine, who has overseen the changes in the home for the last eight years, Gobes created a hybrid of textures and finishes that combined the homeowners’ love of antiques with a more modern feel and increased efficiency. Dark wenge wood, soapstone and white Carrera marble countertops team up for an interesting, eclectic look. The paneling design and gray brush strokes on the cream cabinetry on either side of the work island give an antique barn effect. Wrought iron metalwork throughout adds touches of contrast. The stainless steel exhaust hood becomes a major design element thanks to its location over the cooktop in the center of the room. Attached to a ceiling beam, it gives a more casual, almost cabana-like feel to the island below. A sophisticated lighting system allows a wide variety of settings at the press of a button, anything from bright light for cooking to a soft glow while entertaining. Even spotlights are on the system to emphasize artwork on the walls and in display cabinetry.
Listening to the homeowners’ needs, Gobes added many special conveniences not found in traditional kitchens. Supplementing the new appliances, which include a Wolf cooktop and Miele steamer and coffee system, he created hand-crafted wood dividers for knife and spice drawers, pull-out work surfaces, an appliance garage, a special drawer for silverware, hands-free trash bins that the homeowners lightly kick to open, a cookbook station and two out-of-view niches for paper towel holders, a homeowner favorite. “Both of these kitchens are all about convenience and design,” Gobes says. “They showcase the homeowners’ individual personalities perfectly.”
Kitchen designer: George Gobes, Park Avenue Designs; Interior designer: Gail Levine; Cabinetry: Superior Wood Products; Wrought iron: Tampa Bay Custom Welding; Lighting: Total Home Solutions; Appliances: Wolf cooktop and warming drawer; Miele steamer, speed oven coffee system and dishwashers; Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer; Dreamwalls backsplash: Gardner Glass Products
To see this kitchen article featuring:
Italian art lighting, Corian countertop island, and wine cellar,
as it appeared in the Tampa Housetrends magazine,
please visit our May/June 2012 Digital Edition, pages 52-58.