October 17, 2016
Designing a client’s home is challenging, but renovating one’s own home – especially when it will be used as a showroom – is another trial entirely. For Boca Raton, Fla.-based Karen Press of Panache Design Consultants, her full kitchen renovation needed to take a 2001-dated kitchen and turn it into a transitional, family-oriented kitchen meant to be shown off.
The designer wanted her kitchen to serve as a place to interview new clients. This way, they would see her designs in action inside a family home.
“It’s wonderful to be able to show homeowners what I’ve done and all the different aspects of design,” said Press. “It’s a real-life setting with usable ideas.”
She had two main goals in mind when she started designing the kitchen. The first was that the entire space had to be wider to allow for more cabinetry, and the second was that the island needed to be 12 feet long.
The designer went on to explain that the kitchen and family room unit is one of the most important areas in her home; everyone gathers here, whether for a party or eating as a family together. The island then also needed to be a main focal point of the room, since her large family needs plenty of space to gather together.
“I designed the island to be large because no matter how many people are in the kitchen, they always stand or sit around the island,” she explained.
Another goal for her was to have a hood/backsplash area with features that would pop out as soon as someone walked into the room. Even still, this highlighted feature needed to blend well with a transitional and timeless design.
“I wanted this kitchen to have clean lines, and I was very careful looking at all the materials to make sure not to utilize anything I may grow tired of in a few years,” said Press. “I did not want it to be too trendy; I just wanted it to be elegant and very functional for my family.”
Designing the Statement Piece
Since she wanted the backsplash under the hood to be a statement piece, her main challenge was finding the perfect material to blend with the rest of the kitchen.
“I knew that I loved the look of Carrara marble,” said Press, “however, I also knew that it would be a mistake to use it in my kitchen because of its propensity to stain and [it being] difficult to maintain.”
According to Press, she scoured every stone and tile store and warehouse in the Boca Raton/Delray Beach/Pompano area looking at quartz, marble and granite options. Her final choice was a slab of Neolith Estatuario with thick gray veins.
“It all came together at that moment,” said Press. “I decided to bookmark two slabs under the 85-in.-wide hood. It was going to be absolutely breathtaking, and I just could not wait to finally see it all come together.”
Keith Wikle, a cabinet designer and owner of Palm Beach, Fla.-based ABA Designs, worked with Press in AutoCad to create the cabinetry that surrounds the hood. Framed by a subtle arch at the top and two columns on either side, the white-and-gray backsplash beneath the hood has a dramatic design that melds well with the same marble-look countertops.
These countertops are also part of one of the most important aspects of Press’ kitchen: the island. With four children in the family, the piece needed to be extra large and efficient. Thankfully, there was plenty of room for this; the back wall had 22 feet of cabinetry, including the 85-in. hood, leaving a large open space between the exterior wall and the living area.
“The island stands today at almost 14 feet wide, with an area that is almost seven feet wide where there are several counter stools,” said Press, explaining that the L-shaped island allows for plenty of both prep space and separate seating near the end. “It truly is fabulous and functional for our lifestyle.”
The modern family home now has a more transitional look and feel with white Shaker-style perimeter cabinetry and espresso brown island cabinetry. Two large metallic pendants over the island feature clean lines and an open design to emphasize the tall ceilings and correspond with the pendants over the dining room table. The overall look accomplishes Press’ goal for a simple, elegant and timeless design.
“Honestly, my favorite part of this project is the end result. Walking into my kitchen truly brings a smile to my face,” said Press. “My home is my showroom, and I love to see the reaction when new clients come into the kitchen. As I design kitchens for my clients, I did not want to tire easily of my own. It turned out to be everything I had dreamed about and more.”
Designers: Karen Press, Panache Design Consultants and
Keith Wikle, ABA Designs
Builder: Brian Ritchey, FirstWater Building & Design
Photographer: Damaso Perez Ontiveros
Cabinet Hardware: Atlas Hardware
Large Undercounter Sink: Blanco
Pendants: Hudson Valley Lighting
Pot Filler: Rohl
Sink Faucet: Rohl
Wine Refrigerator: Marvel