August 29, 2019
Deciding to renovate a home can be a big decision, one that many clients procrastinate on until they are almost forced into taking the leap. This was the case with a homeowner who approached designer Carol Twomey of Orlando-based S&W Kitchen Design.
“This was a reluctant client – they’d been waiting to remodel for years,” she said. “But when their AC unit leaked and they needed new floors, they jumped in with both feet!”
Making An Impact with Appliances
Before the client’s oak floors were completely damaged and a renovation was necessary, the kitchen had very traditional, dark cabinets and outdated granite countertops. The appliances were also not laid out well.
“Instead, the client wanted a more modern to transitional white and bright kitchen; she liked the idea of materials that were more unique and that had a little bit of sparkle to them,” said Twomey, adding that the client also wanted to upgrade her appliances and have seating for her children within the kitchen.
Using both 2020 Design and AutoCAD, Twomey started the project by moving the location of the refrigerator to a previously unused wall in the kitchen area; this allowed her room to install a larger 30-in. refrigerator and a matching 30-in. freezer. In addition, the original gas cooktop was replaced with a 36-in. glass cooktop with drawers below and centered with the back wall, allowing the design team to make the hood a focal point.
“We made slight changes to the layout with a couple of appliances, which made a huge impact,” said the designer.
Challenges in the Layout
While these appliance changes were simple to deliver, one main request was more difficult to meet: bench seating and/or a kitchen table.
“After multiple revisions and discussions with the client, there was not a way to bring that feature into the current space,” said Twomey. “We decided to go back and shorten the height and length of the original bar configuration and create counter-height seating instead.”
In addition to this seating area, the overall length of the adjacent wall was cut back to make the kitchen walkway more accessible. The sink was also repositioned along the countertop to allow for more prep room.
“As the designer, I wanted to create the best layout and function for the family and find materials that would give her the kitchen she always dreamed of having for her home,” said Twomey.
Establishing a Personalized Look
While the client originally wanted something very modern, she and the design team eventually settled on cabinetry with a transitional inset door style in a soft white paint to suit her home’s overall traditional look. The kitchen had tall ceilings, so they chose transom wall cabinets with a custom height.
For her countertops, the client wanted a unique accent. While they chose simple white quartz for the perimeter countertops, the partial backsplash, island top and bar top were done in a natural quartzite. These three elements would be illuminated underneath – a challenge for the design team, who would need to coordinate installing an LED lighting sheet underneath the stone pieces.
“We worked with our lighting specialists to find the perfect state-of-the-art LED lighting to illuminate the countertops for the island top, bar top and behind-the-cooktop backsplash,” said Twomey. “We had several jobsite meetings with our project superintendent, the electrician and the countertop fabricator to ensure the logistics and that it would be installed properly.”
Combined with the reflective panels on the refrigerator and freezer, the kitchen feels both personal and elegant because of the backlit pieces. According to Twomey, these two items are her favorite parts of the project.
“The illuminated countertops and the mirrored paneled doors brought a beautiful and unique sophistication to this kitchen design,” she said. “It made it stand out from any other kitchen design I have done.”
Designer: Carol Twomey
Photographer: Rickie Agapito
Cabinetry: Omega Cabinetry
Countertops: Pompeii Quartz, Crystallo
Winter Park Granite & Marble
Mirrored Inserts: White’s Glass and Mirror Orlando
Over & Cooktop: Miele
Refrigerator and Freezer: Sub-Zero