July 10, 2023
Rescuing a Water-Damaged Kitchen
This story was originally published on July 10, 2023; it was updated on July 17, 2023.
“The clients wanted a traditional and classic design,” said Verbist. “I have to admit that’s not my style, but I took up the challenge and it was a real pleasure to create this space. That’s what I love about my job: renewing myself, continuing to learn and evolve.”
Given that the water-damaged kitchen was completely destroyed (when Verbist first visited the site, it was completely stripped, with only a sink and a camping stove in the room), it presented the ideal opportunity for the couple to indulge themselves and have the kitchen of their dreams. They enjoy cooking and wanted a well-organized kitchen. They also desired more dining space at the central island. When it came to the appliances, they had a preference for Sub-Zero and Wolf brands.
Visualizing with AutoCAD
While the clients wanted a classic kitchen, Verbist was concerned that the design could appear outdated or overly traditional. “They were initially considering travertine for the backsplash, which, in my opinion, would have been too old-fashioned for their desired aesthetic,” she said. “As an option, I carefully selected the Orchestra Medea tile and presented various samples to them, but it didn’t immediately resonate with them.”
A 3D AutoCAD rendering ultimately played a crucial role in helping the homeowners visualize the entire room as a cohesive space rather than just focusing on individual elements. After studying the images, they came around to using the tile for the backsplash – and they love it.
Verbist said, “During the creative phase of a project, I find it’s particularly fulfilling to guide my clients beyond their initial vision. I take pleasure in proposing elements they wouldn’t have considered or chosen on their own, surprising them with ideas they end up loving and approving because of the trust they have placed in me. It brings me immense joy as a designer, knowing that the end result will be nothing short of perfect and magnificent.”
A Painful Setback
Not long after the painting was completed and recessed ceiling lights had been installed, a heavy rainfall triggered a fresh round of water damage to the kitchen, this time originating from a leaking roof. Addressing the leak became a priority, and the team promptly shifted focus to repair it. Subsequently, the ceilings had to be redone and surfaces repainted before work could continue. “Despite these unexpected setbacks, we were committed to ensuring the project’s success and maintaining the high standards of craftsmanship,” said Verbist.
The rest of the job continued as expected, with the end result a kitchen that exceeded the homeowners’ original expectations. “It was supposed to be a simple prefab kitchen with quartz countertops, and we ended with a custom island, hood, custom posts, Taj Mahal countertop and pro-quality appliances,” said the designer. “Always suggest what you think is the best for your clients, and then see if we can adjust the budget.”
—By Leslie Clagett, KBB Managing Editor
Designer: Samia Verdist, Samia Verbist Interior Design
Photographer: Reza Lotf
Backsplash Tile: Orchestra Medea
Cabinets: 405 Cabinet
Cabinet Hardware: Top Knobs
Coffee Machine, Microwave Drawer, Range, Wall Oven, Steam Oven: Wolf
Faucets, Pot Filler: Signature Hardware
Lighting: Uttermost (pendants)
Seating: Uttermost (stools) & RH (dining)
Vent Hood: Hoodsly (hood cover), & Zline (vent)