June 10, 2021
For their new house, the clients wanted everything from the door locks and appliances to the security and lighting systems to be voice activated via Amazon Alexa and Apple Home Kit. Jeremy Jones of Atlanta-based Jones Design Associates (JDA) had met the client’s mother – custom home builder Arlene Dean – a few years back and was selected as the designer for al their custom homes since, including this project. Dean’s daughter Leslie, who has been a general contractor and project manager for six years, approached JDA and architect Eric Rawlings of Rawlings Design to create a space for her blended family and pets.
Perfecting the Design of the Connected Kitchen
For the kitchen, Jones was tasked with creating something clean, modern and darker that didn’t feel darker. Clients Leslie and her partner Michael (site foreman for Arlene Dean Homes) also wanted a functional space in which they could cook and entertain on a regular basis.
They wanted us to tell them what we thought they needed before they knew they needed it, which is a welcome departure for us,” said Jones. “But this is also one of our largest repeat clients, so the pressure was on to not disappoint our colleagues – all of whom have becomes close friends.”
To carry out the modern look the clients desired, the design team integrated most of the appliances. The darker vibe is accomplished with black granite composite sinks and faucets with knurled detail, darker countertop and backsplash selections and JennAir’s Noir Collection of appliances.
“We didn’t want the space to feel cold and wanted to contrast the wide-plank white oak flooring, so we used walnut and darker wood cabinets to break up the monolithic look of this kitchen,” said Jones. “Arlene surprised us al by adding the Cyprus ceilings as a housewarming present to the family, which further helps warm the space.”
Incorporating Multiple Levels of Tech
Although the clients wanted to integrate smart home capability wherever possible, the kitchen features a lot of elements that are innovative without necessarily being connected. For example, the design team installed plug mold strips under the wall cabinets so as not to mar the backsplash with outlets and a nook in the island for the puppy to sleep without being stepped on.
The cabinets incorporate multiple interior elements to make them more accessible, including pullouts for utensils, knife blocks and Blum servo-drives – providing hands-free access to the garage.
Instead of the norm – placing small cabinets above large ones – we reversed them and put flip-up doors at the smaller wall cabinets located closest to the floor,” said Jones. “This allows the children to easily reach commonly used items, and the 42-in. high wall cabinets above display their contents from the floor without the use of a ladder.”
The island features pop-out outlets on either side. The countertops can withstand extremely high temperatures, so there is no need for hot pads or trivets, and the disposal is operated with an air switch.
To accommodate lots of pets in high-traffic areas, the design team chose a commercial-rated, water-based wood flooring urethane, which Jones says is a Greenguard Gold certified, virtually VOC-free, fully cures in days and creates a durable, scratch resistant finish.
Water filtration plays a part in the whole home, including the kitchen, to better maintain those wetter areas. This home uses a carbon auto back-washing system, which the designer says removes chemicals, herbicides, pesticides and turbidity.
Getting Connected Throughout the Home
Where it was possible to make this happen, the design team obliged. Every appliance is voice activated via Amazon Alexa, as are the door locks, HVAC system and lighting. There is also a cutting-edge smart system that measures and maintains air quality throughout the home, which will be fully available to consumers in the coming months.
“Sensors monitor air quality and relay their information back to the ‘brain,’ which controls the bathroom fans, the range hood and the energy recovery ventilators that in turn control heat and moisture and pull fresh air into the home in multiple locations,: said Jones. “This works with the variable-speed HVAC system, which means while the system may run more, it does so more efficiently – saving on heating and cooking costs and helping control humidity.”
The LED lighting throughout the kitchen is controllable and dimmable. According to the designer, these lights allow homeowners to save up to 80% on lighting costs, and dimming bulbs by 50% means you’re doubling the life expectancy of each.
Smart speakers in the ceiling round out the clients’ desire for all the connected element sin the kitchen. And although Jones says he and his team work with a specialist on certain projects, he feels incorporating technology into a home isn’t nearly as complicated as it used to be.
“It is becoming easier to integrate these systems, and just about anyone these days can have a smart home cost effectively,” he added.
Smart technology has been known as something to use throughout the whole home, and now the kitchen is taking a more main stage in incorporating this connection. Staying on top of the offerings available to your clients and what their benefits are will help you both make the right choices for their specific needs.
Designer: Jeremy Jones & Mitch Morrow, Jones Design Associates
Architect: Eric Rawlings, Rawlings Design
Builder & Client: Leslie Dean Petosa & Michael Eubanks, Arlene Dean Homes
Photographer: Trevette Brown of Lucent Creations
Air Filtration: Panasonic Cosmos
Appliances: JennAir, Scottsman & Sub-Zero
Backsplash: Interceramic, Mapei & Soho Studio
Cabinets: Woodline Interiors
Cabinet Hardware: Blum & Rev-A-Shelf
Countertops: Dekton Radium by Cosentino, through Construction Resources
Decorative Hardware: Hardware Resources & Top Knobs
Door Hardware: Schlage
Floor Urethane: Bona Traffic HD Satin
Lighting & Controls: Bobo Intriguing Objects. Colonial Lighting 1867, Lithonia, Lutron, Minka Air & Phillips
Speakers: Klipsh & Sonos