This new build in Orange County “was a wonderful collaboration between the architect, the client, [and us]. The best kind of project,” says Randy O’Kane, CKD and senior designer at Bilotta Kitchens. “In our industry, collaboration is key. [We] all bring something different to the ‘kitchen table.’ The architect is focusing more on the big picture, the homeowner has to be able to articulate what they want, and I have to focus on the intricate details.”
This 270 sq ft (306 sq ft with pantry) design started with a color. “[The decorators] wanted some red integrated with the rift cut oak, which was a huge leap of faith,” says O’Kane. “The client preferred drawers over doors. She has a drawer for cooking utensils, a spice drawer, trash pull out, cutting board pull out, and a drawer for pots and pans under the cook top. Everything is hidden away and organized. We made use of every inch.”
The devil is in the details, and that is not any less true when it comes to a good kitchen design. O’Kane’s favorite element on this project is “the final details on the cabinetry. If you look closely, you will see chamfering on the legs, beautiful brackets, and special chamfered moldings.”
Architect Jeff DeGraw’s favorite element is “the seamless integration of the kitchen into the rest of the house’s architecture.”
The hood was custom designed by Rangecraft; and if you look closely, you will also see that the refrigerator and ovens are built into Sheetrock openings, giving the space a custom look and feel.
“Too often, kitchens are designed for looks and not function,” adds DeGraw. “We design restaurants and commercial kitchens as well, so we always look to design kitchens a chef would want to actually cook in.
“Don’t forget that no matter what the size of your home, everyone will end up in the kitchen, and don’t always assume that a kitchen has to be open to the whole living area,” says DeGraw. “Sometimes it’s nice to have a little separation and coziness.”
What to Do: “When I first meet with a client I discuss lifestyle patterns and get to know how they live and what is important to them to achieve their dream space,” says O’Kane. “Ask yourself if you need a homework station, if you need two sinks, if you would prefer an island, a banquette, or a dining table, and if you want things on the countertops or hidden away in a designated space. I also encourage them to pull ideas from magazines or Houzz and Pinterest to show me what style they like, especially if they aren’t able to articulate it verbally.”
What Not to Do: “Put off the project for the ‘right’ time,” says O’Kane. “Usually the right time is when [the] appliances start dying! Doing a new kitchen is like having a baby — it’s a big expense, very disruptive to daily life, requires a lot of planning and preparation, but in the end it is 100 percent worth it.”