The ability to step back and look at the big picture is a luxury, particularly for anybody running his or her own company.
The massive center island that dominates the kitchen in this upscale model home north of Tampa is reminiscent of the traditional family table found in classic European kitchens of the past. The challenge was to give the space a charming, eclectic appeal without making it appear cluttered or distracting to the eye.
The massive center island that dominates the kitchen in this upscale model home north of Tampa is reminiscent of the traditional family table found in classic European kitchens of the past, says builder Jay Fechtel.
The inspiration for this elegantly appointed space's design came from his time spent living in Italy. "I actually took the concept of the working table from the kitchen of the home that I had stayed in," the Tampa-based builder says.
Nancy Braamse, a certified kitchen and bath designer, worked closely with The Fechtel Company to mirror the house's "influenced by time" theme. The materials and finishes used throughout the kitchen are intentionally mismatched, she says. "The home is actually fully of unique but complementary accents."
With its dual sinks, built-in dishwasher, warming drawer and counter seating area, the kitchen island serves as the hub of activity in this custom-inspired space.
Those include old world-influenced design elements that range from Gothic to Moorish to Tuscan details, including textured wall finishes, distinctive doorway openings and chiseled-edge, wide-plank flooring.
The challenge was to give the space a charming, eclectic appeal without making it appear cluttered or distracting to the eye. To accomplish this, Braamse suggests builders:
- Select finishes for the cabinetry in the same color tone or family
- Vary the door styles slightly for different elements of the cabinets so that they appear to be individual pieces of furniture
- Finish floors in a slightly darker or lighter color than the cabinets
- Use the color of the backsplash and countertops to tie the elements together
"The trend today is for the kitchen to have a large, multi-function island," says interior designer Natalie Sorrentino, who worked with Fechtel to create a cohesive design theme for this project. "Kitchen islands not only provide necessary work and storage space,," she says, "but they also promote conversation between a cook and his or her guests. This is where it all happens because this is the spot where people just naturally congregate."
A walk-in pantry to the right of the island is designed to resember an antique armoure and has gothic trim detailing on its cabinet doors.
Although the kitchen is elegantly appointed enough to function as an extension of the home's entertaining space, it is not designed to be the focal point of the main floor, Fechtel says. "In fact, this home's floor plan is arranged so that the kitchen is not immediately visible as you enter the adjoining family room."
Fechtel used an archway to define the transition between the kitchen and family room without restricting the visual connection and traffic flow between the two spaces.
At its opposite end, the kitchen features a convenient connection to a rear hallway, which includes separate laundry, powder and mudrooms; a wine room; access to a four-car garage; and a second staircase to the home's second floor.
The home was sold after its completion in August 2005.
|Contributing editor Ann Matesi is a graduate of Marquette University's College of Journalism and has more than 20 years of production and writing experience for the residential construction publishing industry.|