My current project that just completed is from one of my very first clients since I started my sole proprietorship. I’ve practically designed every room on the first floor and basement in their house. Well, not all, but almost. We’ve been talking about the kitchen remodel for about 5 years, I think. The time finally came and I think I was more excited than they were.
So, we were off to start the process of design. After all, the kitchen is the most important room , if not the most expensive investment one can spend in a home renovation. And, after all, the ROI (Return Of Investment) for a kitchen, according real estate.com, kitchen remodel is number 5 with numbers 1-4 being
1. Indoor systems
2. Outdoor Replacement Projects
4. Adding a Bathroom
Now that we’ve established that it is worth the investment, let’s get this project rolling!
This was her kitchen before the renovation. Yes. Beautiful. Right? But you have to admit that this kitchen is dated…very dated.Now, let’s talk about my client’s new project and the process of it’s design.
First, gather all information from the clients. Listen to their wants and needs. For my client, she really likes to entertain and when she entertains, she entertains a large extended family…and often! And lucky for her, they all help in the kitchen. She needs a kitchen that functions with more than one cook and many helpers. She also needs a kitchen that is very much connected to dining and family entertaining but yet keep each room seperate. Also, she needs a kitchen that is ready for her active family. Three kids with active lives and always on the go.
Second part of the design is to look at the adjacencies, which is part of my schematic phase…very important to her. But usually in kitchen design, this is not too difficult to do. It’s just a matter of how to delineate the space by incorporating key details. Like for example, the adjacent family room has both a traditional feel with a contemporary flair.
Then we start looking at preliminaries according to our schematic discussions. At this point, we are looking at actual dimensions. The funny thing is that we started to discuss the kitchen sink during this phase. Why not? It was important to her and I wanted to make sure that it would fit in all of the schemes that I presented. Typically, this phase comes in during the design development, right after preliminaries.
Why the sink, you ask? It is critical to see if she would require a sink that is large and of course, this would mean that the cabinet size would have to be determined sooner rather than later.
So, about the user/Client…
Active working mom with active kids.
Now you have a better sense of the lifestyle my client have. And certainly, time is something that is much of a luxury for her. She’s in and out all day long to tend to her patients and definitely time for her active kids. She volunteers to cook and bake and other activities that requires her to clean up after with very little time. She entertains her children’s team members at home. So, are you getting the picture?
Solution for her active life is that she relies on many friends and family to help with tasks. After all, ‘it takes a village’. Right? So, when that time comes when she does get the help, a highly functional kitchen is required. That means that for every cabinetry, appliances, fixtures, lighting, etc., specifications are important. For example, for the sink, will it suffice to have a 24″ wide sink for this space? I think not! We needed to find a sink that is large enough that will allow people to help and not feel cramped. A versatile sink that can function as other things. Let me just show you what I mean by that…
Well, first, the packaging. I don’t ever take that lightly. It is packaged so well that when it comes to you, you know that it will come in perfect condition.
Let’s just mention that my Client is traditional. This sink is so versatile that when you introduce a very traditional faucet like the Franke Faucet FF2480R, it was then transformed into a more traditional one. I’ve digressed again. Enough about the faucet. Let’s really talk about the sink.
The picture above is Franke’s Planar 8 PEX 110-31 Stainless Steel sink. This particular Series is made of smooth, Grade 304 (18 percent chromium, 10 percent nickel), 18-gauge stainless steel, with sound-dampening pads. If you can only touch and feel Franke’s silky luster finish…talk about luxury!
This undermount sink is 17″ from front to back. This dimension allows the countertop to really show without compromising the functionality of the sink. Also, they’ve placed the drain towards the back of the sink so that the piping underneath can doesn’t take up too much space inside the cabinetry, thus allowing for more room in the front for many storage capabilities.
Another plus is the cleanability of this particular design. According to Brad Kiel, Vice President of Franke Kitchen Systems Luxury segment. “Unlike the zero-degree radius corners of other hand-fabricated kitchen sinks, the new Planar 8 is handcrafted with a tight, 8mm radius,” he says. “That minimally curved corner makes this new product much easier to maintain.” To the average consumer, this means that you can take your average cleaning sponge and actually clean into the corners and catch every bit of it!
For more productivity in the kitchen, you can actually enhance your experience by adding many types of accessories like what my client ordered.
Above photo shows the grid PE-31S and colander PE-70S. The grid is great for drying those quick few items that need to be washed on the run. The depth of the sink allows you to hide items like coffee cups, bread plates, glasses, etc., if you didn’t have time to put away once dried. Hey, you can even hide it under the cutting board that is also available as an accessory to this sink (see below).
I seem to specify PE-40S cutting board often. I typically specify this board in a small kitchen because it allows the user to have an ‘extension’, if you will, of her countertop, but for this particular client, it just great for those extra helpers to have it handy.
There you have it. The kitchen sink. All in a nutshell. OH…BUT THERE’S MORE!
This undermount sink is designed and hand-fabricated in Italy!!
p.s. I will post the rest of the kitchen soon. Stay tuned!