2020 Kitchen & Bath Design Contest: 3rd Place Kitchen, Custom Dwellings

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Stephanie & Russell Ives, Custom Dwellings

Stephanie Ives
Stephanie Ives, Photography by Krys Alex Photography

Vice President and Principal Designer for Custom Dwellings Stephanie Ives had her work cut out for her when she needed to come up with a kitchen remodel that could incorporate 15 appliances into 480 sq. ft. of space. The space, which includes a wine dispenser and sparkling water faucet by Grohe Blue, is designed to inspire the homeowner in her cooking. “The key to this updated traditional style kitchen renovation was designing a series of glamorous bright white spaces which would support entertaining throughout the day and into the evening,” Stephanie explains.
www.customdwellings.com

Kitchen Details:

  • Counter & Backsplash: MSI Calcatta Laza Quartz
  • Refrigeration: SubZero
  • Rangetop: Viking Range

Tips to Make It Yours:

  • Create work zones for specific uses
  • Use the same material for the countertops and backsplash to create simple elegance
  • Think ‘inside the box’ and maximize each cabinet for storage and function

Uncut Q&A’s

1) What is your official title and do you have any special design qualifications?

Vice President, Principal Designer, AKBD, Georgia Tech B.S. ARCH 1999

2) How long have you been designing kitchens and baths?

1999-present 

View two of the Custom Dwellings kitchen
Photography by Cira Photography

3) What was the most challenging part of this design?

Creating a design to incorporate 15 separate appliances in the space without it looking like an appliance showroom! The core appliances were predominantly used or retired models purchased when Cook’s Warehouse closed a local showroom. The 60” range, in particular, posed special challenges when we had to retrofit the rear oven ventilation to convert the unit from a high stainless steel backguard to a low profile installation. The appliances were in storage and the range’s dimensions did not match with the specs available for the model number that planning was based on, we had to find an additional 3” in depth at install to make the range work in the space as planned. An unanticipated structural header was retro-fitted in the wall above the range to free up valuable inches and a custom venting channel for the oven was fabricated.

4) What were the client’s needs for this bath and in the end their favorite feature(s) of this design?

Our client wanted a kitchen that she would feel inspired to cook in and instant carbonated/sparkling water from the “Grohe Blue” faucet. The wine dispenser and coffee machine are guest favorites.

5) What is your general design philosophy when it comes to kitchens/bathrooms?

As a designer I don’t have a signature style or formula that I adhere to, rather each of my projects exhibits well thought out design, quality execution ultimately resulting in built projects that are reflections of my clients unique lifestyles. 

6) Did you have a special look, feeling, or feature in mind when crafting this space or what was your inspiration?

The key to this updated traditional styled kitchen renovation was designing a series of glamorous bright white spaces that would support entertaining throughout the day and into the evening.  

9) Can you give homeowner’s three tips to help create a similar design?

Creating separate work zones for specific uses- a beverage center with coffee station, fridge/freezer drawers and an instant hot water dispenser eases the morning routine in a small space. Using the same material for the counters and backsplash to create simple elegance. Thinking “inside the box” to ensure every cabinet is maximized for storage and function.

10) What is a common mistake homeowners make when redesigning their kitchen/bath?

Doing a partial renovation- most often by reusing or painting existing cabinetry with poor functionality to save money short term and then 3-5 years later tearing everything out to start from scratch because the facelift didn’t solve the underlying problems of their kitchen. 

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