Jessica Lagrange Interiors LLC

Kitchen Confidential: Timeless Design To Get It All

Paleo, Vegan, Mediterranean, Raw … in any family, differing diets can turn a meal into an intense negotiation. But one thing all of our clients agree on is the importance of their kitchens; whether they’re gourmet chefs, casual cooks or always ordering in, they want the space to be extremely functional—yet utterly fabulous.

Traditional kitchen in Los Angeles designed by Madeline Stuart & Associates. Source: Architectural Digest

Why does everyone covet the kitchen? For starters, it’s the space where we spend the biggest chunk of our waking hours when we’re at home. Americans devote more than an hour to eating and drinking and more than 30 minutes to food preparation and cleanup in their kitchens daily, reports the 2013 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey. Factor in the hours we hang out there for other reasons, since most kitchens do double-duty today for other activities, and it’s easy to see why that old adage—‘the kitchen is the heart of the home’—has such staying power.

Source: Houzz

In fact, research shows that kitchens have ‘staying power’ literally as well as figuratively. A recent survey from online design site Houzz found that most kitchens last two to four times longer than the typical U.S. marriage (eight years) and duration of car ownership (nearly six years).  Do the math and that’s anywhere from 12 to 32 years.

Our experience at JLI reflects this national kitchen trend: clients want it all. And they want it to be stylish and beautiful, another finding of the Houzz survey. Snazzy state-of-the-art appliances—check. Dazzling custom cabinets—check. Sumptuous stone countertops—check. High-efficiency work zones—check. And it all has to be seamlessly integrated to reflect timeless kitchen design rather than something that is trendy so it can endure for years.

Yet blending serious utility and high-wattage aesthetics with timeless kitchen design is no small feat, especially given the challenges a home’s architectural elements and dimensions often present. With all these issues in mind, our quarterly Kitchen Confidential blog will show how JLI integrates timeless kitchen design with utility and aesthetics. Take a look at two full renovations from our portfolio—both with a Beaux Arts flavor yet very different in scope.

Gold Coast Jewel Box  

Project: Astor Street Residence

The Space: Kitchens were strictly small service areas when this historic Beaux Arts residence was built in the early 20th century. Fancy state-of-the-art appliances and breakfast nooks were unheard of, so 130 sq. ft. was big enough to get the job done. Collaborating with kitchen and bath design firm O’Brien Harris, JLI maximized every square inch of this small space, fitting in all the necessary trappings to deliver the function and style the client desired.

Project: Astor Street Residence

What We Did: With room for only one oven, we made it extra-large and topped it with a six-burner cooktop. It required an outsized custom hood, which the team made a decorative focus to emphasize the room’s high ceilings. The appliance’s rustic demeanor serves as a visual counterpoint to the refined, classically detailed cabinets and smart checkered tile floor. A luminous frosted glass fixture, gleaming zinc horsehead and silver serving pieces pull eyes high in the space—design devices to diminish focus on the room’s trim footprint. A multipurpose island on casters (not shown) is sized to be tucked away in a niche also serves as an eating area for three.  

Walk through the Astor Street Residence project here.

Lake Shore Drive Penthouse

Project: Lake Shore Drive Penthouse

The Space: A Beaux Arts apartment in Paris is the role model for this spacious condominium in a contemporary building—minus the period constraints. The 500-sq.-ft. space—complete with windows in all the right places—is large enough for the clients to have it all, which they attained through our team’s partnership with De Giulio Kitchen Design.

Project: Lake Shore Drive Penthouse

What We Did: A host of decorative devices—from LaCornue appliances, De Giulio-designed wrought iron open shelves, burnished German Silver Sink countertops and a monumental island topped with an equally epic pot rack—were designed to evoke Old World charm but reflect New World state-of-the-art function and utility. The island also anchors the high-efficiency work and prep areas in the room. Rich limestone countertops and floors complement the luxurious elements, while oversized subway tile floors add a cheeky industrial edge to the opulent space.

Take a look at the entire Lake Shore Drive Penthouse project.

24 Mar 2015

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