A modern kitchen makeover was the first thing my clients asked for when I received their call. Her wishlist buzzwords included calm, quiet, modern but not edgy and maybe some color. I listen very carefully when I speak with a client initially on the phone to see if their vision is at all consistent with what they tell me in our first meeting. Susan’s initial request for modern was clarified with many magazine tearouts to convey her vision of a calming, monochromatic, neutral space. She wanted a space that felt good to be in.
As recent empty nesters this kitchen makeover was all about them and their needs.
In my experience, as clients age in place, their focus and priorities for their new kitchen renovation is often quite different than that of a young couple starting family life in the burbs.
The emphasis is not all about the daily routine of cooking, the children’s school schedules and activities that make family focused kitchens need a design that can handle flow like grand central station with a laundry list of modern cooking technology, every storage accessory known to man not to mention charging stations and menu drawers to accommodate the entire neighborhood.
Susan and her husband now travel frequently and their home is more of a intentional haven than ever. While the daily routines of the kitchen may change, people still spend a tremendous amount of time in their kitchen even if the focus has shifted from cooking. Interestingly enough my new client did enjoy cooking and was always experimenting with a recipe from the latest issue of Bon Apetite ( or the stacks- more on that later) or a recipe torn from the New York Times Food section. With all our technology, I wonder… does anyone tear out recipes anymore?
Let me preface my following comment by acknowledging that after designing hundreds of kitchens, I’m still humbled to be hired and trusted by every client to redesign a very significant part of their home, however first meetings with clients are always so revealing. It’s a very personal and more intimate relationship than one might expect. Like a therapist, clients feel the need to unburden themselves with their inner most “kitchen idioscyncratic behaviors” You find out a lot about a person if you listen carefully.
Little did I know that we’d be negotiating the removal of years of photos chronicling every childhood milestone and piece of handcrafted artwork created by their children; memorobelia taped up revealing the frailty of time.
But these precious moments weren’t just anything. This was proof positive of cradle to college memories to date; a visual colage of family, friends,, joy and love, a timeline of a beautiful family. With grown children moved out and settled in their own homes close enough to chronicle the next chapter of life, Susan was ready to pack away the pics and jump into the design and a very grown up kitchen to make new family memories in.
This is one of those kitchen design renovations you just can’t aapreciate without some context of the “BD” ( before demolition