Monday, April 7, 2008

Style Guide: Country Kitchens

Bold color and custom detailing define a kitchen inspired by painter Claude Monet's home in France.

In 1883, when Impressionist painter Claude Monet moved his large family to Maison du Pressoir ("House of the Cider Press"), a rambling farmhouse in Giverny, the kitchen and the room that was to be his studio were the first areas subjected to major renovation.

Well known for his bold use of color, the artist painted each room in his farmhouse a different hue, creating a vibrant escalation of color as one progressed through the dwelling.

Inspired by this house in the Gallic countryside, our newly designed kitchen includes an adjoining dining room, pantry, and laundry room. It features rich shades of blue on the cabinetry and walls as well as on window frames and mullions. Graphic tiles in five patterns add visual interest to the room.

Cabinetry, kitchen island, and woodworking throughout: Heritage Custom Kitchens. French doors and windows throughout: Andersen. Kitchen fixtures and faucets throughout: Kohler. Major appliances throughout: Jenn-Air. Color Passions Flooring throughout: Armstrong. Gibraltar solid surfacing: Wilsonart. Ceramic tiles throughout: Ann Sacks. Painting throughout: Gliddens. Beaded board and wood trim throughout: Georgia-Pacific. All task lighting: Hera. Mixer: KitchenAid. Scale and weights, egg timer, book stand, egg rack: Chantry. Knives: J. A. Henckels Zwillingswerk. Bottled vegetables: Morgan & Co.

French Customs

Well suited for entertaining, the spacious kitchen features a stainless steel commercial style cooktop, a double sink, a freestanding island constructed of cherry, and a wealth of copper molds and cookware. The easy-to-maintain inlaid vinyl flooring was custom designed to mimic the pattern of the large octagonal tiles Monet used to pave the floor of his kitchen. Following French custom, the cooktop hood is decorated with tiles.

Stainless steel cooktop: Jenn-Air. Copper pots and cookware: Old Dutch. Basketry throughout: Vintage Baskets. Wooden salt and pepper mills: Chantry. Japanese print: Ronin Gallery.

Decorative Utility

Decorative yet practical, this brass gooseneck faucet services a small utility sink built into the kitchen's center island. The round sink is under-mounted -- set below -- the countertop, giving it a more finished look. Although the countertop appears to be granite, it is actually a solid-surfacing material that offers the look of stone, but the benefits of easy cleanup and lasting beauty.

Sunburst plates: Holdenby Designs.

Architectural Style

Fitted with crystal knobs and painted in intense, saturated hues of blue, a freestanding cabinet unit serves as a partition of sorts between the kitchen and the bright yellow dining room beyond. An arched cutout above the cabinets adds an interesting architectural detail, contrasting the angular pitch of the ceiling with the linear elements of the cabinets and suspended lighting.

Brass lighting fixture: Original Cast Lighting. Recessed beam light: Juno.

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