I squeezed in some time this past week fleshing out one of my noodles and doodles from my previous post. I settled on Style 1, with the dark Moroccan zellige backsplash.
I’ve always felt that the range/oven elevation is the focal point of the room, with the rest of the room being built off it. The next two sketches vary slightly from the quick idea sketches. Neither one of them feels quite right… I’ll explain…
In this first sketch, I carried the pantries on either side of the range to the ceiling, rather than aligning them with the top of the cabinetry on the pantry wall and the refrigerator/sink wall, thinking that I needed tall vertical forms to frame and contain the tile and anchor the room.
My concern in this idea is that the pantries don’t relate to the strong horizontal line created by the head of the door openings and upper cabinets on the side walls and that horizontal line is the visual string holding the room together… A quick overlay of trace and pencil produced the following…
Pulling the pantries down, didn’t reconcile my uneasiness with the design. In fact, the elevation felt weaker visually.
Then it dawned on me, the high pantry was the solution, but they needed more strength. Pulling the pantries forward to so that they “support” the wood beam that crosses the kitchen provides the right balance of strength and lift to the elevation. The very first elevation had simply been too static!
The rest was easy. The following are two versions of the same scheme – traditional and modern. I’m actually torn as to which version I like more…
TRADITIONAL BELGIAN STYLE KITCHEN
Range Elevation – The lattice on the pantry doors is woven oak lattice. At the conclusion of the post, I will be posting a few pictures, including images of the woven lattice. Range exhaust is concealed behind the wood beam and fascia. I can’t seem to get away from the Cornue range/oven. Wood is white oak. Walls are plaster.
Elevation to Left of Range – Pantry and Storage : A pair of 2′-0″ doors to the dinning room. Hard to see, but there are little pull out shelves sitting between the counter top and the cabinets in the base cabinets. In my mind, I couldn’t decide on whether the doors on the upper cabs should be sliders or standard out-swing doors. Finally decided, out-swing doors with simple clean pulls and hinges.
Elevation to Right of Range – Refrigerator, Sink, Dishwasher, etc… I tried closed upper cabins over the sink and they felt clausrophobic. Sink is the same material as the counter, custom made. The scale of the paneling changes on the fridge to match the scale of the lower panels in the french doors on the other side of the room. One large split panel covers the freezer drawers. The upper panels extend beyond the top of the fridge to align with the jamb to the right. Again, splitting the panel at the top of the fridge. the upper cab opens with touch latches, avoiding any exposed door pulls.
MODERN BELGIAN STYLE KITCHEN
Range Elevation – I kept the Cornue range/oven. Love the contrast with the clean uncluttered lines of the cabinets. It becomes a piece of sculpture. Lattice and modern didn’t go together, so the pantry/storage area becomes open shelves with closed cabinets below the line of the counter top. I’m still torn about a pot filler… Lighting is now surface mounted mono-point halogen fixtures throughout. I’d zone the switching and put it all on dimmers. I had recessed down lights in my mind for the traditional scheme, but as I think about it, maybe not… The hi-tech blend of strategically placed mono-points is feeling pretty good in the traditional scheme.
Elevation to Left of Range – Pantry and Storage – The doors are now modern with large panes of glass. I pictured the upper cabinets having frameless glass doors, frosted and with a slight tint of warm gray. Juxtapose a small rustic table on the other side of the door… Note the horizontal direction of the grain of the oak veneer on the base cabinet doors sweeping around the entire kitchen.
Elevation to Right of Range – Refrigerator, Sink, Dishwasher, etc. Same treatment here, with the frameless frosted/tinted glass doors above the sink. Added a modern Stainless steel rod for hanging cooking utensils. Changed the direction of the wood grain on the upper fridge doors.
And so the concept comes to a close. Almost…
I thought I’d add a few inspirational pictures of details and materials.
Remember the lattice pantry doors? My blogging friend and very talented interior designer, Greet Lefevre, knows about this detail, too…
I want to shout out a big Thank You! to Greet for so graciously letting me use her photographs in this post.
Interior Designer: Greet Lefevre, Photographer: Claude Smekens
The original shutters on the 1804 Federal Period home Sally and I worked on were woven lattice. I’ve never seen them elsewhere.
HABS photo of lattice shutter on 1804 Federal Period Home, Manchester, MA
Other inspirational images courtesy of Greet Lefevre and Claude Smekens…
Frameless door on the right.
Paint tones, millwork and door details and finish.
Source, Belgian Pearls; Photographer, Claude Smekens – Mix and match furniture and base cabinet details. Funky chandelier…
Source, Belgian Pearls; Photographer, Claude Smekens – Mix and match furniture, millwork detailing and more lattice doors!!!
Source, Belgian Pearls; Photographer, Claude Smekens – door and millwork details. Lovely floor pattern, too!
To visit Greet’s blog, see here. To visit Lefevre Interiors, see here. To visit Claude Smekens website, see here.
Aren’t Claude’s photographs spectacular?
Hope you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as I have enjoyed creating the design.
If you like help designing your dream Belgian Style Kitchen, please contact John or Sally here.