KBB - September 2015 - 16

BEFORE AND AFTER
remaining countertop work spaces." She also created more defined
space for small appliances like the coffee maker and toaster oven. The
additional space also makes it easier to work in the kitchen and use it
for various activities.
2. Updated Appliances. The clients chose GE appliances because
of their affinity for the brand and personal connection to the company. Within the GE offering, Levant Bland specified a 48-in. refrigerator/
freezer to give the clients more capacity, as well as a sleek, cubic, stainless hood, which allowed her to create a big, open cooking area with a
minimalistic look.
"The hood is set into the floating wood shelf in a way that makes it feel
sculptural," said Levant Bland, who carried this approach throughout the
rest of the kitchen design.
Taking cues from the modern architecture of the space with its sloping
ceiling and rhythmic skylights, she created modern forms with cabinetry
and appliance arrangements. Colors and textures are kept simplistic, with
the gleam of stainless steel and glass contrasting against the warmth of
the dark walnut wood in a dramatic composition.
3. Select Surfaces. So as not to take away from the simplistic design,
the designer chose back-painted Starphire glass panels for the backsplash, treated with the same aqua/green color as the rest of the walls for
a seamless look.The outdated 8-in. by 8-in. tile flooring was replaced with a
calming 12-in. by 24-in porcelain tile set in a large-format subway pattern.
4. Lighting Layout. "A good lighting plan is always a challenge when
you are dealing with a vaulted ceiling with a pitched line," said Levant
Bland, who was able to incorporate the owners' existing skylights and added recessed can fixtures in the ceiling."It was hard to get precise direction
for those cans with an angled ceiling, but we chose the best locations."
Puck lighting accents the floating cabinet shelves, and pin LED spotlights are set into the shelves to add warmth. Decorative pendants over
the island create a vertical line from the top of the ceiling down to the
island for that sculptural feel and to create visual interest.
5. Choice Cabinets. Levant Bland chose a flat-cut walnut veneer for
the cabinets, which are accented with stainless steel hardware. To create

this, potato-thin slices are cut from an actual walnut tree in the U.S. and
are then applied across a substrate, which she says is a very green process because you can make more cabinet with less wood.
"This is a beautiful material for a dark stain like this," she added. "With
solid walnut, you get blond pieces and darker pieces, but the veneer lets
you use it in a way you could not normally."
6. Ample Seating. The designer replaced the existing table in the adjacent eat-in area with one that complements the lines of the kitchen
island. She designed a matching console piece for this area for buffet
serving and additional storage - explaining that "there is no such thing
as too much storage." A concrete-colored quartz countertop tops the buffet, and a retro, orange light pendant over the table completes the look
of this space.
This original kitchen design's budget was designed to maximize the
visual impact of the clients' investment. Levant Bland was able to make
some smart, savvy decisions - such as using semi-custom cabinets and
moderately priced appliances - that allowed them to spend money
where it mattered most.
"These clients wanted something they had not seen before, and that
becomes an exciting adventure as you are given permission to push your
creative limits," said Levant Bland. "They had the courage to trust in an
original idea before they knew exactly what it would look like. People have
to be brave to forge ahead into unknown territory, and when they do it
really pays off." n
- By Chelsie Butler

sources
Designer: Lauren Levant Bland, Levant Bland Interior; Contractor: M. R.
Thornton & Sons; Photographer: Ettore Mormille
Appliances: GE Monogram; Backsplash: Starphire Glass from
Hutchison Glass; Cabinetry: Greenfield Cabinetry and Jennifer Gilmer
Kitchen & Bath; Countertops: Caesarstone from R. Bratti & Assoc.;
Flooring: Architectural Ceramics; Hood: Altair; Island Strapping: AK
Metal Fabricators; Plumbing Fixtures: Grohe

Best-Laid Island Plans
Levant Bland's goal with the island
was to create a functional unit that
matched the look of the rest of the
kitchen - down to the finish, color,
style and even the stainless steel
accents. Her inspiration came from
a surprising place.
"While on a cabinet factory tour, I
happened to notice the structure of
some old wooden shipping crates," she
said. "They were very rustic and beaten
up, but I liked how the steel bands
reinforced them and formed functional
skid legs and a framing visual effect. I
thought that might be a basis for a very interesting kitchen island
concept."
Levant Bland envisioned a modernized crate form with sleek, dark
wood and bright, gleaming steel. She began collaborating creatively
with a local steel fabricator to develop some concept sketches and

16

K+BB

discussed at length how the cabinetry pieces and steel parts would
work together.
Among the practical challenges were code-required power stations
on both sides of the island to eliminate the danger of cords draping
over a walkway. Hollow walnut panels were created inside the outer
steel bands of the island for a solution that uses every inch of the
island elegantly and efficiently.
Because steel is much less forgiving than wood, the steel fabricator
welded and worked the flat stainless steel bars into the final shape
of the island frame on site. The island achieved its seamless
appearance only through the cooperation of the steel fabricator,
cabinetry installer and designer working together closely as a team.
"We ended up creating something that was not only beautiful to look
at (and unique) but also very functional," said the designer. "The
steel strapping also creates a protective foot rail along the back of
the island to save the wood paneling from the abuse of swinging
feet. Once this distinctive island concept was designed, the rest of the
kitchen design fell together around it."

September 2015 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of KBIS www.kbis.com


http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

KBB - September 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - September 2015

KBB - September/October 2015
Contents
Online Contents
Editor’s Note
Show Director’s Note
People & Places
Better Business
Before & After
Sustainable Design
2015 Design Award Winners
Cover Story
Kitchen of the Year
Bathroom of the Year
Showroom of the Year
Woodsy elements emphasize versatile 2nd Place Kitchen
Functional layout paves way for the 2nd Place Bathroom
Dual islands stand out in the Honorable Mention Kitchen
Timeless marble highlights the Honorable Mention Bathroom
KBIS Countdown to Design & Construction Week®
Trends
Products
Learning Corner
KBB - September 2015 - KBB - September/October 2015
KBB - September 2015 - Cover2
KBB - September 2015 - 1
KBB - September 2015 - Contents
KBB - September 2015 - 3
KBB - September 2015 - Online Contents
KBB - September 2015 - 5
KBB - September 2015 - Editor’s Note
KBB - September 2015 - 7
KBB - September 2015 - Show Director’s Note
KBB - September 2015 - 9
KBB - September 2015 - People & Places
KBB - September 2015 - 11
KBB - September 2015 - Better Business
KBB - September 2015 - 13
KBB - September 2015 - Before & After
KBB - September 2015 - 15
KBB - September 2015 - 16
KBB - September 2015 - 17
KBB - September 2015 - Sustainable Design
KBB - September 2015 - 19
KBB - September 2015 - 20
KBB - September 2015 - Cover Story
KBB - September 2015 - Kitchen of the Year
KBB - September 2015 - 23
KBB - September 2015 - 24
KBB - September 2015 - 25
KBB - September 2015 - Bathroom of the Year
KBB - September 2015 - 27
KBB - September 2015 - 28
KBB - September 2015 - 29
KBB - September 2015 - Showroom of the Year
KBB - September 2015 - 31
KBB - September 2015 - 32
KBB - September 2015 - 33
KBB - September 2015 - Woodsy elements emphasize versatile 2nd Place Kitchen
KBB - September 2015 - 35
KBB - September 2015 - Functional layout paves way for the 2nd Place Bathroom
KBB - September 2015 - 37
KBB - September 2015 - Dual islands stand out in the Honorable Mention Kitchen
KBB - September 2015 - Timeless marble highlights the Honorable Mention Bathroom
KBB - September 2015 - 40
KBB - September 2015 - KBIS Countdown to Design & Construction Week®
KBB - September 2015 - 42
KBB - September 2015 - 43
KBB - September 2015 - 44
KBB - September 2015 - 45
KBB - September 2015 - 46
KBB - September 2015 - 47
KBB - September 2015 - 48
KBB - September 2015 - 49
KBB - September 2015 - Trends
KBB - September 2015 - 51
KBB - September 2015 - 52
KBB - September 2015 - 53
KBB - September 2015 - Products
KBB - September 2015 - 55
KBB - September 2015 - 56
KBB - September 2015 - 57
KBB - September 2015 - 58
KBB - September 2015 - 59
KBB - September 2015 - 60
KBB - September 2015 - 61
KBB - September 2015 - 62
KBB - September 2015 - Learning Corner
KBB - September 2015 - 64
KBB - September 2015 - Cover3
KBB - September 2015 - Cover4
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