Modern Kitchen Design with a Twist

This Arlington Heights couple wanted to design a contemporary kitchen that was better suited to their tastes and needs. Overall, they loved the look of the European designs they saw online, however, they didn’t want anything too cold. To help them achieve their modern, yet warm design, they sought out the services of Normandy Designer Laura Barber.

In order to provide a balanced aesthetic, the design incorporates sleek finishes with textural wood.

“Although the majority of surfaces are sleek and polished with modern lines, the rift-cut oak cabinetry ensures that the space doesn’t feel too severe or uninviting,” noted Laura. “The added warmth really balances nicely with the stark grey cabinetry.”

The couple did not want any visible cabinetry hardware. Therefore, the cabinets have a touch latch system, which means that you simply press the cabinet door to pop it open. This kept the kitchen looking sleek.

To further keep in line with the overall style, the countertops are a pure white Silestone. This, plus a waterfall edge, gives a bold contrast from the dark grey and warm oak tones. The backsplash is one piece of stone that is also the same color as the countertops, keeping in line with the simplicity of the space.

In addition to its style, storage and layout were also key aspects to pulling this kitchen together. The space includes a lot of specialty storage, with each cabinet set with inserts for items like spices, knives, and utensils. There are also decorative storage areas within the kitchen, which are more aesthetic than practical. For example, the box over the buffet serves as a decorative space.

When it comes to the layout, the space was well-thought-out to accommodate both the guests and the chef, with one side built for entertaining and the other for cooking. The entertaining side offers a beverage and wine refrigerator and buffet that helps keep guests and family comfortably in the kitchen, but out of the work triangle. The side meant for food preparation includes the refrigerator, sink, double ovens, and an induction cooktop, chosen for its efficiency and smooth, sleek surface. A downdraft ventilation system was also paired with this cooktop to keep the kitchen feeling modern and open.

“Typically, most traditional kitchens have a hood above the range or cooktop,” said Laura. “However, in this case, a hood would have closed up the space. Therefore, we incorporated downdraft ventilation.”

Double ovens and upper cabinet with remote controlled door “This ventilation feature is concealed until needed,” added Laura. “Once you are ready to cook, it pops up and vents through the basement and out of the house. Then, once you are finished, it slides back down, giving your sleek and open cooking space.”

This wouldn’t be a modern kitchen without new technology. In this case, the upper section of cabinetry, located above the oven, has a remote-controlled bi-fold door lift system. Simply press a button and the cabinet silently opens and folds away, revealing the television housed behind hind it. Not to be outdone, there is also a remote-controlled lighting system for the LED can lights.

Whether your style preference is modern, traditional, or transitional, set up an appointment with Laura if you are ready to get started on creating your beautiful and functional new kitchen design. Or, if this kitchen remodels story has you wanting to learn more about the renovation process, register to attend our upcoming kitchen seminar to learn more. You can also visit our photo gallery or follow Normandy Remodeling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more design ideas and inspiration.


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