Vintage Catalog Kitchen Concepts c.1995

I recently passed through a big milestone, having now been in the kitchen and bath arena for more than 20 years.  I went through some old folders and found a large cache of old renderings and interiors projects I forgot I had ever done.  I want to share some of my first catalog photo-shoot concepts with you, from my early days as corporate designer for SieMatic North America.

At the time, SieMatic was looking for projects which specifically addressed American style.  I did a number of concepts and two were selected for photo shoots.  I was still very green in the business and had never worked with pro photographers before.  We selected somebody with experience in NYC, and set about ordering all the material.  Here are the two original concepts, the first being a Tuscan-type idea I called Old World.

Kitchen Rendering

I’m not sure what I was thinking with that palm tree… Newport Beach maybe?  The next concept was Craftsman, which had a decidedly FLLW feel.

Kitchen Rendering

I have always loved breakfast nooks.  Even today I am always trying to explore built-in kitchen seating like this.

After looking at the practicality of building the stage sets, I modified the layouts of the displays.  The Old World display really needed a cooking area, so I turned that arch into a giant old fireplace-type nook.  These next sketches were quicker and were handed directly to the photographer’s team.

Kitchen Concept Rendering

Craftsman lost the nook and gained an adjoining family room.  SieMatic wanted to show the ability to do cabinets outside of the kitchen.

Kitchen Concept Rendering

Dig that face on the TV!  Not sure what type of movie I had in mind for that night’s screening.  What is interesting about these renderings is how I still draw like this, many years later.  I either do pencil setups and carefully render everything (like the first pair) or I lay down some quick ball point pen and marker it up fast.  I still prefer the latter.

And now, the final images.  These were used for a special brochure, of which I designed the actual piece as well.  I had no experience with this type of work and I just winged it.  On the set in NY, there was an entire crew to execute these ideas.  There was a union set designer, and he did pretty nice renderings.  I tried talking to him about his work and the types of opportunities in the business but he shared almost nothing with me.  In fact, everybody was completely secretive about the process and their methodologies.  I found the whole process bizarre, since I represented the client.  I received a print of each image at the end of the project which I think came out too saturated and dark, but this is essentially all I have today.

SieMatic Old World kitchen concept

And the Craftsman:

SieMatic Craftsman kitchen from 1995

I cannot recall the photographer’s name so unfortunately credit is “unknown”.  We did go on to do another set a few years later, called Hudson Valley Collection.  I had very little control over that next project and if I recall, the management was not thrilled about the final product.  We had an art director and things had scaled up much more the second time around.  I learned quite a bit on these projects and went on to head up this work for my projects at Kohler in the early 2000s.  I’ll have to post about those projects as well, if I can find the renderings.

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