It’s been 5 years since we completed the original installation for SieMatic Charleston. That showroom won us the Kitchen & Bath Business magazine Showroom of the Year award for 2009 (Link to KB&B Article). However five years is a long time in the luxury furniture industry, and innovators should be prepared to change out a display every 1-2 years to maintain authority over trends in materials and design. SieMatic NYC and Charleston are good illustrations of this thinking.
The Charleston design team was fortunate to have sold off some old displays just as new product was coming out of Germany, so we were able to do the latest here. This first display, in the front window, is very modern in layout with a long rectangular island in Agate grey lacquer and natural walnut.
The geometry is as simple as possible, with as little clutter we could devise. The hood is a ceiling mounted unit and cooktop a flush-mounted induction, to keep the furniture sleek and less “kitcheny”. The long countertops are in a ceramic material which replicates basalt, but to a length of over 300cm. There is really no reason to consider natural stone in place of this incredibly strong, impervious and eco-friendly material. From arm’s distance you cannot tell this is a manufactured material. This countertop is a SieMatic exclusive, and comes in several colors and finishes.
Note how the pullout cabinets have no hardware, and the faces go to the floor. The cabinets open with electronic “touch latches”, a hugely popular trend with European kitchen design today.
This display replaced another long island layout, but retained the fireplace area towards the front window. We softened the look by removing the TV and taking the bookmatched/sequenced walnut panels up to 9 feet. The glossy panels on the backsplash are SieMatic Graphite lacquer.
The original Beaux Arts display remains in the sister window slot. With this look very appropriate to the South and with the recessed white panel design being timeless as ever, there is no need to change this display any time soon.
We installed a new “Sophia Loren” Beaux Arts Lotus White Gloss kitchen 2 years ago, and it remains as is. It is interesting to see how the Beaux Arts feel has changed over the past few years, with just these two displays in one location showing the depth of range one “doorstyle” can go. It is very much about overall feel and appointments, and not the design of the cabinet door.
We also changed a smaller display in the back, which represents an “apartment kitchen”. Although we are starting to move away from doing smaller displays like this, it is good to show SieMatic can meet smaller budgets and still deliver world-class function and style. This display is in laminate and the price of such a design is more accessible than many would surmise. Such is a benefit of modular German cabinetry, having all the interior quality and function but choose laminate for the finish and be practical and budget-minded at once.
The shelving system is called Floating Spaces, and is completely adjustable in height. Although we carefully composed the standard widths and shelf placement, it is designed to be flexible. The seating is a small banquette, as large as space would allow. This is composed simply of laminate panel material. I love banquettes and in fact, if I had one at home I would be sitting in it typing this right now.
The last display also contains some Floating Spaces, integrated into a series called S2. This is SieMatic’s “channel” series, of handle-less cabinets. SieMatic invented the handle-free design of kitchen cabinets in 1960, and this look is exceptionally popular today.
The finishes are Titan oak (a limed quartersawn veneer) and Sterling grey “similacque” laminate. This gloss laminate is so flat and distortion-free, it looks just like lacquer. I understand it is coated with a clear gloss so in fact it is really a paint finish on top of laminate, and the clarity is just simply remarkable. Combined with the “Zero” edge of the door, there really isn’t anything else that compares.
We are very happy with this display but I should remark how I miss the design we replaced, if only because of the Photoshop work I had to do documenting it. The old display in Terra Brown gloss lacquer, from my main website at mickdesign.com :
At the time of installation, I had only a 35mm wide lens and this display was very wide, requiring me to do a panoramic stitch-type edit. This was before easy stitch-type apps were available, where you just follow directions on the screen … so I had to take several manual pans and edit them later. It was grueling. So, in support of manual craftsmanship, this old display photo shall take one last victory lap around the internet in honor of midnight photo edit-efforts around the world.
As always, working with SieMatic is a great honor and I’m looking forward to the next round of showrooms this year and beyond. Have a look at my Facebook page for more news and links to exciting design projects.