Recent Kitchen Projects

Since January of 2018 I’ve been working with Poggenpohl, Germany’s oldest kitchen brand, since 1892.  I’ve done a variety of projects in the ensuing months, presented in both hand drawings and NPR/Sketchup renderings.  Here are some samples:

This first project is a lovely stone house c1913 on a quiet lane in the leafy northwest section of Philadelphia.  Always difficult fitting a modern kitchen into a small cottage with low ceilings and without ability to move any walls or alter much of anything architecturally.

Kathleen Hogan Light Oak 3_19

This next project is a beach condominium renovation, a complete gut/reconstruct which is centered around the kitchen and living ensemble.  Although the project has evolved considerably this original concept gives and idea of the space:

Morrison Main Update 8_7

This project is another beach residence, this time a new construction open plan retreat with sweeping views of the back bay.  The original, very quick concept sketch:

Leslie Kitchen Sketch

And after many changes, the final rendering.  The finishes are Sand Grey including a matching matte glass 11′ countertop, light and dark ash and the short-lived Silestone Silver Lake quartz for the mono-block island.  Short lived?  Silestone discontinued this finish almost as soon as they introduced it.  We loved the finish and searched hard to find the slabs as it was too heartbreaking to look for something else to reach the same effect.

Leslie 1_12 Revised

This next project is a sprawling 1980’s modern house in a pastoral Pennsylvania valley town.  1980’s houses are fascinating, with red oak floors throughout and original kitchens that still look good but have hopelessly outdated appliances and semi-concealed (and non-functioning) old Sub Zero refrigerators.  In this case, the original owners put in an Almillmo kitchen, and the new buyers wanted to keep in the spirit of the home.

We tied into the original Jenn Air downdraft location since a vent hood was not possible with the epic 20′ skylight down the middle of the room.  Looking out onto a koi pond, the space has a wonderful and well-lit feel.  We could not adjust the windows due to the stone exterior construction.

Jane New MODO 9_18

The best part of this project is how the owners came to acquire the property.  Jane, our client, grew up in the neighborhood.  She babysat in this house and loved the family who lived here.  After getting remarried in the mid 2000s, she was taking her new husband on a nostalgic trip down the old street when she noticed a for-sale sign on this stone-clad gem.  Seeking a new family home, Jane promptly made a winning offer and moved in with her new husband.

All the ensuing renovations and yard plantings have been sympathetic to her memories of the property.  She showed me a Polaroid of her babysitting in the house c1988 – and it still looks the same!  It was an honor to be part of such a passionate project.

Many more projects to share in future updates.

Autumn 2017; Recent Kitchen Projects

News from some recent projects; digital renderings in the non-photo realistic style – NPR – our latest visualization obsession.  First up – a display kitchen for a proposed showroom project:

Pure Modern Kitchen by Mick Ricereto

Working with lighting in Sketchup is tricky; most people export their model to a rendering package and work on materials and shadows.  We’ve been playing with staying in Sketchup, using Styles and doing this quickly and more loose.  As frequent readers know, I like our renderings to show some “hand” and be more conceptual.

Next is a kitchen project for an exciting modern lake-front house:

White Modern Kitchen by Mick Ricereto

This design was originally shown with a darker accent color but the client wanted to see it in all white as well.  We left the white glass backsplash for now but perhaps this could use a textured gloss tile instead for a little more pop.  The cubes are white oak boxes which will be back lighted with small LED strips.

Finally, here is another studio project, this one for SieMatic, using one of their signature styling photos (London’s “Gherkin” building):

Studio design concept by designer Mick Ricereto.

We were tempted to show the exterior street scene through the large glass windows but again, time can get out of hand when working on digital renderings.  Also, no need to be distracting here; the client knows what is outside of their windows.  This view shows an important table area that design staff uses with visiting clients – through the windows passerby can see some creative work in action, creating some buzz.  Whenever possible we try and make the entire space a working design as opposed to a static showplace devoid of life.  This is the third renovation for this particular client and we are always happy to work with our old friends in the business.

Future projects include some new lighting collections about to hit market, and also more kitchen projects – always kitchens!

Recent Kitchen Renderings

We’ve recently done renderings for other designer’s kitchen projects.  Although my first inclination is to work in a more modern context, when helping out colleagues I’m often involved with “classic” designs.  These two SieMatic Beaux Arts kitchens are typical examples of a single-view rendering needed to supplement a high-end kitchen renovation proposal.  The client may otherwise only have a plan and elevation to fully understand the design intent; renderings help the project come alive.

SieMatic Beaux Arts Rendering by Mick Ricereto

This first example shows how the designers integrated the cabinets into the architecture of the room.  Careful planning of horizontal joints and header heights pull it all together.  Spaces like this – kitchen as hub of the house with many ways in and out – can be particularly challenging to work with but they did a great job in tying it all together.

This next project came with a low ceiling and existing skylight structure, for which the designers put considerable attention into the upper cabinets to get the right proportions.

SieMatic Beaux Arts Class Kitchen Rendering by Mick Ricereto

I needed to carefully draw my base layout to accurately portray the widths and heights of the design elements.  Since I draw everything by hand and do everything by eye/feel (no measurements whatsoever), sometimes there are false starts where you get the angle a bit wrong and need to start over.  Again I think this design solves the room’s challenges well and the interesting soffit bits keep your eye moving and make this a special room.

I’m often asked why I continue to do hand drawings when I could model in Sketchup or others and have unlimited views.  Well, I do actually, but hand drawings are fun and you “wright” a design instead of just click it to life.  The designer’s organic connection to the paper and the scraping medium which makes the marks (the pencils and pens) provide a feedback which is just different to working on a computer.

Another recent project was designed for a competition.  I’ll share the rendering here as it is a bit more my preferred flavor of style.  This is my design, from a completely white sheet of paper.  Lots of care went into finishes, such as stainless steel base cabinets, black matte oak on the tall cabinets/room divider at right, the deeply-combed grey oak floor and the angled black Corian island.  The idea was to place an interesting island in an otherwise basic square room to show how just a few new ideas could create a dynamic design.

Modern Kitchen Concept by Mick Ricereto

The island has a polished stainless steel leg on only one side.  I tested this in scale and with the massive base at the left end, it is remarkably stable.  Notice the shadow lines above the shelf at left and black oak wall divider cabinets at right; I do not like taking cabinets to the ceiling and much prefer to use a shadow gap.  A gap at the top expands the room visually and is easier to install.

We have been busy with some industrial design projects and helping out with the Design Philadelphia festival here in town.  I’ll post more hand renderings from time-to-time so thanks for viewing and see also our Facebook page for other recent projects.

New SieMatic Showroom – Konst – Bethesda MD

Our latest showroom design for SieMatic is now open in Bethesda, MD.  Konst – meaning “art” in Swedish, is owner Jonas Carnemark’s third studio renovation/location in a decade.  Locking down a busy corner of Wisconsin Ave. near the Bethesda Metro station, this latest move – just a block away from the old building – is a gigantic leap in street and sidewalk exposure.

Konst SieMatic Showroom ExteriorOur previous showroom space was constructed over two renovation phases, which left an incongruous layout from end-to-end.  This new space is more linear, showing a straight progression of SieMatic design as one enters and meanders counter-clockwise around the space.

This view from opening night in early October shows the great storefront exposure on the front of the building.

As motorists and pedestrians come down Wisconsin Ave towards Washington DC, this large SieMatic logo beckons proudly on the modernist façade from blocks away.

The first display consists of a simple white laminate island positioned before a large, continuous-grain natural walnut cabinet wall.  Behind the paneling are fridges and freezers, hidden storage areas and audio-visual equipment.

Konst SieMatic Display 1

The building features a large chamfered corner on Wisconsin Ave, so we chose to angle the front display parallel to this edge.  Keeping the floor longitudinal but aligning the LED ceiling strips adds dynamics to the youthful room feel.

SieMatic Shelf DetailWhile most of the storage is closed and otherwise hidden, we added a Floating Spaces shelf to the end for accent.

A large display monitor shows loops of SieMatic and Konst design features while Miele’s latest white glass appliances make a bright accent on the left side for balance.

Visitors walk around the right side of the display for their first look of display 2 and the rest of the space.

SieMatic Display at Konst SieMatic

The second display presents a large suite of space with S2 in Oak and SLG “similacque” glossy laminate, adjacent to the Beaux Arts 2.0 display at the rear.  A SieMatic table and benches is just out of view behind the Algue screen by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra at left.

The Beaux Arts takes up the anchor space at rear with a large seating area, media center/fireplace and entrance to samples areas and service space.

SieMatic Beaux Arts display at Konst

The display follows SieMatic’s usual Beaux Arts philosophy of using metal, gloss lacquer and wood and asymmetrical balance to create this unique feel.  With these photos taken only a few minutes before the opening party, I’ll need to return for more pictures of details and the seating areas.

We are particularly proud of this latest studio, and wish the staff at Konst the best luck at this new location.  Based on the level of interest passersby expressed during my site visits – as well as the tremendous response on opening night – I’m sure this location will prove more successful than their old spaces.

Visit Konst online and browse the excellent work they have been doing for the past few years and do make sure to drop in when in the Washington DC/Bethesda area.