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houses are fascinating, with red oak floors throughout and original kitchens that still look good but have hopelessly outdated appliances and semi-concealed (and non-functioning) old Sub Zero refrigerators.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!

NPR: Non-Photo Realistic Rendering

Happy 2017 design readers.

Over the break I’ve made a concerted effort to work on some new digital rendering techniques.  As anybody who has followed this blog or knows my work may attest, I personally avoid doing photo realistic renderings.  I came up in this business during the analog/manual era … actually on the cusp of computer models and visualization.  I was modeling/rendering on AutoCAD 3D 15+ years ago … you remember the UCS don’t you?  The “Ultra Confusion System”?  I got some nice renderings but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me.  Individual, hand drawing techniques are just more interesting (and faster) than perfect photo-like creations.  So, have a look at two NPR rendering examples, both of which were developed in Sketchup.

The first is a series of conference table variations I worked on late in 2016.  I had three basic ideas and I wanted to show them together, with my favorite in the foreground.

NPR Conference Table Sketchup Renderings by Mick Ricereto

Once you have your design, setting up views like this takes seconds.  And if I want some alternate views, turn the mouse a bit and go.  Once you build up a library of materials again click click and it all moves very fast.

Next is a kitchen that goes back a couple of years to 2015 (wow – 2015 is now two years ago!).  As with the conference tables above, the secret sauce is getting the line work to replicate my hardline pencil base drawings, but in this case I also had the floor and an exterior to simulate as well.

NPR Kitchen Rendering in Sketchup by Mick Ricereto

Again, if I want another view, I just go for it and do my 3 second re-render right in Sketchup.  There is no outboard rendering program to bother with, just some post work in P-Shop (just like their would be with hand drawing).

With hand presentation it’s either very quick sketchy styles or taking a huge amount of time for more detailed materials and multiple views.  And then you still need to scan them in and touch up as well.  I will still sketch live in front of clients and colleagues the same way, but when presenting more defined designs (like above), back in the studio, I’m very excited to be exploring NPR Sketchup models.  This is like a huge breath of fresh air for me as I can work very quickly and still get individually-styled presentations that I’m happy with.  Also, if it needs to be more realistic, off to a rendering farm it can go (just like rapid prototyping – no need to do it in-house anymore).

I’m looking forward to 2017, getting better and faster.  I hope you’re also off to a cracking start and best wishes in all your endeavors.

M