When I started to design the kitchen for Wynn and Catherine Newhouse, I needed to consider the challenges of barrier free design since Wynn used a wheel chair.
One important aspect of this project was to create a home that Wynn could use without it looking institutional.
I tried to incorporate the tweaks needed in a way that looked like they were just fun design elements.
Since this was Wynn and Catherine's vacation home, I wanted the feeling of the cabinetry to be whimsical and countrified.
So I came up with the slogan.....
As Wynn's MS continued to attack his body, we needed laughter and joy to fill this home.
One important aspect of the function of the kitchen was his ability to use the
He loved his toaster oven and made a BIG point of having a special easy access area for its residence.
We found a simple country table that I set under the windows for just this purpose.
In the magazine shot, we moved it for editorial reasons, but the function of that little table was for the TOASTER OVEN.
Wynn was able to roll up to it and make his bagels with a schmear of cream cheese.
In the current owner's incarnation of this room, they've added another cabinet between the two windows.
I got the picture of the current owner's rendition of the space from Vignette Design's blog.
(BTW, if you don't follow that blog, she is doing an amazing renovation of her new home in California. Her landscape design is stellar!!!!!)
They've copied the legs of my cabinetry, but if you look closely, you can see that instead of creating a crown molding like the wall cabinets, they incorporated the window molding to wrap around the top of the cabinet, using my little half circle embellishment that I applied throughout the home.
Here's a closeup of the detail on the windows.
Boy!!!!I wish they had digital cameras back when I designed this home.
I could have really shown the details up close and personal for you guys!!!!!
Over the stove I designed a tile backsplash of a steam boat. Wynn collected oil paintings of steam boats and we hung them all around the house, including one in the kitchen between the pair of windows.
When I say.....I designed the backsplash.....
I mean I found the tiles and convinced Catherine to use them for the backsplash.....
To the left of the stove was the largest cabinet in the kitchen.
I wanted it to look like a freestanding hutch, so I added little brackets with a shelf for the splash of the piece, as well as making it all beadboard.
This was eons before everyone started doing this.....just sayin'.
The Traditional Home article was published in July of 1997, and I had been working on the house for 2 years, and it took a year for the magazine to print after the pictures.....
So I did this design in 1994!!!!!
Jesh, that's over 20 years ago.....
Someone stick a fork in me.....I think I'm done.
I used carrara marble for the countertops.
I can't tell you the number of times I've had the stone guys I've bought from over the years tell me not to do this.
I do it all the time.
as we speak.....(or read...).....
I have some in my very own kitchen just waiting for me to stain it!!!!!
I've had it for 11 years and it hasn't happened yet.
It's got lots of rings you can see in the surface when the light hits it a certain way, but that's because I haven't resealed it in all the years I've had it.
For the toekick, I measured how much room Wynn needed for his feet to fit under the cabinet.
The toekick ended up being 8 inches high.
To keep it from looking like a contemporary detail, I designed the big fat stubby legs to fit on either side of the piece.
The current owners painted the kitchen a deep chocolate brown that contrasts nicely with all the white cabinetry.
I had painted it a buttery yellow for a cheerful light and airy feel.
For the sink, I needed to design a way that Wynn could roll up to use it without it looking like a nursing home, so I designed a pair of
big honking legs!!!!!
Over the sink we stored the blue and white china we found to go with the house.
In the shot below, you can get the overall feeling of the room with it's cathedral wooden ceiling and beamed structure.
Since I don't like a vacuum.....
I filled the wall with stuff!
This was the oil painting of a steamship I had mentioned earlier.
We also hung a clock, because that's what you need in a kitchen.....
AND OF COURSE.....
I had to have plates on the wall.
Catherine had collected these ship plates, so I felt they would just be great to continue the nautical theme.
Cause if one of something is good.....
TONS IS BETTER!!!!!
I had seen a picture in a magazine of a wonderful circle pattern in a tin ceiling.
I couldn't find it, so I set my trust architect, Les Brown, to hunt it down.
I don't know how he did it, but he found it.
I love it for a couple of reasons.
It continues the circle them I used throughout the project in the architectural details.....
and it had a nautical feel to it that I just loved!!!!!
I still remember the late afternoon when Les and I were working on the design of this kitchen.
He used to come over to my home/office/sweatshop and work with me at the drafting board.
He never brought his own pencil, so we were always fighting over who got to draw.
He chose these big brackets, and I remember it so clearly.
I had no idea that they were so large, not looking at the dimensions in the catalog he had brought.
They just looked really plain and boring.
Then he drew them in and
I learned an architectural lesson that I still use to this day.
The scale of the brackets just blew me away.
on that note.....
I need to get back to my fabric design.
I just need to create one more pattern, and we can launch in the spring.
We were going to launch last spring.....
Then we moved it to the fall, now we are aiming more realistically for this spring.
I've gotten some of the patterns samples back from the printer and I am so excited I could
These are not going to be cheap, guys.....
and only available through designers.....
So I'm sorry if some of you were expecting to get them through this website.
But when they launch, I will be showing them to you all.
There will be a three yard minimum,
just right for adding some toss pillows to the room for a punch of ME!