Our client, Michelle, spent a number of years living in the Netherlands before coming home to Chevy Chase Maryland with her family. It is not surprising that she developed a taste for minimalist style while living in Northern Europe. So when the time came to remodel her kitchen, a cool contemporary design style was in order.
Gilday kitchen and bath designer Ellen Gilday Witts quickly tuned in to Michelle's sensibility and gave her a kitchen design that took a light-footed approach to style with a cool color palette and very, fine clean lines. The kitchen colors, starting with the cabinets, were carefully chosen from soft gray tones. The appliances are all very sleek and angular. The black glass cook top could not be more minimalist.
Ellen took a slight turn stylistically with the cabinets. She chose a Shaker style cabinet. It expresses that minimalism we look for in the contemporary profile, but less severely so. She then cleverly worked in some unexpected softness and weight into the visual scheme by including a few carefully chosen details that break with the style.
See the kitchen island? The two support legs are turned in a traditional style. Not what you'd expect to see in this picture. And the antiqued brass lamp hanging above the island? There's another break.
Why did she do that? Ellen says the lamp anchors the room and is a strong focal point. Michelle sees it as a way of putting a personal stamp on a thoroughly designed living space. And it's just fun, Ellen says. It's fun to introduce a contrary element into a perfectly dressed interior.
She did the same thing at the half bath in the mud room. She chose an over-sized pendant to add an element of surprise to an extremely minimalist interior.
Again, these special effects are not meant to clash but to stand out in pleasing way by breaking the pattern at just the right place.