Design — 02 October 2015
Designers cook up creative new kitchen ideas

Designers are rewriting the rulebook on kitchens – and anything goes. Cabinets can be different colors. Floors can be the dazzling focal point. Lighting fixtures can look like they belong in a formal dining room. The only limit is your imagination.

By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub



Client request: Three sisters, who have been spending time at the family home since their teens, wanted a place where they could gather on vacation. They hired Cudmore Builders to tear down the home and build a 7,000-square-foot residence on the Intracoastal in Lighthouse Point. The kitchen adjoins the great room, and they wanted it designed as a space where they could be together.

The result: Publicover established the overall design and consulted with Conroyd for the cabinetry and the latest kitchen products. The rustic wood table seats 10 and is suitable for casual dining. The three bar stools and upholstery were selected to match the Coastal blue subway tile. The doors, which slide into the wall, allow access to the kitchen with a grill, ventilated hood and refrigerator. The cabinets that appear clear are actually installed against a window.

Trends: Glass mosaic above the range, more formal lighting fixtures of capiz shell with rustic metal and a fabric drum shade with metal lattice over the island, dark floors contrasting with the white cabinetry, a microwave in the island.

Advice: “Do what is comfortable for you,” Publicover says. “Keep in mind how long you plan to be in the house versus what will do well in resale.”

Lisa Publicover: Lisa Publicover Interior Design, 202 Legion Ave., Annapolis, Maryland, 410-263-2500,

Shuky Conroyd: Boca Kitchens and Floors, 2900 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, 561- 620-6200,




Client request: A family from Connecticut with three children wanted a simple, informal design decorated in blue and white for their vacation home in Tequesta.

The result: A window seat was added so the kids can sit there while someone is cooking. The island, with a Calcutta gold marble top, contrasts with the perimeter concrete countertops. The large curved top resembles a table and seats five with counter-height chairs.

Trends: Large pendant lighting, top cabinets with glass for display, subway tiles and dark wood floor that contrast with the white cabinetry, a return to stainless-steel appliances instead of those integrated with the same doors as the cabinetry.

Advice: “A kitchen needs to be fun and functional,” Armour says. “We spend so much time there that it needs to be as wonderful as the rest of the house.”

Jackie Armour: JMA Interior Decoration,  1935 Commerce Lane, Suite 10, Jupiter,  561-743-9668,




Client request: The wife wanted a European-style kitchen manufactured in the United States for her home in Plantation.

The result: The design is contemporary but organic. It features Zebrano wood veneer on the cabinets, porcelain on the floor and backsplash, a quartz countertop and a composite wood panel on the front of the bar. At night the bar lights up underneath. Kuritzky made a cardboard model of the kitchen before construction began. One of his suggestions was the addition of a wood beam over the window as an architectural element.

Trends: Combination of light and dark finishes on the cabinets, waterfall edges on the bar and cooktop, floating cabinets in the dining area and a high shelf with a mosaic in the background to display little-used items.

Advice: Research and go to the National Kitchen and Bath Association website ( for lists of certified kitchen designers, says Reif, who is certified.

Lewis Reif: Allied Kitchen & Bath, 616 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-564-1611,

Harlan Kuritzky: Pasquale Kuritsky Architecture, 5101 NW 21st Ave. # 360, Fort Lauderdale, 954-332-0184,




Client request: After moving back to Florida from the Bahamas, the client bought this house in west Delray Beach. The previous owner decorated with faux finishes in a design inspired by Vizcaya in Miami. The house was gutted and transformed into a more contemporary look.

The result: Cabinets were refinished, appliances were upgraded, an under-counter microwave was installed in the new larger island, and LED lighting and a chandelier were added. Decorative corbels were removed. Dentil crown molding was replaced with a cleaner style. The new flooring and island back was covered in 24-by-24-inch Anastasia marble and the countertop in Copa Cabana granite.

Trends: The area behind the cooktop has become a focal point rather than matching the rest of the backsplash. The dark wood island reflects the trend of different-colored cabinetry.

Advice: “Hire the best creative talent your budget allows,” Lohmann says.

Vic Lohmann: Innovative Designs, 1404 Nautilus Isle, Dania Beach, 954-921-4318,




Client request: A kitchen with glamour that would work for a family with four children and a mother in-law in Delray Beach’s Stone Creek Ranch.

The result: The metropolitan look gives a modern twist to traditional design. Elegant Calcutta marble was selected for the backsplash and island countertop. The other countertops were covered in Caesarstone. Two seating areas were created in the kitchen – one for the children and the other at the island for the mother-in-law and her caretaker. A breakfast table seats 10. The floor, a combination of limestone and Calcutta marble, gives the kitchen personality.

Trends: Designers are seeking alternative coverings for backsplashes – glass, stainless or marble. Floors are becoming more distinctive to set a color scheme. The dark wood island picks up the floor tones and is a contrast to the white cabinetry. Upper cabinets in homes with high ceilings are smaller with glass fronts so they can be used for display.

Advice: “Do your kitchen in a color scheme you won’t get tired of,” Lachance says.


Susan Lachance: Susan Lachance Interior Design, 1001 Clint Moore Road #100, Boca Raton, 561-241-3800,



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