On September 25, 2009, Home & Garden Television aired an episode of a kitchen designed by Becky Sue Becker. Designer Vern Yip and a local real estate expert compare $70,000 kitchen renovations in Atlanta. They look at a contemporary kitchen with a floating bar, a contemporary Italian kitchen with an eclectic vibe, and a contemporary kitchen that went from purple to purely elegant!
The “contemporary kitchen with a floating bar” is the project that I had the distinct pleasure to be a part of. Now granted I am non-bias, but I am quite proud of how the Brunt kitchen competed against the other 2 projects on the show. I do think it is odd how the show critiques from a resale point of view. Most homeowners that I work with making choices for their own personal needs/preferences. In my opinion, if their needs are met and they truly enjoy the space, then their quality of life is better and they indeed get the biggest bang for their buck.
Vern Yip was the most compliments on the Brunt kitchen, a designer I highly respect – could I be any more proud? I would like to address a couple of his critiques to illustrate that design is truly subjective, even among the best of designers. Vern was not fond of the choice of the glass tile as he thought it would be out of date in 5 years, whereas I foresee glass has just begun to hit the hot trends and has many years of appeal. Its sustainable and timeless, and the color here is a muted green so it lends to be a very subdued and natural feeling.
Vern also suggested the idea that the refrigerator and dishwasher could have been kept stainless steel rather than covered with wood fronts to match the cabinets to achieve a lighter feeling. This was a consideration during the design process but it was overruled because 1) wood fronts gave more continuity in the smaller space and 2) the maintenance of wood fronts is much easier than stainless steel. The visual simplistic balance was critical, we did not wish to have the stainless steel be the main focal point.
Overall Vern offered compliments on the microwave placement, the harmony of the finishes used throughout, and the good balance of lighting.
This 60’s kitchen was small, inefficient needless to say outdated. The home is contemporary mid-century style, so the first objective was to have the interior flow with the overall theme. Due to the lack of options of the small space with numerous doorways, the walls to the laundry room were removed and the washer and dryer were relocated to another area of the home. The sink was relocated to the larger existing window on the rear side of the house (old laundry area), and the old sink window was closed to offer additional storage and a location for a large professional range.
To achieve a modern look, clean elements were used throughout. The dark, flat panel maple cabinetry set the stage to display the sophisticated glass tile backsplash and frosted glass cabinet doors, which carry warm hues of green. The raised glass countertop and island were designed with stainless steel stand-offs to help keep a light visual flow while enhancing the balance of metal with the appliances and toe kick.
Xenon under-cabinet lighting, recessed cans, and sleek halogen pendants and sconces were strategically placed to enhance the elegant features, in addition, to providing high-quality task lighting. Furthermore, to improve the natural light source, the existing single door to the patio was increased to a double French door. The hardwood floors replaced the old tile, adding warmth to the room. And finally, the island received an exotic Zebrawood (referenced as Tigerwood on the HGTV show) countertop creating not only a focal point but also marries the colors of the oak floors and dark cabinetry.
With more space given to windows and doors, storage space and visual consideration were critical. Simplistic continuity was key so wood fronts were used on the refrigerator & dishwasher, a microwave drawer was installed in the peninsula base cabinets to keep the eye view clean and floating shelves for a tv finished off the wall cabinet run. These decisions helped achieve a well-balanced and surreal theme.
In the end, Ben & Katie are proud owners of a kitchen with state-of-the-art products that added value and charm to their old mid-century style home.
HGTV Episode: $70,000 Atlanta Kitchens Episode# HBFYB-207H
- Contractor: Parkman Properties, Atlanta, GA
- Decorator: Chris Holt Interiors, Atlanta, GA
- Custom Cabinetry: Private label by Designs By BSB
- Granite Tops: G&L Marble/Traditional Marble & Granite
- Lighting: Design Lighting in Atlanta
- Glass Counter Top: Creative Glass Concepts, Sugar Hill, GA