Modern Suburban Refresh: A REHAU Case Study
You can move city dwellers to the suburbs, but that doesn’t mean their hearts – or at least their design tastes – don’t still resonate with modern city sensibilities.
That was the case when homeowners from Boston moved to the suburbs of Newburyport, MA, gaining greater overall living space, but finding their new kitchen was small, dark and far too traditional for their tastes.
The RAUVISIO crystal Bianco went brilliantly with the rest of the kitchen, and the clients love the glossy, almost mirror-like look of the white finished cabinets.
– Shelby Snyder, BLB Design / Build
Longing for the modern aesthetics of the bright, spacious and well-appointed kitchen from their previous home, they hired BLB Design / Build to completely remodel the space, increasing the footprint and upgrading the kitchen to give it more of a big city, contemporary feel.
BLB project + marketing manager Shelby Snyder explained, “Their original kitchen was very traditional and congested…it offered little to no counter space for cooking and baking (which was a must for the clients!). The kitchen was also very dark due to the finishes and the minimal amount of natural light from the small windows.”
She added, “Coming from Boston, our clients really wanted to incorporate the high-end city aesthetic into their new house, along with upgrading the small space.” The clients’ wish list also included more natural light and a sleek, modern design.
The original kitchen was confined to one corner of the room, lacking adequate surface and storage space and decreasing functionality. The cabinets and finishes were also outdated and did not suit our client’s current needs.
To bring in more natural light, the back wall of the kitchen was designed to include four large casement windows above the sink and a floor-to-ceiling contemporary double-outswing door.
But the kitchen needed more than just natural light – it needed a complete overhaul. After a visit to the Curtis Cabinetry showroom, the homeowners discovered just what they were looking for in a display kitchen featuring the REHAU RAUVISIO crystal acrylic surface.
Snyder noted, “The clients were looking for that high-end, modern design and they were just drawn to the lustrous shine the polished REHAU RAUVISIO crystal material provided.”
Their first choice was the Perla color, she said, which is more of an ivory, but at the time, the bright white Bianco was more readily available.
Snyder explained, “Although they were at first hesitant to switch to Bianco because they were concerned the kitchen would have a sterile or ‘doctor-like’ feel, the Bianco went brilliantly with the rest of the kitchen and the clients now love the glossy, almost mirror-like look of the white finished cabinets.”
The homeowners had a strong sense of what they wanted, according to Kathleen Anthony at Curtis Cabinetry, who said they “definitely wanted that clean and modern aesthetic.” The one wall – which is stacked REHAU RAUVISIO crystal cabinets, “all tall, all white and very pretty” – was perfect for the look they had in mind. RAUVISIO crystal perimeter cabinets line the rest of the kitchen so the whole effect is sleek, glossy and bright.
Curtis Cabinetry owner Ed Curtis added: “It’s just a nice product that looks good, an upgrade from your plain acrylic.”
The white cabinets have a frameless design that allows the faces of the cabinets and panels to remain flush throughout the entire space. Getting the fit just right was critical. Fortunately, the team was up to the task. The wall of white cabinets also incorporates two thin black glass doors with a 3/4-inch frame, which functions as a coffee bar area. This adds convenience while providing a striking note of contrast that enhances the kitchen’s contemporary appeal.
The glossy white cabinetry was then paired with Pegasus Marble countertops on the two-sided island, which boasts a dramatic waterfall effect on the edges. The same stone was also carried up the wall above the cooktop as a backsplash.
The appliance wall, which included “high-end brands to coincide with the RAUVISIO panels,” according to Snyder, features a 36″ six-burner Miele range top, a 48″ Panel-Ready Sub-Zero refrigerator and a double electric Miele wall oven. The latter, Snyder noted, “is used constantly by our clients, as they love to cook and bake.”
To add texture and warmth to the all-white kitchen, select cabinets feature a wood veneer, Anthony pointed out. She noted another interesting detail: “The ventilation hood is cleverly recessed into the cabinetry so it just pops out in the front. It’s a great, very sleek look – all you see is the cabinetry.” She also cited the integrated columns and panels on the refrigerator, which contribute to the clean look that the clients desired.
Snyder explained, “This modern design is not seen very often in North Shore homes, so the inclusion of these features really influenced the ‘wow’ factor. Additionally, we used a sleek Fry Reglet c-channel that was installed around all openings and trim to provide clean and modern lines throughout the first floor.”
She continued, “We installed plain sawn white oak hardwood flooring throughout the first floor and finished it with Bona Natural Seal and Bona Satin Traffic HD. The modern, subdued satin finish contrasted perfectly with the high-gloss cabinets while matching the wood-grain cabinets.”
Another thoughtful detail is the inclusion of Legrande Adorne outlets that were installed on the face of the backsplash and wood-grain cabinets. Snyder noted, “The Adorne outlets [are not intrusive and contribute to the] sleek and modern design. When pressed, the center pops out and provides the power source.”
This was the first time BLB had worked with RAUVISIO crystal, and everyone was delighted with the end result – a bright and glossy “ultra-modern paradise” perfect for Boston transplants who wanted a bit of modern city style in their new suburban kitchen.