One of the things I find myself thinking about from time to time is the utter randomness of life, and I think that especially applies to the people I want to write about today. I encountered Ken Kelly Kitchen Designs a few months ago, just surfing the Internet, well not surfing so much as looking for new material, but what I found on their site then blew my mind. And still does. I first wrote about a truly glorious bathroom design Ken Kelly came up with in a blog I entitled “Simply Elegant,” although “Holy Kamoly” might have done as well for a title. It was just an extraordinary bathroom, and it left me hoping for something more from them, something in the kitchen. Well, sir!
Earlier this week I posted a blog on tile, as it is one of my dominant interests. I am continually amazed with the many materials that can be used for tile and with what can be done from a decorative standpoint with tile. Actually, when you state it that way-decorative standpoint-I think you tend to miss the total transformations that are possible with tile. To be honest about it, I’m not sure which is the more important factor, the people who create the tile or the people who create the many uses to which that tile can be put. But whichever it is, it is a collaboration that often produces spectacular results. It is a subject I find fascinating, and that deep-seated interest, along with a bit of serendipity, led me to the subject of today’s blog. Ken Kelly also has a blog site at the Blog of Kitchen Designs. Ken’s wife Grace does most of the writing on that blog site, and she recently did one on tile, which ended up being posted on my Facebook Page. Well, Grace is certainly one of my favorite bloggers, so I clicked on it to see what she had to say about tile, and in so doing, I came across the kitchen we feature here.
One of the things interior designers dream about is an artistic-minded client who will grant them leeway to transform client dreams into a glorious design, which is exactly what happened with this particular kitchen. The clients had an artistic bent and a home filled with color and interesting items, one of which was the peacocks Ken noticed in several permutations. In discussing it with his clients, he learned that they loved peacocks because of their many colors, which led Ken to the design we see here. Given the peacock feather that had been on the clients’ bulletin board, the hand-painted peacock feathers were a natural for the spaces they occupy. All it required was a bit of boldness from the clients and an interior designer with the chops to come up with something like this. But the other thing that sprang from that motif was the exceptional use of color.
When I first saw this floor, I thought it was carpeting, which is certainly not going to work well in a kitchen. In fact, though, it is a brilliantly-conceived and executed mosaic tile floor that consists of some twenty-two different colors. Ken patterned the glass tile to create a “quilted” rug effect on the floor which is just gorgeous. Because it’s glass tile, though, one of the questions that immediately occurred to me was whether it was slippery when wet. Well, as it turns out, the pictures don’t show the small glass pattern that was actually used, but what they ended up with-by design-was a lot of grout surface area, which is the very thing that prevents slipping on a mosaic tiled shower base.
Speaking of tile, which is what brought me to this design in the first place, I did want to call attention to the backsplash area, because all of that is custom work. It turns out that the collage over the stove was formed of custom ceramic tile with recycled bottle caps, buttons, beads and broken pieces of china. The light blue glass tile backsplash is made of bubble glass that was custom-designed by Wohlberg/Levy Designs on Long Island.
The last thing I wanted to discuss is really the first consideration with me, the cabinetry itself. One fine day I mean to design and build cabinets for our kitchen, but in the event that I’m not able to do so, I could live quite happily with these. The cabinetry is made by Wood-Mode, but Ken designed it. Actually, with Ken’s many innovative ideas, and his close relationship with Wood-Mode, he often receives the ultimate compliment: cabinetry he designs for a particular client ends up becoming one of Wood-Mode’s lines!
I’d like to end this blog where it began, with thoughts on the randomness of life. No doubt, it was just chance that caused these particular clients to call on Ken Kelly and for him to be introduced to their peacock feather, which lent itself to so much of the design motif that he eventually created for their kitchen, but really, Louis Pasteur has the last word on chance, and it is this: “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
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