D Home Kitchens & Baths 2007: Inspiration Central
Four smart spaces brimming with fresh ideas.
An outstanding kitchen and laundry room is clad in stainless steel, sycamore, bamboo, and rubber tiles.
Some people are content to have stainless steel appliances. Interior designer Linda Fritschy went beyond that.
Why? The charms are many. “I love its reflective, floating quality. And as a material, its look is timeless,” she says. What’s more, the wear is minimal. That’s a plus when designing a modern interior. “Scratches can be buffed out, allowing the material to be restored to its original pristine surface,” she says. “Or, you can just enjoy the patina that develops.”
All of these made good reasons to update her home’s kitchen in a clean coat of stainless steel, sycamore, and bamboo. The space, open to the den in her 1960s California-style North Dallas ranch house (which she shares with husband David Rogers), was not the couple’s taste when they moved in. It was always their intention to renovate.
Her current appliance list reads like a who’s who of top performers: Miele coffee maker, steam oven, and dishwasher; Wolf oven, gas cook top, and warming drawer; GE Advantium convection/microwave oven; Julien sink; KitchenAid refrigerator/freezer. But what’s not immediately visible is how supremely orderly everything is within the cabinetry adjacent to the appliances.
“It’s so organized, and that keeps me organized,” she says. Looking around the über-clean-lined space, she knows exactly where to find everything. Says Fritschy: “I guess all the measuring paid off.”
|Linda Fritschy’s stainless steel cabinetry, island countertop, appliances, Blue Bahia granite, and backsplash keep the kitchen’s decor both shimmery and low maintenance. The island is big, but it almost disappears within the airy space because of its reflective quality. Other light touches such as bamboo flooring and sycamore accent cabinetry provide a soothing setting. Hidden storage extends to the soaring ceiling.
ABOVE LEFT: Linda Fritschy measured every inch of the kitchen to make the best use of space. Two slim drawers for sponges and vegetable brushes are built into a 42-inch-wide stainless farm-style sink. CENTER: Favorite cookbooks are handy and out of sight via a two-shelf pullout drawer. Shelves are slightly angled so Fritschy can see the book titles easier. ABOVE RIGHT: For the 36-inch-wide drawers, Fritschy commissioned acrylic utensil dividers for optimum storage. The width of the drawer also has a magnetic knife bar, which keeps sharp objects firmly in place.
Linda Fritschy, ASID 214-866-0041
John A. Martin
“Pam” by Ligne Roset 214-526-2220
Laundry room wall/flooring
Activa by Pirelli
Unico Flooring Distributors 214-630-7875
Rubber vase (in utility room)
A luxurious master bathroom takes its cues from fine French hotels.
When well-traveled couple Lynn and Ronald Gentry decided to remodel their Colleyville master bath, they took inspiration from some of the fine French and European retreats they have visited.
Luxurious marble and linens, fingertip basins, antique furnishings, and artful fixtures are fairly easy to come by on this side of the Pond, but an overall aged ambience isn’t. That’s why they turned to interior designer Charlotte Comer. “She appreciates such aesthetics,” Lynn says.
“Most classic French bathrooms are lovely because of their exquisite artistry, and their simple but perfectly positioned appointments,” Comer says. The Château De Bagnols, near Lyons, is one such place. Although the glamorous hotel wasn’t the sole inspiration, she says, “Much of its charm was what we ultimately wanted to achieve here.”
The new 530-square-foot (excluding closets) space adjacent to the couple’s master bedroom features a bathing and shower room, toilet room, a large vanity and storage salon, and dressing room with walk-in closets. “It’s our little cocoon,” Lynn says. “It’s quiet and peaceful.”
Much of the prettiness stems from the room’s color, which comes across more of an aged gray-green patina. “It’s a French green that has a blue base,” Comer explains. “On top of that is a wash of a gold and silver and metallic powder, which gives it a floating feeling that even has a tint of yellow to it. It looks different at different times. I like colors not definable.”
It has Parisian charm. “It’s sophisticated, but it’s also relaxing and usable,” Lynn enthuses. “Comfort is very important here.”
|Under a crystal chandelier, an arched opening showcases a soaking tub with antique-style gold water fixtures. “I think it’s the most sensuous tub I’ve ever seen,” decorator Charlotte Comer says. The relaxation area has a view of a private courtyard when the motorized shirred silk taffeta balloon shades are lifted. Shelving on either side harbors some of Lynn Gentry’s favorite soaps and perfumes, antique linens, mercury glass vases, and other sentimental treasures.
|ABOVE LEFT: Under a gently vaulted ceiling, artfully finished walls give the illusion of aged plaster alongside 18th century molding. Double vanities have marble counters and ledges, and elegant sconce lighting. Across the way, antiqued-mirror, floor-to-ceiling pocket doors open to a bathtub and shower room with a silk-covered chaise for relaxing. Throughout the bathroom, marble flooring with incise patterns makes every area’s design unique. ABOVE RIGHT: A barrel-vaulted ceiling gives heavenly scale to Lynn’s dressing area, with makeup station, which is almost always bathed in beautiful light from outside or the 1930s French Moderne fixture above. A Venetian mirror reflects the bathing area beyond. The marble flooring’s pattern creates a rug-like effect.
A 1960s kitchen goes from dated, dark, and compartmentalized to open, fresh,
When Jenifer Flynn and husband Peter moved into his late parents’ University Park home, the challenge was to bring the 1963 place up to speed. Designed by architect Miles Falls and featuring unusually shaped rooms, the house had its charms. Unfortunately, the kitchen didn’t.
“The rest of the house had such lovely bones, with high ceilings and windows, and lovely marble flooring,” Jenifer says. The kitchen had been an afterthought on the home—tucked away as a dark and cramped utilitarian space. More emphasis had been put on its adjacent breakfast room, which took advantage of a floor-to-ceiling window facing a courtyard and park-like setting.
“We love to cook and entertain,” Jenifer says. “We also like a lot of natural light. We knew we had to rip out everything and start anew.”
The couple enlisted the help of architect Robert Clark, kitchen designer Sharon Flatley, and decorator Kathleen Miller-Rozelle. Once the two spaces became one, it allowed for ample light from the existing breakfast room window, but it created a lot of space in the kitchen—space that Jenifer wasn’t used to having.
Then there’s the teal and emerald-green island. “I love green, and I always knew I wanted to incorporate it in some way,” Jenifer says. On a research trip with Flatley, the inspiration struck. “We saw the most beautiful piece of granite, with a combination of cool greens, warm greens, and chartreuse.”
Soon came the addition of softer appointments guided by Miller-Rozelle. Because the rest of the house is polished and elegant in both structure and interior design, “it was important to have this room be the same, but on a more casual level,” Jenifer says. “It’s really turned out to be a lovely and functional space that just makes me happy to be in,” she says.
|“I knew I wanted the island to be a piece of jewelry for the room,” homeowner Jenifer Flynn says. “We went with a different green color at the base so that everything in the kitchen (the sage-green cabinetry, seagrass-color limestone countertops, softly shimmering harlequin-tile backsplash) wouldn’t be matching, but more complementary of each other.” The large island helps anchor the 350-square-foot space, allowing an overscale colonial-style light fixture to hang from the 12-foot ceiling.
|ABOVE LEFT: A Häfele wire storage unit rolls out for access and tucks in for storage. Its shelves are geared to hold up to 100 pounds, making them perfect for small and heavy appliances that often have to be stored on a countertop. CENTER: A diamond-shaped tile set in a harlequin pattern has a soft green and white patina. “It keeps it neutral enough but still crisp, clean, and lively,” Jenifer says. “I love how it plays off the seagrass-color limestone on the countertops below it.” ABOVE RIGHT: “Jenifer has a fairly extensive cookbook collection, and wanted a place to work on her laptop computer, so we designed a built-in unit for books, television, telephone, and other everyday items,” Sharon Flatley says. “I also incorporated a small desk, designing turn-post legs so it would seem like a separate piece of furniture.” Above the work spot is a brilliantly hued pen, ink, and acrylic artwork by Emile Norman.
Island granite, countertop limestone, backsplash tile
Verde Vecchio, Seagrass Limestone,
Clacata, Verde Luna Harlequin Field
All at Walker Zanger
Sharon Flatley, ASID, CMKBD
Robert H. Clark and Associates
Chris and Carol Lyons
McLean Lighting, E.C. Dicken 214-742-4801
Zimmer + Rohde
Wire corner storage unit
|The double vanity, with rift-cut white oak cabinetry, has a cerused (white-filled-grain) finish for a softly textured touch. The 14-foot span appears to be floating, which enhances the room’s openness. Above it, another element seems suspended: A toiletry cabinet that opens on both sides. Light-saber-style sconces built into each section’s mirror provide soft, diffused lighting.
For a couple with an active family, the master bath is a cool oasis of calm
Megan and Casey McManemin’s master bathroom is almost arresting in its simplicity, and that’s exactly how the super-busy couple likes it. Their Preston Hollow 1949 ranch-style home is always lively with their three girls—ages 9 to 14—“who are indeed delightful, but together and with their friends they can be quite loud and chatty,” Megan notes.
In the back of the 4,500-square-foot house, however, there’s a reprieve. “Our new master suite is our escape,” she says. “It has a quietness that’s almost ethereal.”
Megan credits friend and architect Russell Buchanan for creating the overall design and interior designer Nancy Leib for selecting the soothing color scheme.
The design looks simple. “But you wouldn’t believe how hard it is do ‘simple,’” says Buchanan, who edited and edited more to achieve the sleekest, cleanest look possible in the room—essentially a large square floor plan with a 14-foot double vanity that appears to float on one side, and on the other, the room’s most dramatic element: a substantial unit made of 1/2-inch thick acid-etched glass. It envelops a walk-in toilet room on one side, and, with a track door, encloses a spacious open shower on the other.
“We love such sophisticated architecture,” Megan says. The couple has worked a good bit with Buchanan during the past 14 years, “We totally trust whatever he wants to do. He’s like a nice leather glove—he fits us very well.”
|A deep soaking tub is encased in Princess Yellow limestone, the same used on the walls. The McManemins revel in the abundant natural light the two acid-etched windows let in. The frameless window style is one of Russell Buchanan’s trademark designs, featuring 1-inch insulated glass floated with special structural silicone inside a wood casing. “I love the big picture window by the tub,” Megan McManemin says. “We don’t need to turn on our lights at all during the day. And it’s so relaxing not to see anything outside but a glow.”
“Zen Weave” by Erin Adams through
Ann Sacks 214-742-8453
Limestone floor, walls, countertop
“Princess Yellow” by
Prandina Lin W1
Barbara Barry for Kallista www.kallista.com