Custom Kitchen Shaped by a Special Table and a Special Time

Custom Kitchen Shaped by a Special Table and a Special Time

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Sometimes inspiration comes from interesting places. For Chad Root, the inspiration for his new kitchen and dining area came from a dead tree in Thailand. The tree was Rosewood, found by a trader who spliced it together to make an only-one-of-its-kind dining table in all its rough-hewn splendor.

Chad saw the piece and decided it was perfect for his mid-century modern-style home built in 1954 with Rosewood furniture as one of its distinctive features. So he bought and shipped the hefty 900-pound table to his Elkhart home and proceeded to sketch out an appropriate kitchen and dining area to surround it (Chad is an architect and marketing consultant by training and trade). The 11-foot-long by 3-foot-wide table was a perfect fit for a wide hallway opposite the kitchen area, so he completely opened up the wall separating the hall from the kitchen to create a contiguous open space.

For the rest of the kitchen-dining area, “I wanted a design that was contemporary but still had some respect for the age of the house,” said Chad. For that look, Chad chose a frameless cabinet design with a slab door in cherry with a (what else?) Rosewood finish. The layout was designed to complement the design of the house, with sharp lines and what Chad called a mid-century rambler style that combines distinctive geometric shapes. The special combination of doors and drawers that enclose and surround the freezer, refrigerator, convection microwave and oven were custom designed by Grabill.

Other custom features, such as huge under-the-stove drawers (30” wide by 12” inches tall extending to the full depth of the counter), and what Chad calls “a beast” of a lazy susan that holds all kinds of modern appliances, make super efficient use of the existing space.

Further connecting with the house design is the porcelain tile flooring in a slate design to match the slate tiles found in the foyer and interior and exterior porch areas. Since the house exterior is mainly composed of limestone with a lot of windows, the backsplash also embodied that aspect with different colored stones interspersed with colored glass, which results in a glimmering glaze effect in the light from the ribbon of windows that wrap around this corner of the house. This, along with the Cambria Quartz countertop helps provide a pleasing contrast with the Rosewood finish of the cabinets.

“It’s a clean, contemporary style, without moldings or ornamentation, yet it also harkens back to the mid-century look, integrating affordable KitchenAid appliances that fit this kind of house,” said Chad. “So you have a familiar look from the past integrated with the distinctive natural look of the Rosewood table, all wrapped into a contemporary feel.”

“So when you have a table like that or other design elements that you want to build around, having someone like Grabill to custom design, custom engineer and custom build the cabinetry — it’s the only way to do that.”