25 Nov Grabill’s Custom Assistance Helps Designer Light the Way to a Distinctive Contemporary Kitchen
Sometimes the opportunity arises to do something special. Such an opportunity happened to Tom Lutz, owner and designer of Just 4 You LLC in Louisville, Ky., last fall when an association with a builder led to a unique kitchen remodeling job.
The 20-year-old property was located on a Boy Scout reservation where several million-dollar homes had been built in recent years. The owners were looking for a more functional, upscale kitchen, among other things. After discussing ideas with them, Tom came up with some special touches.
The client wanted a few unusual things, like six-inch toe kicks instead of the standard four-inch. The current island with the standard bar and stools were not being used since the couple’s children had grown. The couple wanted two sink areas, one for food preparation and one for cleanup. They were also clearly into using the latest electronic conveniences.
Additionally, Tom discovered that the owner had a collection of distinctive-looking decanters, whiskey and wine bottles. Tom considered the new kitchen as a potential place to exhibit some of the gems in the collection.
Taking all this into account, and having some budgetary flexibility to be creative, Tom came up with a plan that would combine some classic cabinet door styles with contemporary features and distinctive LED lighting.
The new island is anchored by a stovetop and a surrounding marble counter to create a new cooking area with a sink. Its base consisted of Benchmark Hampshire flush inset doors with flat panels, in glass and cherry wood, and finished with Windsor stain. The glass doors have LED lighted interiors to showcase the owner’s collection of unique bottles. The perimeter cabinets have the same door style in maple with a Super White finish. Small glass-doored cabinets perch on top of the main cabinets and also have LED lighted interiors to display glass art pieces and ceramics.
The lighting extends to the toe-kick areas, to under-cabinet lighting for counters, and to extensive ceiling LED lighting throughout the kitchen’s perimeter. The neighboring cherry wet bar cabinetry features a selectable hue of rainbow-colored lighting on the display shelves above the sink. All the lighting is controlled by a wall dimmer switch as well as hidden tap activated switches, such as under the front of the island counter. The toe-kick lighting is usually dimmed to also function as a night-light for the kitchen.
“More and more people are looking to LED lighting these days,” said Tom. “Rev-a-Shelf just bought Tresco LED lighting, and we were the first big job for them with their new product line. This is leading edge stuff.” Tom expects the design to be featured in future Rev-a-Shelf literature.
Another high-tech touch was the cabinets above the refrigerator and double-oven. They feature pull-up doors that can be opened and closed by remote control. Talk about making it easy!
“Grabill helped a lot with some of the engineering needed for the project,” said Tom. “Rick Pence was very helpful with suggestions on how to do different panel applications, coming up with things I hadn’t considered.”
Grabill’s custom capabilities contributed to such things as finding just the right size for the small display cabinets above the main wall cabinets, where they had to balance out the need for enough storage room in the lower cabinets with making the displays in the upper cabinets easily visible.
“This is the biggest project I’ve ever done in terms of lighting,” said Tom. “Grabill really helped us make a distinctive statement with this. It had a lot of pricey components with the lighting and electronics, but the client was thrilled. No matter the cost, they said they wouldn’t do anything differently.”