KDC Q&A: Janice Morse

November 6, 2013
Q&A With KDC Winner: Janice Morse, Designs Unlimited

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Sub-Zero and Wolf: Who drove the inspiration for this design?
Janice Morse: The inspiration for the kitchen came from the client. She drew it on a napkin to go with the serpentine stone wall. The concept was to get something curved. The entire space was organized for her lifestyle of entertaining and the kitchen was to emulate a giant bar for company.

SZW: What inspired it?
JM: The client wanted something totally out of the box. When entertaining or cooking she wanted to be part of the entire party and space and not be stuck in some room when everyone else was having a good time. Her lifestyle was her inspiration.

SZW: Was there an overarching theme to the design?
JM: The theme to the kitchen was to be quiet and fit in with the overall space. The theme behind the condo was high contrast, crystal and men’s suits. Since it was part of the main living space with no walls separating it from the dining room or living room, it was important that all the appliances were successfully covered. It includes a quiet Poggenpohl lava in contrast to the custom stainless oval island with crystal chandelier hanging over it.

SZW: Why were the colors in this kitchen chosen?
JM: In selecting colors the stone wall was the statement piece for the entire space as it serpentines over the living area. It was a very quiet gray and whatever was used for the kitchen cabinets was chosen to work in with the wall. The client knew she wanted Poggenpohl cabinets and they had a perfect selection to blend in with the wall. The finish which is manmade was indestructible and textured. The colors were selected on the first meeting and the rest of the living area worked with both the wall and the cabinets.

SZW: Was there anything you or the client wanted to include in the kitchen, but couldn’t?
JM: We were able to incorporate everything we wanted to in the kitchen. Since the space was empty when purchased, it was designed around the kitchen. There was nothing even now that the client wishes she had included.

SZW: What’s your favorite part of the kitchen?
JM: My favorite part of the kitchen is the seamless integration of the cabinetry with doors hidden to rooms behind the wall of cabinets. It really reflects in my mind how living space should be thought of. I have a strong feeling that whoever came up with the concept that the kitchen should be its own room and living should be elsewhere is antiquated. Anyone who has a big party knows that everyone always crowds in the area where the kitchen is located. It is with the fabulous designs of the Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances that this was possible so the space no longer looks utilitarian but rather an integral part of the whole.

SZW: What did you learn from this project that will help you most in future jobs?
JM: What I learned from this project was to not be afraid to think outside the box. The space was totally designed not to be like any other space I had done in my 35 years as a kitchen designer. I was open to her ideas such as crystal chandeliers which worked and she was open to my ideas of materials. Together it was a very successful space.

SZW: Tips for other designers?
JM: My tip for other designers is to take advantage of all the built-in products on the market. Incorporating them successfully into a living space makes it work with today’s lifestyle.

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