KDC Q&A: Jennifer Markanich

October 11, 2013


This is part of an ongoing series of posts in which we’ll take an in-depth look at the story behind the winning designs in our 2010-2012 Kitchen Design Contest.

Sub-Zero and Wolf: Who drove the inspiration for this design?
Jennifer Markanich: My clients, a great couple with an empty nest, looking to reimagine life and their kitchen. Their biggest issue was connecting the kitchen to the living area of the home.

SZW: What inspired it?
JM: Inspiration comes from life long experiences. This kitchen (before the renovation) was ordinary and isolated from the main living space. Architecture, travel, knowing my client, cooking and entertaining in my own kitchen all inspired my design.

SZW: Was there an overarching theme to the design?
JM: The overarching theme was regarding function first, then a beautiful aesthetic to compliment the architecture of the house.

SZW: Why were the colors in this kitchen chosen?
JM: The color palette began with the fabric we chose for the window treatments, a beautiful fabric from Raoul Textiles. Everything played off it, cabinet colors, marble, granite, wall colors, hardware, etc.

SZW: How were finishes chosen?
JM: Finishes were chosen to compliment the overall feeling and design intension for the space.

SZW: Was there anything you or the client wanted to include in the kitchen, but couldn’t?
JM: Everything, and more, was included that the client and I wanted for this project! The outcome was fantastic.

SZW: What’s your favorite part of the kitchen?
JM: My favorite part of the kitchen was the new opening created between the kitchen and living space. This created a beautiful axis from the window in the kitchen to the fireplace in the great room. The new opening allowed for the traffic patterns and work zones in the kitchen to be reconfigured to be more functional for the client’s lifestyle.

SZW: What did you learn from this project that will help you most in future jobs?
JM: What I learned is what I learn from every project: determine what the client wants to achieve, listen to them – it is their home – inform them of choices they don’t know about. Make them happy and be proud to have done the work.

SZW: Tips for other designers?
JM: Be a good listener and teacher. It is a privilege and joy to help clients realize their dreams for their home.

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