In honor of Home Month at the Atelier we wanted to dig a bit deeper on how Garance’s home redesign is all coming together, from appliances to paint, to the inspiration behind the design choices. Read on to hear all about Garance’s kitchen appliances and what inspired her and Sarah Sherman Samuel in designing Garance’s dream kitchen.
What was the inspiration behind your decision to opt for an all-white, matte finish for the kitchen?
Garance: I absolutely fell in love with all the Café appliance possibilities – mainly the Matte White, just because it’s something you rarely see and because I have a real love for white in the home. It brings light, it feels happy and elegant – which is exactly how I want my home to feel. It also will certainly be a conversation starter, I am sure of this!
Sarah: Garance’s existing kitchen had high gloss white cabinets on the top and dark cabinets on the bottom. The high gloss finish does not reflect either of our styles and it felt off in her space as we both wanted it to have a more natural look. The black/brown cabinets felt too heavy and dark, so by bringing in all white cabinets we are able to brighten everything up, and by keeping the appliance finishes matte, we will get a more nuanced and organic feel to the space that we are aiming for. Think handmade pottery, plaster, white concrete and leather as inspiration to replace the lacquered high gloss finishes.
How important was it for you to have customizable appliances and why?
Garance: I love that it feels so personal. Usually appliances are seen as not really part of the decor, almost something we need to hide, but with the Café suite, it’s actually the highlight of the kitchen.
Sarah: The more I am able to customize a kitchen for a client, the more it truly reflects them—which is always a goal of mine.
Did the color of the appliances inform the palette of the kitchen or vice versa?
Garance: We had an idea of the vibe we wanted for the kitchen and the whole house – we wanted it airy and bright. When Sarah and I came across the Café collection, we started texting like crazy about how excited we were about it. It completed everything!
Sarah: We had the white on white plan in place before finding the Café suite, but once we saw it and the customization capabilities we honed straight in on it. Plus, having multiple hardware metal options to choose from allowed us to add a bit of contrast in a really style-centric way.
How did you add interest to an all-white space all the while managing to offset the sterility that can be a byproduct of such a look?
Garance: The fact that the hardware is a different, precious material (we chose Brushed Bronze) actually gives a very professional, almost old school kitchen look that I really value because it’s the types of kitchen that makes you want to actually cook. To me, nothing looks sterile about it – but we also brought different materials in the kitchen (concrete, soft wood) that bring sensuality. The soft colors also play a role in it and that’s one more reason why I love the Café Appliances : they fit so perfectly in the story.
Sarah: Incorporating different shades of white, as well as layering in different textures and patterns, is key to keep an all-white kitchen from looking too sterile. Those are the subtleties in the design that make it special. The vertical lines on the cabinets, the grid created by the backsplash tile, the smooth white appliances and the toothier texture of the matte countertops that are made to look like white concrete all add visual interest and character.
Can you speak to your choice of hardware and how you aimed to have them complement the established color scheme?
Garance: We chose some natural colors like a soft concrete with a warm tint for the island as well as beautiful warm colored tiles. We have an oak wood floor which also brings a lot of softness and warmth – we thought the Brushed Bronze responded perfectly to these tones – though in another life, I would also have loved the Brushed Copper finish!
Sarah: The color palette of the entire house is very warm, so it only made sense to carry those warm tones into the hardware in the kitchen. Thankfully, Café is an appliance brand that totally gets it!
A customized detail can go a long way, especially in the kitchen where standard appliances tend to stick out—more often than not, in a less than ideal manner. How did the Café line ameliorate this issue?
Garance: I think beyond the customizable choice of colors and the textures (the matte finish is pretty rare! Believe me, I’ve looked at everything!) I think what makes this line so special is the design of the appliances. They all look good and “welcoming” – and with all of this together, you have appliances that add to the design instead of just sticking out. Beyond design, you can’t overlook their functionality either! I’m also excited to incorporate the Hestan Cue top, one of Café‘s newest technologies, into my kitchen for its functionality. Dinner at my place!
Did you encounter any sort of challenges along the way? How did you overcome them?
Garance: Anybody who does renovations encounters challenges, be it in terms of timing or other things. But what I am most excited about is the kitchen for a lot of reasons – first, it’s the one place where we’re actually creating a full window that will bring a lot of light. Second, we had a marble island which was great but so porous that after any cooking session it would be marked and it would make you cook with caution, which really is not so pleasurable ! That’s one of the things I like the most about the Café Appliances : they are so beautiful, but they’re real : you can cook, they can take it!
Sarah: Being able to customize the hardware on the appliances was huge in creating a cohesive kitchen space. It creates the opportunity for the appliances to become a true design feature, and it elevates the whole space.