KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Sep 23 2015

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Snaidero Designer’s Award-Winning Kitchen


Shawna Dillon, principal at Studio Snaidero DC, recently won a 1st Place North American and International Regional Winner award at the Sub-Zero/Wolf Kitchen Design Contest (KDC). Her “Bachelor Pad Perfection” design features Snaidero’s Code style in ice white, high-glass lacquer and dark ash and was transformed from drab and outdated to spacious, functional, and beautiful.

K+BB got a chance to ask Dillon some more in-depth questions about her winning project.

What were the renovation goals and how were those carried out? 

My main design goal is always to create an end product that looks stunning while improving the way the kitchen functions for the client.  The client, a bachelor, approached his design/build firm, Centaur Interiors, with two major goals: to turn a rather drab penthouse he recently acquired into a landmark property and to create a space that would function well as both his primary residence and a large-scale entertaining venue for professional functions that he frequently hosts.

Since this particular project boasted such a large, open plan, it was also my goal to maintain a cohesive expression that would complement the other half of the room. The kitchen had to be the perfect balance of sophistication and quiet elegance to complement the minimal interior and allow the view beyond the windows to be the star. The contrast between the high-gloss white and coffee brown wood cabinetry promotes drama without overwhelming.


What were the issues with the previous design? 

The existing space possessed a lot of challenges. There was a very large wall separating the living space from the kitchen, which made the penthouse feel dark and cramped but also impeded the lake-to-city view that was the highlight of the property.

Once we removed the wall to create one large, open plan, the space immediately transformed. The view was stunning and the main living space felt extraordinary, but the impressive size created a new set of challenges. I had to scale the kitchen to be intimate enough to feel comfortable for one person to use but balance the space so that nothing felt cramped once it was filled with people and caterers.



Lastly, a very large support column for the building fell exactly in the apex of the main workspace, promoting an awkward layout. I used this challenge to my advantage and created four different work/prep/storage zones within the kitchen, using the column as a divider between two zones. This approach gave the client a multi-purpose kitchen – one that could perform well for a large team of caterers, yet function just as well for a single person preparing a simple meal.

Were there any challenges overcome during the project? 

The client acquired the 48-in. Sub-Zero refrigerator, 30-in. wine storage and 30-in. Wolf double ovens when he purchased the property. Knowing the longevity of these appliances and the type of cooking and food storage that would be required, we proposed that the client maintain these appliances and supplement them to complete the package. Thus, these specific appliances influenced the design almost as much as the view. I knew right away I wanted the ovens and the refrigerator to act as bookends for the main work zone.


The type of entertaining that was required warranted the large-scale professional-type cooking and food/wine storage, but since the space was open to the formal dining and living room, I did not want the appliances to overwhelm the room. I designed the height and width of the cabinetry to balance the size and placement of the appliances so the scale between all the materials would be harmonious.

The induction cooktop gave the client the efficiency of a gas cooktop, while maintaining a sleek aesthetic. The flush inset installation allowed for a continuous plane on the island, so if the cooktop wasn’t needed, it could be locked and function as part of the counter surface. The drawer microwave gives the client all the cooking he needs and functions easily under the counter so we did not have to interrupt the horizon level.

Appliances: Sub Zero Refrigerator and Wine Storage, Wolf Cooking, BEST Ventilation
Cabinetry: Snaidero CODE and WAY styles
Countertops: Caesarstone

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 at 5:13 PM and is filed under Creativity, Kitchen Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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