Details that Make the Difference: On-Trend Traditional with Inset Expertise

This week, we’re excited to introduce Gail, another of our stellar designers! Here are her insights on this gorgeous Platinum kitchen.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn

In a world where contemporary design draws so much attention and transitional styling is so popular, traditional style can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. But it doesn’t have to; this kitchen presents traditional styling in a beautifully bright, fresh space with some special features that you may not see until you look REALLY closely.

Three of a kind

Working three finishes into one room can be a design challenge that can make your brain hurt!  It takes a careful balance, but in this kitchen, they coordinate so well that the room blends together seamlessly.collage dove pepper irish creme doors

I love how the three finishes each have their own unique texture; they add so much depth to the design.Irish Creme is soft and subtle and an on-trend update to the classic white kitchen style. Peppercorn stain on cherry gives some warmth with its subtle wood undertones and Dove Appaloosa adds a sophisticated yet rustic touch without taking over.



Double the islands, double the style

For me, the hero in this kitchen is the double-duty island.  The table-like portion is beautiful and unexpected—it gives such great space for storage/display!

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn

We’ve talked about how furniture-look pieces add interest and uniqueness to your design, and pieces like this also add a traditional element to your design. This one definitely looks like a restored antique table, with its chunky legs, deep drawers (yay for bonus storage!), and a custom slatted shelf.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn
These drawers are HUGE–almost 4 feet wide! There’s one on each side of the island, meaning that just as the whole surface is usable prep space, the whole underside is usable storage space, too.

This showstopper receives a lot of fan mail here with requests for details on how it was made.  Here is a diagram of how this particular island was built:

Island Elevation detail 1Island elevation detail 2

Medallion Platinum Providence Island Detail

The shelf itself has a diagonal pattern that adds beautiful, custom detail. The piece is composed entirely of Medallion parts assembled by the same skilled craftsman who installed the rest of the cabinets.

As we walk around the room, we see the 2nd island, AKA: the business end with the sink, dishwasher and trash.  I made that sound boring, but it’s not!  This necessary cleaning zone is elevated in its details.   The dishwasher is cleverly concealed with a panel that mimics a full-height cabinet.  And the trash neatly tucks away in its own dedicated cabinet.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn
Island depth was designed at 27” to allow for more counter space behind the faucet/sink. The deluxe end automatically includes 2 center panels, as it is deeper than the standard 24”.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn

BONUS: because this wastebasket cabinet has a fixed floor below the drawer, we can still have a cutlery drawer in the prime, next-to-the-sink place of honor.

The farmhouse sink is so sleek and bright. (And remember, we added new modifications this year to make an apron sink base even more customizable based on your client’s sink choice).

I can’t get enough of small cabinet details that demonstrate design expertise.

Here, the cabinet on the left end of the island has an end panel that extends to the floor, creating a natural foot on the cabinet.  The end facing us by the dishwasher is an end panel with filler modified with a deluxe end.  Wrap some astragal base molding around and you have an island that is oh so tailored!

When you look at the island as a whole, the sink portion is rather simple in design; by adding the furniture piece against it, you have something very special with loads of personality!

Showcase the room

I love how this kitchen design takes full advantage of the room’s tall ceilings.  What is so smart here is that while not all the cabinets reach the ceiling, it still feels balanced.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn

Bringing the cabinets on the back wall up as high as they can go creates a spectacular focal wall.   The symetrical layout and wood hood only increases this wall’s presence.

Recessing the ‘wall of talls’ to the left sleekens the room and makes an architectural statement , andalso creates intentional design separation from the cooking wall.  The wall space above the tall cabinets and fridges makes the whole room feel larger and creates a nice visual line across this wall.  To me, this detail adds a bit of a contemporary feel in this otherwise traditional space, making it feel fresh and updated.

Did you also notice that the crown at the top of the back wall extends around the room?  Again, a detail that fits so well and is so seamless that you may need to look twice before noticing.

Everything in its place

This kitchen is LOADED with smart storage solutions.  Here are just a few:

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn

Drawer with peg-board, here used for stacks of dishes. Great organizing idea if lifting down a stack of plates from an upper cabinet is difficult for an older (or just shorter!) client, or when upper cabinets are desired for other storage.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry PeppercornRoll-out trays, a classic storage option with full-extension guides for easy access to items. 3 1/2″ high sides ensure items don’t fall through the cracks.



Design Tip!

Don’t forget to add a drawer liner in drawers and roll-out trays to help keep items in place.

As we talked about in Scandinavian simplicity, farmhouse charm, combining cabinets lends to a more streamlined design, which is desirable especially for inset kitchens like this one. It reduces the repetition of connected cabinets and subsequent seams.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn

That’s why one of my personal favorites, especially for inset cabinetry, is  a two drawer base with hidden drawers.  The storage possbilities of a 4-drawer base with the cleaness of two drawerfronts.

And of course, combining multiple cabinets in one piece!  This base cabinet combines our tiered storage and pullout tray-divider into one 30 1/2″ wide configuration.

PLATINUM: Providence maple Irish Creme, Dove Appaloosa and cherry Peppercorn
In this particular creative combo, we get two narrow organizers but keep a wide drawer as well!

Here is another example where a counter wall cabinet was combined with a plate rack and drawer.  In some people’s opinion, a plate rack is a dated fixture.  In this kitchen however, it feels fresh and new.  Balanced symmetrically with the appliance garage on the right, it adds openness to this wall of cabinets. The appliance garage’s vertical lift door is also a more updated, stylish alternative to a tambour door.


I could keep going on and on about this kitchen!  So many great, creative design features and there’s still more in this room that we haven’t seen!  Hint hint—stay tuned for more details that make the difference!

This design includes Platinum inset cabinets with concealed hinges and non-beaded frames in the following finishes:

  • Tall and upper cabinets: Providence maple Irish Crème Classic (Providence is also now available in MDF!)
  • Island and base cabinets: Providence cherry Peppercorn
  • Island table: Providence maple Dove Appaloosa


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