1996 Interior Design Awards: Innovative Ideas Worth Stealing from the West's 16 Best Kitchens, Bedrooms and Baths

By Crosby, Bill; Gregory, Daniel et al. | Sunset, October 1996 | Go to article overview

1996 Interior Design Awards: Innovative Ideas Worth Stealing from the West's 16 Best Kitchens, Bedrooms and Baths


Crosby, Bill, Gregory, Daniel, Whiteley, Peter O., Sunset


Grab a stool and sit down. This year's winning interiors - chosen from nearly 300 entries by Los Angeles architect Jeffrey Daniels, Seattle interior designer Susan Okamoto, Santa Fe textile designer Ramona Sakiestewa, Berkeley design entrepreneur Sigmar Willnauer, and Sunset senior editor Daniel Gregory - provide a feast for the imagination. From skillful combinations of furniture to inventive approaches to color and stain, these pages offer a host of great ideas for refurbishing the Western home.

Architectural color

Maximum impact at minimum cost was the challenge Annie and Chris Camarda put to Seattle architectural firm Miller/Hull for their new house on Vashon Island, Washington. For project designer Craig Curtis, "the choice was to go with color, period - to make that work as the detailing." He says, "We ended up with this big pile of colors we liked so we thought, 'What the hell, let's use them all.'"

Project architect Amy Lelyveld did Mondrian-like geometric sketches of the kitchen elevations, putting oranges, yellows, and greens together with a lot of naturally finished fir for relief. These served as color guides for the cabinetmakers and painters as well as a litmus test for the clients. Annie Camarda realized these were the colors she felt attracted to.

The Camardas knew they would focus on the kitchen, so that's where the extra money went. "This is the hub of the household, so the concentration of colors here appealed to me," Annie says. "It's like being around a vibrant personality. The colors counter the darker days of Pacific Northwest winters."

DETAILS

* Flooring: Armstrong Companion Square #51971 Mono Charcoal vinyl composition tile in kitchen; salvaged gym floor in living-dining room

* Cabinets: Custom fir veneer plywood

* Stain: Sherwin-Williams Co. custom stains matched with paint colors

* Wall paints: Pratt & Lambert Kashmir Green #1608, Golden Gate #1743

* Counters: Formica Shakers Green #434 matte

* Cooktop: 36-inch-wide, six-burner Viking

Cottage style

"It needed a face-lift of color and light," says Sausalito, California, interior designer Kendall Wilkinson about her client's dark 1930s cabin. She aimed for a blend of airiness and warmth while highlighting the natural wood tones of the owner's antiques: an English corner hutch, an English armchair, and a Danish armoire. Her color palette for the main living spaces combines rose, terra-cotta, soft pink, and warm whites in plain and patterned upholstered furniture. Custom-designed accent pieces include a standing lamp made out of a salvaged wooden column and a table made from red Verona marble on a base of wrought iron. The soft-white walls "create a sun-stream effect," says Wilkinson.

DETAILS

* Wall color: Fuller O'Brien Shell White

* Sofa fabric: Hines & Co. white damask

* Patterned fabric: Beaumont & Fletcher Wisteria and Rose

* Rug: Herringbone sisal

Reinventing the kitchen cabinet

"The surface is vandalproof; what could be better in a kitchen?" homeowner Joan Fulton says somewhat facetiously of the porcelain inserts she designed for the cabinets in her house on Vashon Island.

The process she employed is usually used for outdoor signs. Ground-glass "inks" are silk-screened onto 1/16-inch-thick sheet metal, then fired at 1,400 [degrees] to fuse the ink to the surface. Fulton, a field representative for a sign company, decided to bring the technique into her kitchen.

She made a negative by putting cedar, pine, Douglas fir, madrona, and birch branches and leaves on white paper and spray-painting them black. From 30 different compositions, her family chose the one you see here; the manufacturer was asked to render the blacks and whites in two different shades of green. The inserts fit into the cedar cabinet doorframes just like a panel door. One judge's reaction was simple: "It's way cool. …

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