Regional Award Winner KDC 2006-2007
An interior designer's new Naples, Florida kitchen showcases continuity and function, and celebrates a lifetime in design.
When Interior Designer and woodworker Richard F. Geary first designed and built his Naples, Florida home in 1978, Better Homes and Gardens photographed it for a feature on its innovative open plan. When he recently tackled a major remodel of the home, he adapted the layout to incorporate the kitchen into the contemporary living spaces for a clean look and seamless transition that would accommodate exceptional storage and also showcase his talents.
Using veneer cut from a wide flitch of curly white Ash that Geary had saved for many years, Geary built two identical walls of cabinetry, the unique grain and color creating the illusion of huge pieces of furniture. Lower cabinet heights were dictated by the lower drawer divisions of the Sub-Zero Integrated refrigerator and the unframed Wolf cooktop, where Geary and his wife cook everything from paella to Thai food. The cooktop also blends seamlessly into the honed balsatina countertop. "To make the kitchen part of the living space, it needed to look more like furniture, less like a kitchen," says Geary. "The integrated Sub-Zero and flush Wolf cooktop become terribly important. The Wolf oven is as sleek as you can get, especially as you can rotate the controls in and out."
Geary designed the distinctive bar stools, and designed and built the dining table of 150-year-old, river-recovered long leaf pine that is surrounded by Hans Wegner's Wishbone chairs. The art plates displayed on the stainless shelf above the exhaust hood were made by Geary's wife, a professional ceramicist represented at The Gallery at Geary Design, which features art, studio furniture and custom art furniture. The colorful painting is by Jazzamoart Vazquez, an artist Geary worked with in Mexico City who became a close friend. Today the kitchen is a living showroom for potential clients where Geary can cook while showcasing his considerable talents. "This represents me and what I've done professionally over my lifetime," he says. "It's been an amazing selling tool!"
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