Inspiration for design can be found in unexpected places. For designer Jenifer Dunn-Coen of Well Dunn Home Designs, her kitchen remodel all started with one element; a unique ceramic tile from Italy. From this inspiration, Jenifer has transformed her quaint Connecticut kitchen with striking Italian tile, custom cabinetry, and a BLANCO DIAMOND™ sink to bring the room all together. To learn more about Jenifer’s remodel, we discuss the design process for this traditional yet modern kitchen and how BLANCO helped bring her vision to life.
Q: What is your favorite part of this kitchen design?
A: My favorite part of the newly designed kitchen space is how it feels. I think it is the perfect blend of traditional & modern. It was important to the homeowner and myself to keep the integrity of this 1920’s home, improve the function & flow to the rest of the home while adding modern day luxury finishes.
Q: What was your design inspiration?
A: My design inspiration came from this beautiful Italian ceramic 3 x 12 tile I found in two shades of gray. The homeowner also wanted white custom cabinets – that was the one element she was dead set on.
I love the idea of marble counter tops in a kitchen but the homeowner was too practical for that. If she went with light counter tops, the gray tiles would be the perfect compliment. I couldn’t bear the thought of doing another kitchen or bath with white subway tile. After several trips to the stone yard, she decided to go with Minuet by Viatera. It’s a white quartz with gray and taupe veining.
Q: What would you say was your biggest challenge with this design?
A: My challenge was getting the homeowner to step out of her comfort zone of white subway tile and be open to doing something different, like gray. To take it one step further, gray tile with a metallic gray sink and chrome fixtures. I packed up the tile and counter top samples and off to the plumbing showroom we went so she could see it all together.
I was familiar with BLANCO SILGRANIT® sinks and was dying to use one in a project. I love how the finish adds another layer of texture to a kitchen. The metallic gray looks as if it will feel soft to the touch and it has a warmth to it unlike stainless – which can look cold against white. I knew the homeowner had to see it because it’s not easy to describe the look & feel of this product.
I laid out the samples of the counter top and the two shades of gray tile next to the gray sink on display and she loved it! Once I explained to her that BLANCO SILGRANIT was durable and both scratch and heat resistant and easy to maintain, she was sold. We paired the sink with a chrome faucet and pendant lighting for a little pop.
Q: What was your biggest takeaway from this project?
A: I learned that sometimes you need to show before you tell. I truly believe if I had told her about my idea for Italian gray ceramic tile and a BLANCO SILGRANIT sink in Metallic Gray I might have lost my client down the Google rabbit hole. Pictures don’t always portray products in their best light. There are certain textures, finishes and colors that need to be experienced in person. Pinterest boards are great tools for some things, but not all. A designer needs to stay on top of trends and new products, and it’s important to see and feel the products to know what’s right for your customer’s dream kitchen.