Maximizing Modern

A Well-Informed Kitchen Design

Article by Christian Owen

Photography by Sarah Bell, Sélavie Photography

Originally published in River City Lifestyle

The best kitchen designs maximize form and function while minimizing an aesthetic departure from other rooms. Today's kitchen stands alone in its purpose as a command central, and the most successful looks typically build upon a home’s overall mood, reinterpreted with an emphasis on elements that uniquely serve a family’s routine.

Terri and Scot Struminger’s contemporary kitchen, designed by Jacquelyn Cummins, CKBD of Kitchens Unlimited, is purposefully uncluttered and direct. Because it is visible from most angles downstairs, the kitchen truly had to master form as much as function. Terri and Scot appreciate the foundations of good design. As Principal and Chief Operating Officer of the hospitality and entertainment design firm, HBG Design, Terri has an informed opinion regarding function in an interior space.

When Scot is not on duty as Executive Vice President and CEO of Aviation for FedEx Express, he is on site at the Lamp Shade House, his family’s 50-year-old business, located on Summer Avenue. There, he participates in all operations with other family members, but he especially enjoys the three-dimensional design process of customizing lamps with, at times, unusual objects and memorabilia. For example, a recent lamp design he is proud of incorporates a shoebox and an NBA basketball shoe, a one-of-a-kind lamp created for a basketball enthusiast.

In summary, this couple brings experience to any design dialogue. When questions of renovating a kitchen were presented, they responded with clarity. “We wanted light; we wanted openness; and while we didn’t state that we wanted a ‘minimalist’ style, we knew we didn’t want a lot of stuff,” Terri explains.

Jacquelyn asked all the right questions throughout their planning stages related to the Strumingers’ priorities. Her answers to their preferences for a clean background and modernity include cabinetry concepts from the German company Poggenpohl and a bold combination of lines and textures that complement the home’s contemporary black-and-white palette, which provides the ideal background for this couple’s extensive, colorful art collection.

The European cabinetry from Poggenpohl along with professional appliances from SubZero and Wolf are in keeping with a sleek, elevated theme throughout the home. The interior design team of Shapiro & Co., led by Director of Interiors Carley Keel, Associate IIDA, NCIDQ, managed the renovation of the Stuminger’s home, a complete re-do they took on to remain in an East Memphis neighborhood they love.

“The Struminger’s collect art from their travels all over the world, so we wanted to transform their existing home into a modern canvas that would allow their art to come alive,” Carley shares, adding, “We wanted the kitchen to translate as a piece of art itself, with the focal point being the custom oversized stainless steel range hood with grand, linear reveals.”

Carley and Jacquelyn’s solutions for the kitchen include a dimensional, stainless-steel backsplash, which contrasts against grand, dark cabinetry and ties into geometric features, an approach similar to the rest of the home. “These intentional design elements are woven together to create a sculptural feature within the client’s residence,” Carley describes.

Throughout the kitchen, subtle choices have significant impact. Opening the cabinets and drawers reveals the highest level of storage design. Jacquelyn points out that extending the cabinetry to the ceiling achieves the proportion this space needs to match the scale of vaulted ceilings in surrounding rooms.

This kitchen is equipped with the most up-to-date equipment, and its modern appeal extends into the living room, the bar and dining areas nearby, and even the outdoors, all of which are constantly on stage due to the home’s open floor plan and grand windows. In the spotlight of soft, natural light on all sides, the kitchen is a dramatically linear space where all things are clean, neat and efficient. The final product is an inviting room that is cohesive in style with the residence’s broader goal to reflect the Strumingers’ well-informed love for the contemporary as well as their modern, streamlined lifestyle.

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