New York based interior designer Christine Baumann leads a full service award-winning interior design firm, Christine Baumann Interiors, established in 2003. Her design work has been featured in House Magazine, HGTV.com and Fabulous Floors, and she has been awarded New York’s Queens Chamber of Commerce Building Award for Excellence in Design.
I sat down with Christine to discuss one of her recent projects – a completely new kitchen, remodeled after Hurricane Sandy damaged her client’s home.
Paula: What was the goal of this project?
Christine: Unfortunately, the family’s home was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. The finished basement and the entire first floor were flooded and they needed to rebuild. The goal of the kitchen remodeling project was to design a space that gives the growing family a place to cook and eat meals as a family, is equipped to entertain, and offers plenty of room to complete homework and projects. Some of the particular interests included:
- Space for a dining table
- An island for cooking preparation and dining
- A wine chiller for entertaining purposes, as well as a television for the father and the kids to use (while Dad is cooking!)
- An open feel and more sunshine
Paula: What was some of the inspiration for the final design?
Christine: Inspiration for this project came from my client’s love of white and soft colors. She expressed a preference for a “soft” environment with either visual or tactile textures.
Paula: Any interesting challenges that came up during the design or construction phase?
Christine: Fitting everything in! We needed room for appliances, storage and enough working space. The overall kitchen area is large, but the rectangular shape and traffic flow patterns were challenges we had to deal with to meet the client’s requirements.
Paula: What do you like most about this design?
Christine: This kitchen has some of my favorite elements: beautiful, yet unassuming, ornate details in the cabinetry accented by sleek stainless steel high-performance appliances.
Paula: What do you think your client likes most about this design?
Christine: Family is most important to them and this kitchen design keeps everyone together but provides each of them their own space so they don’t feel crowded.
Paula: Any other interesting tidbits about this kitchen?
Christine: During the design process, we considered different locations for the toaster oven, as toast is part of their morning routine and necessary. Fitting small appliances into a kitchen when everything is battling for space can be tough. The opportunity to go to the Monogram Experience Center in Louisville and use the Advantium had me convinced that a separate toaster oven is not necessary. In addition to speed cooking, the Advantium works as a convection oven, microwave, and warming oven – in addition to other functions like proofing, broiling and toasting. Why get multiple cooking appliances when one can do it all?