Fun With Fixtures

I recently had clients that desperately needed a kitchen remodel. It was not a simple update to the appliances. The original layout of the kitchen was awkward: if you opened the fridge, the door blocked the entranceway; the dishwasher was by itself, far from both the cabinets and the sink; and although the room was a decent size, there was not a whole lot of usable cabinet space. It was a big job—to make the room more functional, we had to rearrange some major appliances and add cabinets.

Having said that, the project was actually one of my most enjoyable to date. The clients were good-natured and fun, hands-on and articulate enough to give me guidance on what they wanted yet open to hearing suggestions about alternatives. In other words, my favorite type of people to work with. It helped that there weren’t too many surprises as far as the work or costs went because that can turn even the most good-natured of clients off the project in a big way.

My favorite part of most of my assignments is choosing the unique pieces that set the design apart from any other that I have done and reflects the client’s personality. I love taking them to boutique shops and stores off the beaten path to get that one item that really makes the whole room their own and ties it all together.

These particular clients were adamant about having a undermount style sink. It was a non-negotiable point as soon as I was able to confirm that we had the counter space and strength available to hold one. Since this was that One Big Thing the clients wanted for this kitchen renovation, and because a sink that size basically forces itself to be a focal point in the room, I vowed to make it as spectacular as was budgetarily possible. I took them to a specialty store that has all manner of plumbing fixtures. We quickly narrowed it down to a matte black color to coordinate with the new cabinet hardware. Then we started looking at features. My clients wanted a sprayer for the sink, but I knew from looking at the design of the sink it would have to be detachable from the faucet–there was no extra hole in the actual sink for a separate sprayer. That narrowed the field down even more. We finally found one that had a nice, high arc and all the little details that my clients were looking for. It pays in a situation like this to go to a specialty shop and not a home improvement store, there are typically a lot more options in a place like this.

We purchased it then turned it over to the plumber for installation. I did not envy the cabinet installer or the plumber’s job getting the sink put in properly. It was a beast of a sink, albeit a gorgeous one. But what the clients want (and can pay for), the client gets, so in it went! I have to say, though, it certainly did look gorgeous in the kitchen and is going to last them a good long time.