Kitchen & Bath Business: A Dream Home Come True

The following was published in Kitchen & Bath Business on March 2, 2018.


With plans to build their retirement/dream home on an almost unbuildable lot in a remote area in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, Stan and Montana Wakefield took a fearless approach and combed the planet to find inspiration and products to make their dreams come true.

The Wakefields were hands on in every facet of the project. After the shell of the house was built, they moved from their other home in Florida and assumed the role of general contractors for their new one so they could personally coordinate the local craftspeople and subcontractors. Montana did part of the manual labor, including staining, painting and caulking, and the only reason she didn’t stain the floors was because Stan thought she was working too hard. She designed the home inside and out and sourced and selected finishes for all the spaces. My job was to design custom cabinetry for the kitchen, the Murphy bedroom and the bathrooms.
 

Kitchen & Bath Business: A Dream Home Come True  |  Dream Kitchen Builders

Finding the Motivation

Montana’s inspirations came from her world traveling and her degree in fine art. European design informed her selections for authentic materials like the carved marble sinks in the bathrooms and in the kitchen. She did online image and text searches for months, looking for products in England, Italy, France and Spain. Alibaba, the Hangzoo, China, group of Internet-based businesses, “kept popping up.” She chose Alibaba because she found people who could make one-of-a-kind products to her specifications for less than similar off-the-shelf versions.

Montana wanted products that were decorative, functional and affordable. She found artisans in a small stone shop in China that made the custom marble sinks, as well as bathtubs and fireplace surrounds. An artist in Spain made a 10-lb. door knocker for the front door. Wood was repurposed from a 200-year-old cotton mill in South Carolina, which created the worn, old, rustic contrast with the clean white finishes chosen for the cabinetry, molding and trim. Montana chose sparkly things like the clear acrylic cabinet knobs, which were inspired by pretty things she saw in Paris.

 

Functional Kitchen with A Spectacular View

The most important requirement for the kitchen design was that it had to work well for baking, cooking, gathering and entertaining. Secondly, it had to look beautiful.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home,” said Montana. “It is so important for it to be beautiful, large and stately because it makes the house.”

She wanted lots of counter space for when she bakes several things at once, and the cabinet drawer interiors were customized to her cooking needs. We incorporated a baking drawer to store spatulas, biscotti tins, measuring cups and spoons, and custom drawer organizers in the prep area include a knife drawer, a two-tier utensil drawer and a spice drawer made from recycled wood. The walk-in pantry for food storage was important to the Wakefields because they buy in bulk.

Montana chose Crystal Cabinetry for the whole home because the product is made to order with a furniture finish and a lifetime warranty. The kitchen design features white-painted cabinets with classic Shaker doors.

“I selected white cabinets because white kitchens are classic, and white is always going to be in,” said Montana. “I like a bright house, and a light kitchen makes everything sparkle.”

Crystal Cabinetry’s commitment to green initiatives was another reason it was chosen for this project. The company not only has numerous green certifications but has also been directly involved in the development of the Environmental Stewardship Program (ESP) to promote green building.

The kitchen sink was inspired by an original marble farmhouse sink Montana saw in a 300-year-old home in Venice, Italy. The oversized single-bowl sink – carved out of one piece of marble and weighing about 325 lbs. – anchors the enormous island. Comfortable seating for four and large prep areas make this kitchen perfect for hanging out and putting some fabulous meals together.

Montana enjoys the changing view at the top of the Great Smoky Mountains while baking and giving online guitar lessons. The home was designed so the kitchen is oriented to take advantage of floor-to-ceiling glass, affording an unobstructed view of the mountains and lake.

Read the rest on Kitchen & Bath Business  >> 

Kitchen Builders Move HQ to Moore County

The following Press Release was published in the February 7 issue of The Pilot. 


Kitchen Builders Move HQ to Moore County  |  Dream Kitchen Builders

Dream Kitchen Builders LLC has moved operations from Greensboro and is now designing and remodeling kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms in this area.

Owners Scott and Gwen Koehler relocated to Whispering Pines to be close to their children and grandchild.

The Koehlers have been in the kitchen business since 1989. Over the years, Dream Kitchens has designed and produced award-winning kitchens all across North Carolina and as far away as New York City.

In 2011 the Greensboro showroom was sold and, in 2015, the Koehlers formed Dream Kitchen Builders to offer all of the same services and products without a showroom which has cut cost for their clients.

Dream Kitchens instead operates a website, a Facebook page, a Houzz site, a Pinterest site and is active on Instagram, all of which help new clients to learn about Dream Kitchens and see projects they’ve designed and produced.

Scott Koehler, a nationally recognized expert on kitchen technology, spoke at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show KBIS this past January in Orlando, Florida. He participated in two panel discussions and also offered a presentation about connected kitchens, smart appliances and using technology to help people live in their homes longer — age in place. To learn more, Visit DreamKitchenBuilders.com, call (336) 312–3540, or email dreamkitchenbuilders@gmail.com.

KBIS Announcement

I am really thrilled to be asked to do a presentation about "Designing a Smart Kitchen" at the Kitchen And Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Orlando in January. It's such an honor to be asked by The National Kitchen And Bath Association (NKBA) talk about my two passions, kitchens and technology.

If you are coming to the show please come by and let's chat about the latest in smart tech, voice input and artificial intelligence in the kitchen. We'll see you there!

KBIS Announcement  |  Dream Kitchen Builders

My love affair with my Subzero 700 | Dream Kitchen Builders

Earlier this month, I shared that we were moving to Whispering Pines to spend more time with family. As I was packing up my kitchen to head to the Sandhills, I was thinking about the appliances I chose for our kitchen back in 1997. The one that I distinctly remember purchasing -- and loving over the years -- is our 27 inch wide Subzero 700 all refrigerator. Not only do we love the design, but we've also never had to make a single repair to it! 

 
My love affair with my Subzero 700  |  Dream Kitchen Builders
 

Subzero was a leader in food preservation in the 1990's, this one even had 3 zones for different types of food preservation. Subzero was also a leader in cabinetry integration. Being great at two things is always awesome -- making this the perfect choice for my home. 

On a different note, we've just gotten started on our second kitchen remodel in Whispering Pines. Here's a couple of before photos: 

My love affair with my Subzero 700  |  Dream Kitchen Builders
My love affair with my Subzero 700  |  Dream Kitchen Builders

Continue checking back for updates. And, in the meantime leave us a comment telling us about your favorite kitchen purchase!


Dream Kitchen Builders is a Moore County based design/build firm specializing in kitchens and baths.