Meat and Potatoes
Clean, stylish design meets smooth functionality in Deane, Inc.’s new Culinary Center
Photographs by Jane Beiles
Food: It says a lot about a person’s taste, lifestyle and values. According to Deane, Inc. Principal Peter Deane, the same goes for the place we cook it. That explains why the company constructed a new Culinary Center to reflect the needs of the modern homeowner. Now open in Deane’s Stamford Showroom, I got the dish on the new center from the kitchen expert himself.
athome: What inspired you to create a new culinary center?
Peter Deane: Back in 2001, we opened our first culinary center. After twelve years, it was time to bring it up to today’s standards. My wife, Julia, runs Culinary Works and she needed a larger kitchen to accommodate clients. Now, the center has double the space. She just finished a corporate event with 28 people.
AH: How does the redesign speak to the needs and style of a contemporary kitchen?
PD: We moved away from a traditional design to a transitional-contemporary look. The layout features sleek, clean lines—not a lot of heavy elements—and it’s functional. It’s all about material selection.
AH: What materials were used? How do they offer both look and function/durability?
PD: Bleached oak and taupe painted cabinetry made for a subtle color palette. Then we used a lot of brushed stainless, like the eight-foot hood, which is a statement in itself. Bronze rivets accent the stainless hood, complementing the bronze decorative hardware used throughout. Underneath is a forty-eight-inch Wolf range with high CFMs for an ultra-functional design with an industrial look. Stainless grills and door panels match the hood, as do the custom metal feet on the island, which offer a really transitional look. A tambour door hides small appliances, and the Sub-Zero fridge has a bronze glass insert that’s fingerprint free.
AH: What types of classes and seminars will be held in the new space?
PD: We host a lot of groups and companies, and team building functions. Everything is very hands on, so all 28 of the people just here got aprons and assignments. Each person is responsible for something—appetizer, salad, entree, dessert. It’s not just a demonstration; everyone is involved. It’s such a positive atmosphere, because at the end of the day, the kitchen offers a commonality. It’s a familiar environment everyone can feel comfortable in.
AH: How often should homeowners update their kitchens?
PD: Typically, kitchen projects are initiated because of lifestyle change or need. Whether it’s a new house, or the cabinetry is old, or appliances need to be replaced, it’s these needs that inspire renovation.
AH: What are the quintessential elements every kitchen should possess?
PD: Every kitchen needs the fundamentals: a place to prep, a place to cook and a place to clean up. Beyond that, it depends on individual preference. The first thing we do for clients is a needs-analysis. After that, I ask them to take a step back and focus on the bigger picture—how their kitchen needs to function. Do you entertain? How often do you shop? It’s easy to get caught up in the details (finishes, hardware), but more importantly it should accommodate your lifestyle.
AH: What kitchen and cuisine trends are you seeing for 2014?
PD: Definitely neutral earth tones, such as gray and beige. There’s a real interest in a mix of materials and texture: woods, glass, marble, metals. For example, we topped the painted maple island with a corduroy walnut top, which shows the streaks of the original wood. It’s also a very “green” product.
AH: How do Culinary Works and Deane, Inc. go hand in hand?
PD: It’s a natural dovetail to what we do. Interestingly enough, they’re both very creative processes. For Julia and Culinary Works, it’s through food, and for us it’s through cabinetry and kitchen design. In both cases, the goal is to have clients enjoy the experience and come out with a product they’re happy with.