Thursday, May 7, 2015


Luckily we had started out around one in the afternoon, the KDC event wasn't scheduled to begin until 5:30. What we discovered was no matter how creative you are with your departure time there apparently is no good time to drive into Chicago. At just about the point where the roads begin to double and then triple in lane count the traffic slows to a crawl rather than speeds up with the extra added asphalt. The last twelve miles from Chicago's outskirts to the Merchandise Mart took more time than it took to drive from our driveway in Madison to those Chicago outskirts including a McDonald's break for French fries and Diet Coke.
The KDC (Kitchen Design Contest) is an event sponsored by Sub-Zero and Wolf. They've been doing this for almost a decade. The contest is open to designers and the trade who have created entry worthy kitchens using both Sub-Zero and Wolf in their designs. This year the entry categories were themed around style. You had to submit your entries in one of three baskets: Contemporary, Transitional, or Traditional. This was our first time entering. We decided we had two plausible submissions.
We entered our New Jersey client's sleek gourmet chef's kitchen under the contemporary umbrella. Doing most of our design work in New York we rarely get the opportunity to work with this much square footage in a kitchen.
It was a complete gut renovation. We opened the kitchen up to the living room and created two prep areas and a semi-formal breakfast area which seats eight. The main cooking area has a 48" Wolf range, two side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezers, and all the bells and whistles any major chef would want.
The second prep area is used for entertaining. A Wolf cooktop, under-counter refrigerator and wine storage are all tucked into a bi-level island with counter seating along the higher level.
Countertops are Silstone and all the cabinets were custom built out of rift-cut white oak with a grey cerused finish.
We also entered a kitchen in the transitional category. This one was a Madison local entry where the design was Arts and Crafts inspired. This was a gut renovation as well. All appliances were Sub-Zero and Wolf products. The cabinets were all custom made oak with art glass inserts.
Our biggest challenge here was to accommodate a diminutive wife who's forte is baking
with a 6'-5" grill master of a husband. There had to be work and prep space where both of them could feel comfortable.
We made it to the Merchandise Mart parking lot with about fifteen minutes to spare. You need to know that the event was scheduled for April thirtieth, the same day as the first day of the NFL draft being held for the first time in Chicago. The competition for bragging rights was not in Sub-Zero's favor. Luckily for us the NFL event was far enough away from the Mart that we were able to slip right in to the parking lot.
The Sub-Zero Wolf showroom is pretty impressive. Located on the main floor the showroom not only highlights their products but doubles as a demo and entertaining venue as well.
There are a slew of mock kitchens decked out in various styles highlighting all three of the contest directions: contemporary,
transitional and traditional.
There's a lounge area,
an extensive demo kitchen where appetizers were prepared for the event
and a full bar.
TV screens are scattered throughout the showroom. For the event they ran a loop of about twenty-five selected entries. Both our New Jersey and Lodi projects were heavily featured. Yes, I am unapologetically, patting us on the back.
Unfortunately, we weren't selected as a regional finalist, the competition was extremely tough but one of the executives did come up to us to say the voting was very tight and we were very close. Given there were over 1700 national and international entries we felt pretty good. Now apparently we've got one last chance to win and with the prize money being very lucrative we're going to lean on all of you out there to help us out.
There's going to be a People's Choice Award where you out there can vote. We'll let you know when the voting begins. So get your fingers ready to push our button and ask your network of friends to do the same. Thanks in advance.

Pie, 1950's
Robert Frank, photographer
Represented by Danziger Gallery, NYC

1 comment:

  1. I wish there were more places like this, because it was simply too amazing for words. I came here with my boyfriend the other night, and it was absolutely fabulous. The use of wood throughout the LA venues adds a very warm and inviting feel to venue.