Seven North Shore kitchens open for tour
Glencoe's Sarah Dippold and her husband Matt will open their kitchen for Junior League of Evanston's "Designer Kitchens of the North Shore Kitchen Tour 2012." | Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
‘Designer Kitchens of the North Shore Tour 2012’
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 4
Tickets are $40 per person in advance or $50 per person the day of the tour.
HGTV “Design Star” finalist Karl Sponholtz will be the guest speaker during an optional luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Winnetka Community House. Tickets to the luncheon cost $15 and include a boxed lunch made by Galleria Marchetti.
For more information, visit: www.jle-ns.org/kitchen-tour, or contact the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore office at email@example.com or (847) 441-0995
Updated: April 24, 2012 7:50PM
Judy and Joe Konen used to live in the Playboy mansion. That storied Gold Coast address is one of multiple, enviable places where the couple has hung their hats.
But it wasn’t until August, when the Konens settled into a house in Kenilworth, did they decide they had finally found their dream home. The kitchen in their newly remodeled house, in which almost all of the rooms have been switched around by Lake Bluff designer Orren Pickell’s team, will be one of seven stops in a tour of residential kitchens along the North Shore.
The Junior League of Evanston-North Shore will present the “Designer Kitchens of the North Shore Tour 2012” on May 4. The non-profit organization uses event proceeds for its community-based projects.
This year, kitchen designs ranging from 1800s to mid-century modern to contemporary will be showcased in Glencoe, Kenilworth, Evanston, Wilmette and Winnetka.
At every stop, the designer of the featured kitchen will be on hand to share trends in technologies, materials and decorating.
Designers will also explain their inspiration for each project.
“It was the ugliest house for about three miles,” Pickell said of the Konen project. “People looking at before and after photos probably won’t believe it.” Pickell and his team rearranged almost all of the rooms in the house to customize the flow and make the house look nicer. An indoor pool was even covered and replaced by a great room.
At 32 feet long and 13 feet wide, the galley kitchen presented a considerable challenge. The Konens are pleased with the outcome. “People have said, besides it being lovely, it’s comfortable and homey,” Judy Konen said.
Two refrigerator drawers and two dishwasher drawers are stored within an unusually long center island. The island is covered by cabinetry on both sides, providing a unique appearance. “I was concerned about how a kitchen island this length would work, but it turned out to look like a beautiful piece of furniture,” Konen said.
As in most homes, the newly designed kitchen is a gathering place. Konen especially appreciates how her large extended family can share time in the kitchen without being on top of one another. The layout allows for each family member to work in his or her own space while chipping in with chores.
“Besides being lovely, the kitchen is also very functional,” she said. “It’s a happy space.”
Two other homeowners on the tour, Sarah and Matt Dippold, were especially involved in the design of the kitchen in their 1950s ranch house in Glencoe. Sarah, an interior architect, designed the new home and managed the remodeling project. The Dippolds moved into the house from Wilmette when construction was complete in October.
“We took a lot of time to pay respect to what the original architect had done,” she said. “We wanted to maintain a lot of the original elements.”
They did — even while rearranging some rooms to provide better sunlight and views, as they did in the kitchen.
The kitchen countertops are made from Madre Perola, a polished quartzite. “To create interest,” Dippold intentionally varied the thickness of the quartzite on the island, which ranges from 1 ¼ to 2 ½ inches thick.
The flooring is made of five-inch-wide pieces of white oak wood covered with a natural, water-based sealer. Like many of the features of the project, Dippold bought the wood through an auction. “Great savings,” she said.
She also repurposed ceiling beams and other elements of the house that became available after rooms were opened up. A ceiling beam was transformed into a table base. “It gives a sense of timelessness; it makes it feel more comfortable,” Dippold said.
Recessed lights in the ceiling above the refrigerator highlight art that Dippold has collected from all over, including pottery from Thailand.
New England style
David Ernst of Morgante-Wilson in Evanston integrated 1800s New England design elements into a kitchen on the tour in Wilmette. Homeowner Benagh Newsome spent time during summers in Martha’s Vineyard, and she wanted to reclaim the New England feel in her home. “It was a really fun project for me, because I also summered in Cape Cod,” Ernst said.
To achieve the desired look and feel, he designed the kitchen flooring using five-inch-wide walnut boards. He accented the room with beadboard trim, a tongue-and-groove type of paneling reminiscent of 1800s architecture. All windows and trim were painted white.
Transoms were placed over doorways, and a farmhouse sink was installed. Ernst even added a painted wood arch around the range in the kitchen to give the feel of a hearth, the most common gathering place in 19th century New England homes.
The kitchens tour will also feature the work of Normandy Remodeling (Hinsdale), Mark Menna (River Forest), R. Scott Javore (Glencoe) and Susan Fredman (Chicago).