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Kitchen Concepts, Inc.

We love how the feature wall became such a versatile space - statement wall, fireplace, bar, and storage - all rolled into one. How did you come upon this idea?

The homeowner wanted to engage with his guests while serving them drinks and hors d´oeuvres without missing out. Everyone can be where the action is, whether it is to watch a sporting event or an Oscar screening party.

When deciding your backsplash material, what drew you to a dimensional piece versus a mosaic or flat field?

By using the dimensional Oceanside tile, the viewer doesn´t need to move to see the shimmer. The tile is iridescent, and to maximize the shimmer of colors, it is best to have it seen at different angles. Also, you will notice there are many curves in this kitchen, which are natural and pleasing in design, as well as a feature that shows off the tile. I use Feng Shui techniques in design. I love the fire and water flow with that cool faucet and river sink!

The kitchen features a bold color palette - what was the driving creative force behind this color selection?

The homeowner has an amazing art collection throughout the house that clearly depicts vibrant colors. I wanted to showcase his enthusiasm with color and textures in this entertainment space.

What advice would you offer homeowners who may be hesitant adding statement colors in finishes they can´t easily change (i.e. tile, cabinets, fixtures, etc.)?

There are two types of clients--those who want vanilla or builder beige and those who are daring and want statement features that are custom. When colors are done correctly, everyone will appreciate it. Are you remodeling for yourself or for others? Choose an aesthetic that you will enjoy.

The "Party Kitchen" blends color, dimension and patterns so effortlessly - what advice would you offer homeowners looking to achieve the same look?

I recommend using professional services from a designer who has a portfolio with a style you can relate to. Some of my designer colleagues keep adding and adding more to a space, which becomes too cluttered for my preference. Steve Jobs used to say, "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." And he was clearly onto something.

Kitchen Concepts, Inc
Marilyn Terlouw
110 N 2nd Avenue W,
Newton, IA 50208
When deciding the backsplash material, what drew you to a mixed medium of glass and stone?

I like the texture of using both stone and glass. To use all stone would be too rustic for this home and all glass is less interesting. Marrying the two together gives it just the right look.

We love the dark wood floors and warm cabinets - what advice would you offer others when mixing warm woods with cool stones?

If an environment implements only warm colors it can look and feel boring and drab, just as using all cool colors will leave you with a room that doesn´t feel homey. The combination of cool and warm tones provides that balance that is needed. If you picture all of the beautiful fall colors of trees and bushes without the blue sky, we wouldn´t appreciate it as much.

What is your favorite part of the residential design process?

I love being able to interview the homeowners and really listen and watch what excites them. Then I can identify what they want and deliver their design options so it isn´t so overwhelming. Getting to know the homeowner and their family is one of my favorite parts of the process. Since I own my own company and don´t have employees, the homeowner works directly with me from the start to the very end. Often we become friends and continue to stay in contact.

What is your must have when working with a homeowner on a project?

We must have good communication, not only with each other, but with everyone associated with the project. Everyone needs to respond to the questions and concerns in a timely manner.

When did Interior Design turn into your passion?

I started off in the wrong career by teaching preschool and the part I loved the most was the creative experiences, such as decorating the room, bulletin boards, and planning our lessons. As my friends and family saw my classroom and home, I continued to hear feedback that I should do this for a living.

What separates "trend" from "timeless" in home remodels?

You look at what has been around forever like white kitchens, natural stones, medium toned woods and stainless steel. Avoid the extremes.

Who is your favorite Oceanside Glasstile showroom to work with?

RBC out of Des Moines, Iowa! I trust them for keeping me informed and educated on the products and installation.