KBIS 2017: An Unfitted Loft Kitchen Inspired by Wellborn and Thermador

For about a year now I've been dreaming about this space. It's an old art deco auto body repair shop in midtown Toronto that some smart cookie has beautifully reimaged. Mr. A and I pressed our noses against the window when it was for lease recently. It's off the market now. The exterior is interesting enough. But inside you get this:

BAM! Right? Incredible. Reclaimed wood and polished concrete floors, white walls, black-framed windows and original wood ceiling beams. 

With this space stored somewhere in the fantasy interior section of my brain, I strolled the aisles at KBIS 2017 (The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show). In this instalment of my posts on KBIS 2017 and #BlogTourKBIS I'll be telling you how the Wellborn Cabinet Butler's Pantry and Thermador appliances inspired a thousand reveries about the perfect unfitted kitchen for this space.

Aspire cabinetry by Wellborn Cabinet Inc.

I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of Wellborn Cabinet before attending #BlogTourKBIS. Products made by the 56-year-old family business are not available in Canada, so the name was not top of mind to me. But when I spied this design above in the Wellborn booth I thought it was a remarkable iteration of some of the top trends in kitchen design today:

1. COMBINING CABINET COLOURS/FINISHES: This one mixes Midtown Gloss Marine, and off-white called Acacia Cotton Pine and lowers in Midtown Matte Graphite. 
2. MINIMALIST NO-HARDWARE LOOK: Touch-latch hardware is the secret behind this sleek look.
3. WARM WOOD ACCENTS: The wood-wrapped peninsula brings a note of warmth to this supercool kitchen.

But what really stopped me in my tracks is that little number just on the right up there. Here's a better look:

Butler's Pantry in Midtown Gloss Marine, Wellborn Cabinet Inc.

This is the Aspire Butler's Pantry in Midtown Gloss Marine. Yes, just in case your screen isn't registering it, that is the most divine deep marine blue lacquer. This piece calls to mind luxury yacht design and, just like a yacht, the interior is tricked out with a bevy of clever storage solutions that marry luxury with practicality.

The left side features a stainless counter, wood shelving, bamboo and chrome fittings and drawers below to keep a few things out of sight. The right side has a full-height pull-out with glass-enclosed shelves for max visibility of pantry goods. My unfitted fantasy kitchen is designed around this stellar piece — a pair of them would be even better.

While I love the idea of all of the contents of the Wellborn Butler's Pantry being styled up and on display (I am a stylist after all), one thing I never like seeing in a kitchen is the refrigerator. I basically never want to see a fridge, especially in open concept spaces. Enter Thermador's Freedom Collection Culinary Preservation system. The units all disappear behind custom panels and even boast Open Door Assist, a push-to-open feature — ah-mazing! They call it "Culinary Preservation" because the system far exceeds our notion of a "refrigerator".  The line includes 23 pieces for refrigeration, freezing and wine storage. Combine the units to fit your lifestyle and kitchen. And are you enjoying how the shelves lineup in the photo above left between the freezer column and refrigerator column? I enjoy that a lot. My unfitted kitchen design needs an 18-inch wide freezer column, a 30-inch refrigeration column and an 18-inch wine column. 

Any unfitted design deserves a handsome range. The new Thermador 30-inch 5-Burner Pro Harmony is just the ticket. Even in a large space I'd still opt for a trim 30-inch size. This one still packs 5 burners and all the performance of a larger Thermador into this petite profile. Two of the burners even have the ExtraLow simmering feature. I'd flank this with two utility-style stainless steel counter-plus-shelf units for prep and pot storage.

Here's how I see the design coming together:

1. Gubi Semi Pendant, South Hill Home.
2. Vardagen tea towel, IKEA.
3. Ochre Caribou stool, South Hill Home.
4. 30-inch 5-Burner Pro Harmony Range, Thermador.
5. Stainless steel counter-plus-shelf, Restaurant Supply.
6. Vintage workbench as kitchen island, Vintage Fine Objects
7. Grohe Blue faucet with water filtration and — get this — it dispenses carbonated water!!, Grohe.
8. Aspire Butler's Pantry (I'll take 2), Wellborn Cabinet.
9. Culinary Preservation system (I'm thinking custom panels constructed of slices of reclaimed wood), Thermador.


In my unfitted kitchen dreams I'd also have an antique reclaimed stone sink, a Thermador Star Sapphire dishwasher and some grey linen to fashion curtains for the stainless steel counter units. 

In case you missed it, check out my post on the Top 5 Kitchens I'm loving now. 

Check out my other posts with news from KBIS 2017:
KBIS 2017: Metrie Makes Choosing Mouldings Simple
KBIS 2017: Bathroom Design Inspiration and New Releases from Lixil Brands
KBIS 2017: News and Favourites from Mohawk Flooring

My trip to KBIS 2017 in Orlando, Fla was partially sponsored by Wellborn and Thermador. Special thanks to #BlogTourKBIS organizers Modenus/Design Hounds. The ideas, words and design of this post are all my own.