Prairie Style Home and Kitchen

Submitted by Kristin Taghon

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Client: Riverside Kitchen

Location: Riverside, IL, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $3,000

Project Team

Industry Resource

Heather Hancock

Arturs Tile and Stone, LLC

Interior Designer

Kristin Taghon

Kristin Taghon Interior Designs, LLC

Overview

Couple, Judy and Roy, wanted to update the 20' x 12' Seventies Kitchen and Powder Room (8' x 5') in their Prairie Style Home in Chicago Suburb. An addition to the kitchen added inconsistently sized and placed windows, had asbestos under the patterned Linoleum, an uneven floor and a very busy backsplash. Issues included non-working appliances, inefficient cabinetry and insufficient lighting. The Clients also wanted new flooring and neutral colors. Inefficient use of the space and poor insulation impeded the Clients from using the kitchen. Judy and Roy love artwork but were also concerned with budget.

Goals

The Clients plan to live in the home for less than 10 years. They needed an updated kitchen that would resell easily while meeting their needs. They wanted neutral colors and a classic transitional space with clean lines, while easy to clean. The Interior Designer likes to introduce unique elements and create designs that represent the Clients. Judy is a violinist with the local Symphony; her daughter is an established artist in California. The Interior Designer approached Judy about an artistic backsplash. She had met a mosaic artist, Heather Hancock, who had done kitchen backsplashes that were very appealing. Judy liked Hancock's portfolio and the daughter approved. Meeting Heather, who is very personable and explained her process, sealed the deal. The Clients’ limitations of selling in the near future meant that the artistic elements of the backsplash had to be incorporated seamlessly, using neutral colors and not to overwhelm the space or add “noise”. When ready to sell, they wanted the kitchen to be a selling point and for the backsplash to attract buyers rather than distract. The backsplash needed to be easy to clean and within budget.

Process

The Interior Designer took photos of the kitchen and house exterior. She and the artist, Heather Hancock, agreed the corner house detail should be the imagery, incorporating the Prairie Style “Bringing outside in” to design the artistic element of the backsplash. The artwork was to be more artistic and asymmetrical. They used white, warm and cool grays and surrounded the artwork with whole glass rather than glass tile to eliminate noise and enhance clean-ability. Hancock drew up elevations which were presented to the Clients. Unique to Heather’s work is her use of large areas of grout in her pieces. The Designer and Clients loved the imagery but were worried about clean-ability because of the grout. Ms. Hancock replaced the large areas of grout with thin pieces of glass and the installer would use stain-resistant grout. Once the Clients were shown color samples and elevations were approved, Hancock spent the next week cutting glass. Her installer, Arturo Cruz, spent time with her numbering and positioning the glass pieces onto tape so he could install each artwork all at once. Ms. Hancock works extensively with her installer; He knows what she expects and she trusts his work will be beautiful.

Additional Information

Artist Heather Hancock works exclusively in glass mosaic. Currently her work depicts the Urban Landscape. This Art Project is the first that Chicago based Interior Designer, Kristin Taghon and Heather Hancock have worked on together. We enjoyed incorporating the historic details of the outside of the house so cohesively. The neutral colors allowed us to place the artwork asymmetrically and in places away from splashes and grease. The Clients enjoy sitting at their new counter next to the larger windows and seeing the greenery outside and the artistic backsplash on the inside. Judy practices her violin in the kitchen now!