Rick Miller is a master of transformations. Just ask Laura and Michael Gruenthal. They commissioned Rick, owner of Miller’s Fancy Bath & Kitchen, to renovate the kitchen in their River Road condo, taking it from an outdated space lacking in personality to an inviting area of traditional elegance.
Since the Gruenthals were living in New York at the time, much of the communication between them and Rick was online. “After we sent the initial drawing to them, they came into our showroom to review it and make some changes. But, throughout the project, our actual face-to-face interactions were minimal. That was a really very interesting process that worked well,” says Rick
“We wanted the kitchen to be bright and more in keeping with the rest of the condo, which is open and light and airy. We also put an emphasis on how it would function,” says Laura. The result is a stunning orchestration of style and function that blends gracefully with the adjoining living and dining areas.
White Shaker-design cabinets replaced former birdseye maple cabinetry. On some of the cabinets, glass doors without mullions allow decorative objects to be displayed while also minimizing the visual heaviness of the wood. Further reducing the bulkiness of what Rick said could have been “a big box of a cabinet” was the placement of open shelving, accommodating plates, above the sink. Under cabinet lighting was installed to provide task lighting and a soft glow when the overhead fixture is turned off. Deep drawers, in lieu of shelves, were designed to offer easy accessibility to cookware, spices and other kitchen necessities.
Perimeter cabinetry features a Ludlow Tan Velvet quartzite countertop. A backsplash of hand-painted, multi-colored, neutral color glass tiles contributes a subdued but definite dazzle. Rick suggested to the Gruenthals that rather than retaining the original curved island, a simpler rectangular island would complement the long run of cabinets. The new island is the eye-catching centerpiece of the kitchen. “We picked a spectacular piece of quartzite that has wonderful movement and veining of tan, brown and black tones for the island countertop. The entire color scheme of the kitchen was based around that,” says Laura.
“Granite has been a popular countertop choice for quite a few years, but the newest, latest and greatest things in countertops today are quartz and quartzite. The quartzite we used in this kitchen is a fresh change from the black granite that was there previously,” says Rick.
“We cook almost all of our meals at home. The induction cooktop we selected is fast on and off and I like the clean look of the flat glass top instead of a gas range,” says Laura
Above the cooktop is a recirculating hood that vents out the top. A wall oven and convection microware are within easy reach for four-star meals.
Miller’s Fancy Bath & Kitchen installed all the new drywall and did all the plumbing and electrical work for the new kitchen. Rick and his team also designed and constructed a concealed enclosure for a stacked washer and dryer and shelves, cleverly removing the appliances and laundry products from view. Pantry storage was built next to the double door stainless-steel refrigerator that’s recessed into the wall, an option the Gruenthals preferred over having cabinets built around the refrigerator.
“The island countertop and the backsplash are probably my favorite things about the new kitchen. Everyone who walks in says, “The island countertop and the backsplash are probably my favorite things about the new kitchen. Everyone who walks in says, ‘Wow!’ when they see the backsplash. But, I’m happy with everything in the kitchen. It’s beautiful and super organized. I just love it,” says Laura.