When Melissa and Pierre Brondeau purchased their 3-year-old traditional style custom home in Villanova with an equally traditional style kitchen, they knew a change was desperately needed. Melissa Brondeau says their style is “unique, very simple and minimalistic,” and she found just the right team of building professionals to create her ideal contemporary kitchen.
The home’s original builder introduced her to Blue Bell Kitchens, and the company brought Ernst Brothers and World Wide Stereo on board for the project. The same team has done other projects in Brondeau’s home since her kitchen has been completed.
Now, Brondeau says, “I am quite taken with my kitchen. The style is something we wanted to be our own, and it’s a very unique kitchen.”
“They were a pleasure to work with,” Brondeau says. “Very nice and very professional, which has been the case with everybody that was involved in this project.”
The Brondeau’s kitchen is a study in crisp proportions, sophisticated counterpoints and symmetrical relationships. Black and white tonal variations work well together because the design team used the size of the space and ceiling height coupled with the high-gloss cabinet finishes to minimize darkness and reflect light.
White Caeserstone countertops complement Graphite Rift Oak, muted black, foil-laminated cabinets highlighted with grey horizontal burnished stripes.
Brushed stainless steel drawer pulls accent similar trim on the flush-mounted induction cooktop’s German glass visor.
“I would call that particular piece the focal point of the kitchen. It draws the eye as you walk into the area,” Brondeau says. The ventilation hood’s solid white reverse-painted glass backsplash, she continues, “is almost a work of art.”
Creative conveniences blend with future-proof technology such as hidden appliances, plugs and cable boxes behind an integrated coffee system, and flush with the cupboards is a wall-mounted remote control television.
“We love being in here,” Brondeau raves. “We cook, hang out with family and friends. It’s a great room and you just sit there, and it is so sweet.”
Brondeau was confident in her decision to work with the team of E& E Building, Blue Bell Kitchens and World Wide Stereo for her redesign in part because of the esteemed awards the companies have won for safe, timely and quality projects.
Ernst Brothers Designers and Builders: First Place for Outstanding Projects Award
Twenty-five years in the business has afforded Ernst a bit of breathing room, and yet, owners Joe and Tim Ernst do not take it. Every customer and every job receives “professional perfectionism.”
“Our greatest success is solid relationships with our clients,” says Joe Ernst from his Springhouse office.
Currently in construction, there is a trend called Integrated Project Delivery, or IPD – which begins with a pre-project team meeting between the owner, architect, general contractor and all other specialized contractors.
“We have found IPD projects are more likely to come in on time, on budget with less change orders, minimal surprises and owners get exactly what they want,” says Ernst.
Blue Bell Kitchens: Design Excellence Award
It’s not surprising that Blue Bell Kitchens has been featured in just about every national shelter magazine from Architectural Digest to Traditional Home—and has been included in several design books including The Kitchen Idea Book. From initial design to finished project, Blue Bell Kitchens thinks outside the box in transforming typical-looking rooms into highly functional, highly original personal statements. In operation since 1983, Blue Bell Kitchens also designs master bathroom suites, home office spaces, wine cellars and their trademark kitchens.
“The success of Melissa Brondeau’s kitchen design is a shining example of her trust in us to help design her vision,” says Peter Cardamone, president and principal designer of Blue Bell Kitchens in Springhouse. “Working side-by-side, detail-by-detail, Melissa and I were able to create an extremely functional and artistically beautiful kitchen.”
A minimalist style can work beautifully in a traditional home. In addition to the new kitchen, mudroom and butler’s pantry, another challenge was to not ignore the existing traditional millwork details. “We wanted to modify these details in a manner that was cost effective and worked with the Brondeau’s minimalist style in adjoining rooms,” Cardamone says.
He adds, “We changed traditional spindle stair railings to contemporary metal and cable rail systems and surgically removed layers of millwork transforming traditional millwork arches, a feature throughout the first floor, to their lowest common denominator.”
World Wide Stereo: Best of Philly Award
“Electronics should enhance the quality of life,” says Bob Cole, president of World Wide Stereo. In 1979, Cole set out to parlay his passion for great products, personal service and award-winning installations into a company that blends cutting edge technology with practicality.
With showrooms in Montgomeryville and Ardmore, World Wide Stereo is a full-service, custom creative design and installation team for audio, video, home theater and integration products.
What the Brondeau’s chose for their home, Cole says, is typical of what World Wide Stereo designs and installs. “When Melissa walks into her kitchen, instead of a dozen different light switches, she has a lighting control system.” A lighting control system, in addition to saving energy, automatically sets the scene whether for kitchen prep, dining or even reading. Plus, Cole says, lighting is for beauty.
“We’re all in the high-end, high quality of business,” says Cole of the Brondeau’s collaborative team of Blue Bell Kitchens, E & E Building Group and World Wide Stereo. “The three of us, we represent the craftsmanship that people remember.”
Jill Yris is a professional writer based in Doylestown. (JillYrisWriter.com)