From the October/November 2020 Issue  

Timeless & Timely – Conversations with Kate

Writer Ren Miller

Kate Rumson announces plans for her kitchen and reveals who is working with her on the design

The interiors are starting to take shape at the new home Kate Rumson is building in central New Jersey. Rumson, founder and creative director of The Real Houses of Instagram (@the_real_houses_of_ig), has announced that Christopher Peacock, founder of the eponymous luxury cabinetry company, is working with her to design the kitchen. In this sixth installment on the planning and construction of her home, Kate and Christopher fill in some details about the Parisian bistro-style, yet modern space. (Our upcoming December/January issue will have even more details on the kitchen.)

Kate Rumson and Christopher Peacock make material selections for her new kitchen.

Ren You and Christopher Peacock are both internationally known in the design community, but with different backgrounds and experiences. How did your collaboration on your kitchen come about?

Kate Christopher and I do have different experiences and backgrounds and that is precisely what makes this kitchen so unique and special. Christopher and his team create some of the most exquisite kitchens all around the world, and yet there’s very little information available about what goes into their incredible process—many of their clients are celebrities and other high-profile individuals, so there’s a certain level of privacy that accompanies their work. I’m known for sharing every little detail about my projects in a helpful and informative format, and I wanted to give my audience a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the creation of a Christopher Peacock kitchen. Christopher and I combined our styles, experiences and design philosophies in this very special kitchen, and I cannot wait to see our creation come to life while sharing every little step of the process.

Ren Can you share some insight into the design process itself?

Kate The overall design and style of the kitchen was inspired by the exterior of my new home. We wanted to create a comfortable space that would capture the look and feel of a chic, Parisian bistro, but with a modern twist. We chose timeless finishes such as black and white cabinetry and marble with dramatic veining for the countertops and backsplash. And, to add interest and visual appeal, we designed a one-of-a-kind vent hood with antique mirrors. My goal was to create a timeless but edgy space, and I feel we were able to accomplish just that!

The winners: black and white cabinetry in a contemporary door style, dramatically veined marble for the countertops and backsplash and polished nickel hardware.

Ren Christopher, what are your thoughts on what a kitchen should provide and how it should relate to the rest of the home?

Christopher A kitchen is the heart of the home and I think it sets the tone for the rest of the house. I always look for clues in the areas that surround the kitchen, including the architecture, the light quality and the hard-surface selections, and all of these come into play when designing the kitchen. Obviously, it has to function well and include the appropriate appliance selections for the client. But just as importantly, the material selections, color scheme and “look” send a message that reverberates around the rest of the home. In this case the kitchen is very much open to the rest of the house so it has to be as beautiful as the rest of the décor. It is very sophisticated, clean and practical, but most of all it will be a very handsome space and will seamlessly integrate into the home.

Ren Did Christopher suggest anything that caught you by surprise but that you love?

Kate He suggested to go with bold color cabinetry in the walk-in pantry and, to my surprise, I loved the idea. I usually shy away from bold colors (especially when it’s something permanent like cabinetry), but hearing him talk about it made me realize it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce something unexpected and take our design to the next level.

Ren Cabinetry is such an important design element because of the amount of space it occupies. What choices did you make for cabinetry and hardware?

Kate Christopher Peacock cabinetry exudes quality so I wanted that to be the primary focus. I didn’t want to go with intricate door styles or moldings because I was afraid it would take attention away from the quality and craftsmanship, so we chose  a clean and contemporary door style. All of the hardware will be custom and, as always, I chose to go with polished nickel.

Ren Christopher, how does the process work when homeowners choose you to create their kitchen.

Christopher The service we provide is somewhat unique in this industry, and our approach is to manage the entire process from initial design concepts through the absolute finished room. We design, make, install and finish our own cabinetry, and everything is made to order for the specific client using the finest materials and joinery methods. By drilling down into the finest detailing and design requirements and then managing that through production, delivery and installation, we can achieve a seamless application that we control throughout the entire process.