Matthew Quinn’s genius is no surprise here in his hometown. The internationally recognized designer recently released his first book, Quintessential Kitchens; was featured in New York’s prestigious 2014 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse; has created his own line of kitchen, bath, and architectural hardware; and is a principal of Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio at ADAC. And, now, he’s bringing the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year to Buckhead.
According to Sophie Donelson, House Beautiful editor in chief: “If you want a clear picture of what’s happening in kitchen design right now, Matthew’s your guy. House Beautiful has featured many Matthew Quinn kitchens over the years—he’s so talented. His work is beautiful and innovative and also thoughtful. He truly gets into the head of his clients, creating ingenious, custom-tailored solutions for the homeowner’s life and goals, such as cooking more, getting out the door quickly with kids, or entertaining graciously. He’s among the best out there!”
Understanding the homeowner’s lifestyle was a special challenge at this Buckhead house, says Quinn, as owner Elizabeth Garvish is a lawyer and new mother of eight-month-old twin boys. “There was a little bit of her not knowing what her life is going to become,” he says. Usually, Quinn launches projects by finding out factors like when people use their kitchens, what they cook, how often they shop, how often they entertain, and how many people they typically invite. In this case, he had to rely on past experience with young families—adding considerate touches like a foot-controllable faucet for a mom holding two babies or a built-in step stool for young future chefs.
One decision was easy, says Quinn. When he met Garvish, she was carrying a beautiful teal handbag. Teal happens to be Quinn’s favorite color, so it became an inspiration for the space. The hue shows up in shimmery chevron tile by AKDO, high-gloss lacquer cabinetry in the butler’s pantry, and even on the ceiling. The color provides a spectacular foil to the marble, brass, pewter, and gray elements in other fixtures.
The 1,000-square-foot project is another impressive collaboration between Quinn, builder Michael Ladisic, and designer Sherry Hart—a team who wowed Atlantans recently with Ladisic’s personal home in Peachtree Park, featured on the cover of Quinn’s book and on February’s Cathedral Antiques Tour of Homes. They are quickly building a rep for elegantly appointed, well-proportioned spaces. As Donelson says of this kitchen, “The layout is wonderfully accommodating for family time and entertaining. That’s hard to pull off—something that feels intimate for three or 30.”
Of course, Quinn wants every kitchen to be timeless, even one that is anointed “kitchen of the year.” The project is more about cutting-edge products, such as a new 60-inch Thermador range, than trendy design, he explains.
“The big idea is to bring the newest products, innovations, and ideas to our readers in a beautiful, inspirational, and educational environment,” Donelson says of the show kitchen series, now in its ninth year. “Of course, my goal is always for visitors to leave eager to update their current kitchen—or be a bit closer to building their own dream kitchen!” Asked about trends, she does acknowledge, “They’re getting warmer and warmer in terms of design. The direction is less laboratory, more living room. Stainless steel is still a dominant finish, but designers and homeowners are gravitating towards soft finishes (like honed versus polished surfaces), plus textiles and color.”
The Garvish home embodies all those “trends.” According to Quinn, it also reveals a regional sensibility. “There’s a bit of Southern influence,” he says. “Not everything is the same. We’re more eclectic here. Everything is not all shiny, patterns and metals are mixed, it’s more eclectic.”
The public can tour the kitchen for free on Saturday, May 14, from 11 am to 4 pm, and Sunday, May 15, from noon to 4 pm. Complimentary parking and transportation are available at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead.