How to Create the Kitchen of Your Dreams
Bob Bakes, Co-Founder andHead of Design, Bakes & Kropp
I’ve always been drawn to the process of creating beautiful kitchens. In the early 2000s, I was working in London, running a kitchen design company where I sold products from a range of brands. Across the pond, Paul Kropp was busy hand-crafting custom wood furniture out of his woodshop in Michigan. After moving to the U.S, where I spent a brief spell with a high end kitchen design company based in CT, in 2006 I followed my passion for designing luxury kitchens and founded Bakes & Company. In 2011, I started working with Paul, combining my designs with his construction, and very soon it became clear that there was a synergy to the relationship that needed to be developed more fully. In 2014, we decided to make our partnership official. Thus, Bakes & Kropp was born, out of a vision to build a legacy of fine design and craftsmanship and to create one-of-a-kind luxury kitchens for beautiful homes across the country.
What makes a Bakes & Kropp kitchen? Our kitchens are thoughtfully designed and hand-built at every step. Perhaps most importantly, Bakes & Kropp kitchens are custom tailored to each and every client that we work with. Carefully assessing a client’s lifestyle is a crucial first step of designing their dream kitchen. No two kitchens are alike, and we customize each space for optimal functionality, from layout to integrated appliances all the way down to drawer inserts. Some clients have a clearly defined aesthetic vision from the outset, and some need our help to guide them to discover and define their personal style. This is where our showrooms come into play and serve as a starting point for clients to start to identify the colors, textures, and materials that speak to them.
Our top priority when designing a kitchen is to perfect the flow and the movement. A good kitchen layout allows the chef to maneuver unhindered between different activity centers. When designing your dream kitchen, it’s important to identify your functional preferences and decide how you want the space to operate first. Are you a big cook? Do you need a 60-inch range, a 48-inch range, or a 36-inch range? Do you prefer to have ovens underneath the range or do you want them in a tower? How much refrigeration space do you need? Once you have a clear vision for functionality, your aesthetic vision will be that much simpler to execute.
Paul and I have been lucky enough to design some particularly spectacular kitchens in amazing residences during the course of our partnership. We are seeing more willingness from our clients to embrace experimental design choices, from a thoughtful mixing of metals to a blending of textures and colors. This broadened vision for design is resulting in spaces that demonstrate a clever and thoughtful balance of different looks. It is this energy, this growing creativity and desire to take design risks that inspires us more than anything else. It is this outlook from our clients that encourages us to continually expand our horizons and take Bakes & Kropp further into the minds and hearts of our customers.