7 Tide Masterminds: Kevin Briggs

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7 Tide Masterminds: Kevin Briggs

It takes a tremendous number of creative minds to come up with a concept like 7 Tide. Over the coming months, we’ll bring you an insider’s view from those who are responsible for the inspiring and innovative spaces inside the walls at 7 Tide Street in Boston Seaport.

Clarke, the company behind New England’s Official Sub-Zero & Wolf Showrooms and Test Kitchens, takes the creation of each of its showroom experiences very seriously. With so many talented designers in New England, choosing partners to design each extraordinary kitchen that will offer the kind of design inspiration that visitors talk about for years, is both challenging and exciting. Although the company has had two award-winning showrooms for more than a decade, in Milford, MA and South Norwalk, CT, this is Clarke’s first urban showroom. They knew a sleek, contemporary look should be the hallmark of one of their main kitchens and they turned to the go-to resource for this style in the area – Poggenpohl Boston – and their designer Kevin Briggs, CMKBD.

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While Poggenpohl designs kitchens with various styles and a myriad of materials, the look that so many identify as iconic Poggenpohl is one with sleek, clean lines and a contemporary European feel. What was your inspiration for how you designed the new Clarke showroom kitchen at 7 Tide?

We were very excited about creating a centerpiece kitchen in this new space. We knew our style would set the urban tone and yet this location is all about the Boston Seaport, so the colors and materials we used were inspired by the water and sky. The grey and white materials seemed to fit perfectly and are also a great example of what homeowners are requesting today. We were given a list of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, of course, that we needed to incorporate into the space, so it was all about how to show them off in a new way and make a lifestyle statement.   

What are some of the unique features you incorporated into this kitchen design?

We tucked the island ventilation in to a “cloud.” Originally we were thinking of downdraft ventilation for the island cooktop, but then we suspended Best ventilation above the island in a sleek structure that fits in perfectly with the lines of the kitchen. A centerpiece of the kitchen is custom refrigeration, with Sub-Zero columns including refrigerator, freezer and wine storage seamlessly integrated with stone grey lacquer. Everyone who enters the space comments on the refrigeration and how elegant it looks.

Everything comes together so beautifully, but is there one thing that you could say is your favorite?

I really do love the way it all wraps together, but if I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be the glass doors on the cabinets, the lift-door design and the lighting inside those cabinets. It integrates lighting in a very subtle way. I also love the different countertop materials – Silver Wind Quartzite and Honed Jet Mist Granite. They have a very subtle, tactile feel and are very interesting in combination with the lacquer finishes.

We understand you worked in conjunction with Vincent Cappello of Putnam Design?

Yes, Vincent was a design consultant for Clarke on the overall showroom and he gave us input going into the project. One suggestion that we really liked and incorporated into our design was wrapping the Wolf ovens in cabinetry, yet letting them have a presence all their own. These new Contemporary units don’t have any handles and their look really works well with the clean lines of Poggenpohl, so we allowed them to stand out, rather than having them flush with the cabinets, as you would typically see. It creates a really nice accent in the kitchen.

How long did it take you to design and install this kitchen and how much does it resemble your original concept?

Clarke was on a fast track, so the design needed to go quickly. Since the cabinets are all custom manufactured by Poggenpohl in Germany, it took three or four months for them to arrive and then installation took two weeks. In looking back at our original technical drawings, by our designer Yaoying Huang, it’s amazing how exact they were. It looks in person just like the concept we designed.

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What do you hope that Clarke’s 7 Tide visitors take away from this kitchen?

We were striving to create understated elegance. Many kitchens are so overdesigned, with ornate cabinetry, turned legs. I really love simplicity. There’s a peace and relaxation when the lines are clean and nothing competes for attention. It’s easy to be in the space. It’s really more than a design; it’s a lifestyle statement.