09 Sep Matthew Quinn – Redefining the Kitchen Island
Couples cooking together will never be “out of sink” thanks to renowned kitchen and bathroom designer Matthew Quinn and his latest innovation – the SocialCorner sink.
The SocialCorner puts two people at 90 degree angles from each other, eliminating the need for a second sink in the room, maximizing workspace, improving flow in the kitchen, and encouraging interaction between users.
The award-winning designer is a principal in Atlanta-based Design Galleria Kitchen & Bath Studio (www.designgalleria.net). He is also the founder of the Matthew Quinn Collection (www.matthew-quinn.com), a showroom concept in luxury kitchen, bath, and architectural hardware. Both galleries are located at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC).
In this edition of “Interior Monologues,” Quinn discusses countertops, hardware, indispensible gadgets, and of course, his inspiration for the SocialCorner sink and whether he’s more likely to be found preparing dishes – or washing them – at his own.
Q: You’ve just launched a signature SocialCorner sink collection through manufacturing partner Julien Home Refinements. What inspired you to design this new line?
A: As with many of my product designs, the inspiration comes from a need to find a solution for my clients that I am unable to find in the marketplace. I have been using corner sinks in kitchens for over 15 years and finally found the perfect manufacturing partner in Julien Home Refinements to make it available to all consumers. The SocialCorner addresses the placement of a sink and its usefulness and accessibility within restricted spaces. As the name indicates, the sink encourages social interaction between two people by placing them eye-to-eye at two workstations within the same space. Of course, I also think it looks amazing and unique too.
Q: When is a corner sink a good option? What type of kitchen layout is ideal to showcase it?
A: The SocialCorner is optimal for a kitchen with a central island and really solves four problems. Typically a designer will place the sink in the middle of an island, essentially dividing the prep space into two smaller spans and putting anyone standing at the sink back-to-back with anyone standing at the cooktop or range behind them as they are normally centered on each other. This sink allows for one long prep space and eliminates that traffic congestion at the sink. Two people standing side-by-side at a typical sink are quite crowded which sometimes forces the addition of another sink somewhere else in the kitchen. The Social Corner puts two people at 90 degrees to each other, face-to-face sharing a single faucet and without an additional prep sink. This sink design not only capitalizes on the use of space and the functionality of the kitchen, but it also brings cooks together and encourages family interaction and group cooking.
Q: We know you’re a fan of marble. We love it, but it gets a bad rap for stains. Can these be prevented? Any tips?
A: My opinion on stone has always been to let it be and to celebrate the individuality of each piece and the natural patina enriched from the daily use it undergoes in a kitchen. I love stone with expressive patterns, veins and movement, which in one sense helps camouflage potential stains. If you absolutely cannot live with the natural process of stains and wear, then either marble is not for you (check out quartz or quartzite products) or you need to subscribe to an annual cleaning and resealing regimen available through your fabricator.
Q: You design gorgeous kitchen hardware, which you have likened to “jewelry of the kitchen.” How should a pull or knob feel to the touch? How should it make you feel, from a design perspective?
A: Hardware should make you feel as you do when you are wearing a perfectly selected piece of jewelry. A lot of my inspiration for my hardware designs comes from watches, bracelets and belt buckles. It is the finishing touch to a kitchen or bath that makes the entire space pop and sparkle. To the touch it should fit your hand and have enough projection to prevent you from breaking a nail or scraping the furniture with your ring.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about your own cooking?
A: The unfortunate part of designing kitchens all day every day is that besides being exhausted, I have become less interested in cooking. I still enjoy making a big ole’ breakfast and I love grilling or cooking over an open fire, but I would much rather clean up after a five-course dinner party than to cook for one.
Q: Is there a kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
A: Coin toss between sharp quality knives and a martini shaker.