While everyone can agree that the kitchen is the heart of the home, not everyone’s heart is in the same place from a design perspective. Enter Mark Nichols, of Mark Nichols Modern Interiors, whose five fantastic kitchens all have a contemporary, yet distinctly different vibe.
Nichols established his Palm Springs-based firm in 2005. “We are a full-service design firm specializing in modern and contemporary interiors,” he says. “Our designs have a focus on sustainability and our design studio is the only LEED [Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design] certified design firm in the entire region.”
Here are Nichols’ five fantastic kitchens in no particular order.
Vista Las Palmas, Palm Springs
“At the time I designed this kitchen, I was designing the interiors for the Port Lawrence condo project [that was proposed but never built] in downtown Palm Springs with the Italian kitchen cabinet manufacturer Valcucine,” says Nichols. “And Valcucine had the most beautiful and wide-ranging array of lacquer colors that I had ever seen.” So when one of his residential clients asked for a blue kitchen as part of their to-the-studs renovation, Nichols knew that Valcucine lacquers and wood veneers were the perfect forward-thinking way to update to this classic Alexander Home.
Deepwell, Palm Springs
This midcentury modern home had been in the rental pool for some time and had dated, raised-panel store-bought kitchen cabinets. “The clients wanted to enhance the appeal and function of the kitchen with a timeless design of European hinged boxes, flat-door panels, back-painted glass, and handless upper cabinets on hydraulic lifts,” says Nichols. An open floor plan allowed the kitchen cabinets to flow into the dining area to provide additional storage and functionality.
PHOTOS BY DANIEL CHAVKIN
Custom gloss gray Thermofoil lower cabinetry with white, back-painted glass. The handless upper cabinets are on a hydraulic lift for easy opening. Cultured marble countertop and full-height backsplash.
The Springs, Rancho Mirage
“I was grateful for this client’s time and trust in a new space plan for a to-the-studs update of a builder home [in The Springs Country Club],” says Nichols. The homeowners requested an open concept kitchen and it was critical that the space not only be exquisitely finished but laid out in a way that provided functional areas for cooking, serving, and entertaining — all with easy access to the pool and the outdoors.
PHOTO BY LANCE GERBER
Custom Thermofoil cabinetry, Statuario engineered quartz countertop with a waterfall edge, and full-height backsplash from PentalQuartz. Appliances by Thermador, stools by Trica, Blanco bar faucet. The floor is wood plank porcelain by Daltile and the free-floating island pendant light is from Sonneman.
Kings Point, Palm Springs
For a whole house renovation in Kings Point — an enclave of midcentury homes designed by architect William Krisel in 1969 — the owners wanted a cook’s kitchen that didn’t disturb the home’s existing footprint. “In addition to the requisite appliances, a generous cabinetry wall was created to keep countertops clear of all but those items immediately necessary,” says Nichols. “The choice of materials and finishes reflect the client’s warm and outgoing personality.”
PHOTO BY RICK SZCZECHOWSKI
Eucalyptus veneer cabinetry with imported German hardware, appliances from GE Monogram, Caesarstone countertops.
Mirada Estates, Rancho Mirage
Situated on a plateau in the Santa Rosa Mountains, and adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton hotel, is the community of Mirada Estates. Local architect Ana Escalante designed this new-construction project, and Nichol’s client requested that all of the interior materials and finishes be of sustainably harvested woods and recycled materials. “The construction had to be with formaldehyde-free glues and binders and VOC-free paints and stains,” he says. “All appliances and fixtures had to exceed current code requirements for energy and water usage. And this was in 2006, well before such materials and appliances were mass-produced or easily procured in the marketplace.”
PHOTO BY DAVID GLOMB
Formaldehyde-free bamboo wood veneer cabinetry with integral grips. Poured terrazzo countertops, waterfall edges, and backsplash. Polished concrete floors.