Kitchens - Why Modern?
 When designing this local kitchen, we opened the space to invite in natural light with a vaulted ceiling and large windows and skylights that faces the river. This view of the kitchen space shows a large island with bar height seating to accommodate guests without inviting them into the work space. Simple shelves, sleeved between the glass backsplash panels, give a clean, minimalist look to the main kitchen area. Ample storage is extended out of the initial view of the kitchen using stainless steel and frosted glass cabinetry. The black walnut finish of the island and lower cabinets anchor the kitchen while the lofty vault ceiling gives an open, airy feel.

When designing this local kitchen, we opened the space to invite in natural light with a vaulted ceiling and large windows and skylights that faces the river. This view of the kitchen space shows a large island with bar height seating to accommodate guests without inviting them into the work space. Simple shelves, sleeved between the glass backsplash panels, give a clean, minimalist look to the main kitchen area. Ample storage is extended out of the initial view of the kitchen using stainless steel and frosted glass cabinetry. The black walnut finish of the island and lower cabinets anchor the kitchen while the lofty vault ceiling gives an open, airy feel.

The kitchen: the heart of the home, according to many.

We tend to agree. After all, the kitchen is the first room we visit each day to brew our coffee, where we chit-chat with family after a long day apart, and where we prepare our meals. It serves as the main hub of the house as we pass through countless times each day - packing lunches, unloading groceries, or sneaking a midnight snack.

In a world overwhelmed with stuff, overloaded with information, and obsessed with being busy, it’s refreshing to see all the recent buzz around minimalism. As an architect who specializes in modern design, the world is catching on to what I’ve known and practiced for 30 years: minimal, intentional, sustainable living and design.

There are many benefits to modern design, especially in the kitchen. For example, a modern, minimalist design strives to effectively hide or blend appliances and create ample storage space to keep visible areas, like countertops, clutter-free. Less clutter equals less stress. It also provides more space to simply keep clear, or intentionally fill with a vase of your favorite flowers or a special keepsake that brings you joy.

We see it over and over again -  the top requests for kitchens are:  efficient work space, plentiful storage, and a barrier between the functional kitchen space and the area our guests hover to chat and drink wine. Herein lies the reason to work with an architect and/or design team for your remodel or new build.

Achieving the desired functionality and aesthetic for your unique family can be tricky without the help of a professional. After all, the ultimate goal of architects and designers is to ensure the complete personalization of your space is complimented by optimal performance.

If you’re considering building, working with an experienced architect is critical to the process. Embracing and tailoring your home to the natural landscape of the site will add so much to your living experience and to the value of your home. Where the sun rises and sets, and how the natural light enters, should guide the placement and layout of your home - especially your kitchen and living spaces. Ask yourself: what is the most spectacular view and what space in your home do you wish to observe it from every day?

Clients and acquaintances alike frequently ask, “What are the most important things about kitchen design?” The three most important things to focus on are: the placement of appliances (envision the dance between the refrigerator, oven, and sink), creating ample storage space, and using quality, sustainable materials.

We want to leave you with five easy tips and action items to prepare you for working with an architect and/or design professionals.  

  1. Gather inspiration. (Pinterest, Houzz, magazine clippings, etc.)
  2. Any non-negotiables? List them.
  3. Anything you absolutely do NOT want? (Colors, textures, finishes, etc.) List them.
  4. Know yourself and your family. How do you currently use your kitchen space? List the ways you use it now that you’re guaranteed to need it for in the newly designed space.
  5. Take plenty of time to consider how you want to use the space. What’s your intention for the space? What are your main goals? What are your favorite things to cook or bake? Having a clear understanding of what you want from the space will help your architect and design team strategically lay out your entire kitchen space and add helpful extras (like stove faucets).

There are countless elements to the design process - don’t go at it alone. Hire a design professional to help you create your ideal kitchen space and home.

Contact us today to talk about your dream kitchen (or dream home!) plans. 

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This kitchen features Brazilian teak floors, Calacatta Gold marble and stainless steel countertops, painted glass backsplash, a beverage center, and upscale stainless steel appliances including a subzero refrigerator and extra sinks and ovens.

 

 

Want to see more? View a feature about this gorgeous kitchen in Trends.

Best of Virginia 2018
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Once again, Randall Kipp Architecture has been named Best Architect in the annual survey conducted by Virginia Living Magazine every spring. 

What's unique about this honor is that all submissions are write-in's. We sincerely thank each and every one of you who submitted Randall Kipp Architecture! We're proud to be your #1!

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The state is divided into five regions - Eastern, Northern, Central, Shenandoah Valley, and Southwest. We fall into the Eastern region which means our competition ranges from the Northern Neck to Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. 

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AIA Richmond Design Honor
 From Left: Lauren Davenport, Joe Heyman, Randall Kipp, Keith Meberg, Rosabeth Ward Kissman

From Left: Lauren Davenport, Joe Heyman, Randall Kipp, Keith Meberg, Rosabeth Ward Kissman

Kipp Awarded an Honor for Excellence in Architecture and Design

Randall J. Kipp recently accepted an Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture and Design from the Richmond Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Kipp’s work was deemed by the Chapter Honor Committee to have achieved excellence in architecture and design.

The ceremony was held at the University of Richmond Student Activities Complex on April 12, 2018. Kipp accepted the award accompanied by Keith Meberg, Lead Architectural Designer, Lauren Davenport, Lead Interior Designer, and Joe Heyman of The Allen Group, General Contractor. Randall Kipp, whose studio is located in Irvington, is a residential and commercial architect.

View images from the Tidewater project below and read our shout-out from the Rappahannock Record here.


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Modern Meets Rural
 Image via  The Local Scoop

Image via The Local Scoop

Modern Meets Rural

Written By Kathryn Kahler Vose

View the digital edition of The Local Scoop Spring/Summer 2018. (We're on page 36!)
View The Local Scoop's original article.

 

Sleek modern buildings with shiny steel and expanses of glass are changing the architectural landscape of the rural Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula once dominated by wooden-framed farm houses.

Leading this modernist growth in this area and beyond is Irvington architect Randall Kipp whose striking designs make full use of their surroundings. 

“People come here to find land on the water,” Kipp said. “Most have been living in suburbia and their only view was a garden in their back yard. Part of my job is to educate them, sort of like marital counselling. The children are gone, and they don’t need all those independent rooms. I help them understand the value of ‘commanding’ a piece of land.”

He said that by the time potential clients call him, they have most likely decided they want a modern design. And if that’s not what they want, he is honest, saying his specialty is modern architecture and they might be better served by reaching out to someone who is more of a traditionalist.

Recently, he designed a Corrotoman River retirement home for Alex and Jennifer Kilanski. At first, the couple’s ideas were far apart. Kipp listened and sketched. “He was really good about listening to what we each wanted and merging our ideas together,” Jennifer Kilanski said. 

While the Kilanskis had built two homes previously, they had never worked with an architect. “He was patient and innovative. It was a delightful experience.”

Kipp’s business is not limited to residential spaces. He’s designed several commercial structures including the new White Stone Volunteer Fire Department, the proposed Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Neck, and the shops in downtown Irvington known affectionately as “The Shops at Trick Dog”, as well as the interior renovations of the Trick Dog Bistro and the Rappahannock Art League. 

Greylend Horn has worked with Kipp to design two homes and three Ace Hardware stores. “Randall always exceeds expectations,” Horn said. “He’ll do a drawing and then show you a 3-D replica, which you weren’t expecting, and walk you through each room. And, he’s always up on new trends and new materials.”

Kipp has been generous to the community, doing some commercial spaces for nonprofits pro-bono or at a significantly reduced rate. Recently, he was named volunteer of the year for designing the new Middlesex YMCA. There, he donated 90 percent of his fee. 

“Randall usually works with very high-end projects,” said Rosabeth Kissman, director of the Middlesex YMCA. “When he came to the YMCA, he came with that same level of artistry and a real-life appreciation of what it means to spend donor dollars. This is money that’s been given. He understands the spirit of philanthropy.”

Kipp, who grew up in rural Wisconsin, attended theUniversity of Minnesota where he studied architecture under renowned modernist Ralph Rapson. After finishing school, he opened a small practice in Minneapolis with small commissions and remodeling. But he wanted to focus on being a modernist and decided his target audience would be those working in the advertising world. “They had a creative vision and they were well paid,” Kipp said. “They needed to outdo each other so that was the client base I aspired to capture. They worked their way up from writer to creative director to president.”

Along the way, Kipp met advertising guru and entrepreneur Bill Westbrook, formerly creative director at the Richmond-based Martin Agency. Westbrook engaged Kipp to redesign the Irvington bed and breakfast Hope and Glory.   

Nearly 20 years ago, Kipp and his Scottish-born wife,Alison, moved to the Northern Neck. In addition to working on Hope and Glory, Kipp started on an office in Irvington for his business that would be an “ad” building to showcase his design vision. Next door, but attached, was a business,Duncan and Drake, that Alison operated for five years. They lived in the apartment above, although they have long since moved to a very modern home near Windmill Point.

“I’ve always been a modernist,” Kipp said. “Some thought that it was odd that I would move to rural Virginia. Butmodern architecture can fit into the mountains, the prairies or the water.”

Like Westbrook, Kipp has shown his own entrepreneurial side. He recently purchased the former Maternity Center on Rt. 3 in Lancaster and renovated it. Belfield Physical Therapy moved in. With space remaining, Kipp is searching for an orthopedist to occupy part of the building. Ironically, he did the original design for the building when it was a Maternity Center.

Kipp, who started out alone in his Irvington business, now has a team of six which drives his projects.

Keith Meberg, an industrial engineer by training, ensures that the core and shell of the buildings Kipp designs are mechanically sound. He pays special attention to the sustainability of the design—geo-thermal, radiant heat, solar panels, rainwater collection and much more. “Most importantly, we are constantly looking for ways to bring the outside in and the inside out,” Meberg said. “Often there are no textbook answers. You must be imaginative and creative.”

He also handles the electrical design, home automation, security and more. Much of the current technology and some innovative materials were not available a decade ago. 

Lauren Davenport, the interior designer, says Meberg “is our brain. He makes sure things stand up.”  

Davenport is responsible for the interior architecture, including space planning and the overall flow of the building, whether a home or commercial structure. “I may see that we need to move the wall another two feet, so we can fit a sofa in,” she said. “So many people think interior designers just pick paint colors.” 

Currently, Davenport is overseeing the redesign and renovation of the Sara Brown Salon in Kilmarnock. Brown, who purchased an arts and crafts house on Main Street several years ago, decided to open up the small rooms in the house to have a large, unified setting to reinforce her brand and her salon’s identity.

Kipp’s team has grown organically. He found Meberg who was drafting for another architect in Kilmarnock. And he learned Davenport had a degree in interior design. At the time, she was running the now-closed restaurant and bar, Seven, in White Stone. 

Other members of the team produce construction plans, administer the office and market the firm.

And what does the future hold for Kipp Architecture and his team?

He plans to expand into the DC, Virginia and Maryland markets. “We have a good history and the chops and the credentials,” Kipp said. “I want to go where people want artistic homes.”

In the last 20 years here, he’s grown his Irvington business substantially. Now, his office has the space for one more practitioner. 

“We started out as one,” Kipp said. “Now we’ve almost reached our capacity.” 


 

 

 

View the digital edition of The Local Scoop Spring/Summer 2018.
(We're on page 36!)


View The Local Scoop's original article.
 

Check out "The Scoop" on our friend and client, Sara Brown Cockrell

 
Bold Statement in Chesapeake Views

Published in Chesapeake Views, Spring 2018
Text by Julie Sanders
Photography by Maxwell MacKenzie

Bold Statement

Randall Kipp designs a dynamic, three-story abode on a waterfront site in Tidewater Virginia

Seven years ago, a couple walked into Randall Kipp’s office and asked him to design their dream house on the water—in about five years. They had purchased a seven-acre lot on the western shore of Little Bay, a Chesapeake Bay tributary in Virginia’s Northern Neck, with Kipp in mind. “That’s how they wanted to approach it,” recalls the architect, known for his modern portfolio. “They said, ‘We found this property; we think you’re the guy who can do it justice. We don’t have any money now but we’ll be back.’”

Sure enough, the couple returned five years later, ready to start the process. Both endure a hectic daily commute from New Jersey to Manhattan, where the wife works as a tax attorney and the husband as a day trader. They were looking for a refuge from the chaos—a re- treat for holidays and weekends and, ultimately, for retirement. They wanted contemporary style and water views galore. 

Kipp began by walking the property—no easy feat, since “it was so overgrown we literally had to have it cleared before we could get to the water,” he recalls. Once there, however, views capturing peace- ful, scenic Little Bay at the point where it opens into the Chesapeake made the trek worth the trouble.

Kipp sited the house with this panorama in mind. “There are views in both directions,” he notes, “and the beauty is that they are never static; they are different in each direction. We wanted to get both views.” He therefore designed a structure that angles at its cen- ter to accentuate vistas to the north and south.

The 4,000-square-foot building is elevated above sea level by a four-foot-high plinth that protects it from flooding and lends it pres- ence when approached from the water. As further insurance, the lower level is clad in heavily rusticated concrete that resembles stone. “I figured in any severe weather event the building was certain to get scuffed up and I wanted to provide a material that could take the abuse,” the architect explains. Polished-concrete floors on the lower- level interiors were a practical choice in case of flooding.

Builder Joe Heyman of The Allen Group was tasked with making Kipp’s complex design a reality. He and his team framed the building out of steel to ensure that it could withstand hurricane-force winds and accommodate massive, heavy expanses of glass. “We used two-story window systems with frameless glass corners that are supported by steel beams and bar joists,” Heyman says. “They are all triple-pane windows from the German company Unilux, with hurricane-rated glass.” Challenges included installing a floor-to-ceiling, lift-and-slide door that spans 24 feet; it joins with a glass pocket door at one corner without employing any visible framework.

The house is composed of two volumes separated by a three-story atrium. At its center, an elevator shaft is wrapped by a cantilevered, three-story steel staircase. Glass bridges connect the volumes on the second and third levels, creating a line of sight down to the first floor and “a delicate, treehouse effect,” says Kipp.

One volume contains the public spaces: an open living/dining room, kitchen, powder room and screened porch on the second level and a home office and a hearth room with a fireplace and TV on the third. The other volume houses the master suite on the second floor and a solarium on the third. Guest rooms, rec room, kitchenette, laundry and mudroom occupy the lower level, which leads out to a spacious carport below the master-bedroom wing.

The emphasis throughout is on light and views. Openings in the floors and ceilings connect each level, with balconies on the second and third levels overlooking the floors below and glass walls adding to the sense of openness. Part of the second floor’s airy, open-plan living area spans two stories, while floor-to-ceiling windows bring the outdoors in. The lift-and-slide wall of glass stacks to one side, extending the living space seamlessly out to the adjacent screened porch. The solarium, a contemplative space, features a corner wall of floor-to-ceiling glass with vistas of Little Bay on one side and the Chesapeake on the other.

Kipp embraced what he calls “a marriage of modern and industrial” for the minimalist interiors. He left the steel columns exposed, painting them bronze. Custom railings of powder-coated bronze steel and ipe, designed by the architect and fabricated by local metal worker Jeffrey Darden, maintain openness inside and out. Rift-cut oak clads the floors on the second and third levels, and the windows are set deep into alderwood frames. The kitchen and master bath are sleek and modern, with custom alderwood cabinetry and quartz countertops.

Off the screened porch, Kipp designed a triangular deck that resembles the prow of a ship. “The location on the water lent itself to the design,” he explains. “I wanted to echo those nautical influences.”

Architecture: Randall J. Kipp, AIA, NCARB, Randall Kipp Architecture, Irvington, Virginia. Builder: Joe Heyman, The Allen Group, Inc., Urbanna, Virginia.


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Rising Talent at Kipp Architecture
 Lily Reihs assisted the team at Kipp Architecture over spring break.

Lily Reihs assisted the team at Kipp Architecture over spring break.

We're pleased to share that Lily Reihs chose to spend time during her spring break helping the team here at Kipp Architecture. Lily is a sophomore at Chatham Hall and is interested in pursuing a career in architecture, specifically landscape architecture. 

Lily has been working here with Team Kipp for two years during her school breaks.

When I asked her the 3 most valuable things she's learned here she gave me these wise answers...

You learn something new every day so be prepared and be willing!

You will have to work with a lot of different types of people, but in the end it's worth it.

And, perhaps her most noteworthy response...

Accepting constructive criticism leads to improvement and opportunities. 

 Lily shares her progress with Randall Kipp and Brad Bond.

Lily shares her progress with Randall Kipp and Brad Bond.

An 8th grade school project and watching HGTV as a kid sparked Lily's interest in architecture. The area of the home she enjoys designing the most is the master bath. "I find those materials the most interesting and I like to play with the layout and how it corresponds with the master bedroom." said Lily. She mostly uses Chief Architect when she's designing and she's starting to learn CAD. 

Lily says that what she likes most about working at Kipp Architecture is the overall environment. "The office is fun, but at the same time, I learn so much every day." 
 

[Keep scrolling for images of Lily's work!]
 

Fun Facts

Her favorite color is blue, specifically light teal.

Colleges she's considering are UVA, Tulane, Va Tech, Clemson, and University of Chicago (but it might be too cold up there!).

She plays basketball, soccer, and field hockey at Chatham Hall.

She loves to read and play the guitar. 

Lily also works at Camp Piankatank during the summers as a summer camp counselor.

Lily is a graduate of Chesapeake Academy and lives here in the Northern Neck with her family. We're excited to welcome her back over summer break so stay tuned for more great designs by Lily!

 

 

Preview Lily's Work

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