Andreas Charalambous on Kitchens

Painter, architect, interior designer. Call Andreas Charalambous what you want -- he's multi-talented. His company, FORMA Design, is dedicated to the "art of design" -- as demonstrated by his visionary kitchen (above) from a flat on Georgetown Canal in Washington, D.C. Andreas shares his thoughts on kitchens, and where he sees kitchen design going in the next five years.

What's the key to making a kitchen function well?
Andreas: Well selected and placed appliances, functional countertops, appropriate circulation space and creative selection of materials and finishes in a well-lit environment.
What's trending right now in kitchen design?
Andreas: Kitchens are seen less as a "service area" and more as part of a well-designed living/dining/entertainment environment, so the seamless integration of the finishes to the adjacent living spaces blurs the boundaries and integrates the kitchen to the rest of the house, especially in an open plan environment.
What do you expect to hit big in the next five years?
Andreas: Smart appliances that tell you what they need and are controlled by your smart phone or iPad. They will incorporate flat screen technology on the countertops and in the appliances themselves and be seamlessly connected to the computer and TV.
What kitchen project would you consider your Mona Lisa?
Andreas: Every kitchen project we develop is part of the custom solution tailored to the client needs and likes and the limitations of the space requirements. The latest one we completed on the Georgetown Canal, in Washington, D.C., incorporates lighting and finishes consistent to the rest of the living/dining and entertainment areas of the home, and uses mirrors, translucent resin and reflective panels in key locations in order to create longer vistas throughout.
Do you have a signature style? How would you describe it?
Andreas: Memorable, creative, thoughtful modern architecture and interior design.
In a home's design hierarchy, where does the kitchen rank in terms of importance?
Andreas: The kitchen is as important as any other part of the house, but carries the additional burden of needing to look good while being efficient and accomplishing complex functions.
Cooking up any green touches for kitchens these days?
Andreas: The selection of green friendly finishes and power efficient appliances is a must these days, and saves the home-owner money in the long term while being respectful to the environment.
What's the best advice you can give potential clients looking to remodel their kitchens?
Andreas: The kitchen should not be addressed by itself, in a vacuum, but needs to be part of an overall master plan of the house, so it can best be incorporated with and relate to the areas adjacent to it, both in terms of look, circulation, finishes and functionality.