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If you don’t know who Bobby Berk is, it’s time to get acquainted. The talented product and interior designer has had retail shops around the country, appeared on TV, in magazines, has designed furniture and decor and everything in between, and is now lighting up Netflix as the design expert in the Queer Eye reboot (which is fabulous, heart-warming and highly recommended!). While our history with Bobby goes way, way back, we were able to catch him for a few moments in between premiere events and talk shows to learn more about his fun new project with Corian® Design.
Bobby worked with Corian® Design to create a moodboard using their new Corian Moodboard Maker, which we must admit, is more than addicting—if you are one to make moodboards, collages, or even collect and categorize imagery on your phone, you’ll definitely want to add this site to your bookmarks. And don’t worry, it’s not just for the Bobby Berks of the world—designers, homeowners, renters-who-will-be-homeowners, dreamers, power-pinners, color lovers, you’re all welcome.
To use the Moodboard Maker, start by choosing one of 7 shapes and styles: Minimal, Relaxed, Modern, Refined, Organic, Bohemian, or Edgy. Each style has some pre-populated Corian® Design materials and inspirational images to get you started, but you can add your own, too. Bobby chose Minimal: “The main cornerstone of my style is minimalism with an attention to shape, color and texture. I may take this style to go a little towards Boho, Contemporary, or any other style to fit into different categories but the main cornerstone is pretty much consistent through all of my design work.”
Bobby usually makes his moodboards by scouring Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz for ideas, but he was easily able to create a moodboard on the site in less than 5 minutes. “I love that the new Corian Moodboard Maker is very user friendly. Right away, when you load the site, it takes you to each step of what to do, and each step gives you a quick and simple tutorial on how to load the photos into the shapes. I also like the examples of different combination that you can do for your own moodboards.”
His Moodboard includes three Corian® Design materials: Versillia Grigio, Deep Anthracite, and Carbon Concrete mixed with other inspiration including copper metal for warmth, light washed oak wood, and fiddle leaf fig plant (“my favorite signature plant”) to give it some life and softness.
Corian® Design loved Bobby’s moodboard design so much (and so did we) that they asked him to flex his design muscles and create an entire kitchen! This might be the designer’s dream – design a space however you want, using whatever you want, in whatever style you want!
Bobby’s design starts with a basic shape: the circle. “I knew I wanted to create an island that was a show stopper. I was actually recovering from surgery and found myself on the sofa, where I quickly became pretty bored, so I decided to start sketching for the design. I was trying to imagine an island shape that I hadn’t seen before,” he explained. “I have collected some inspirations for other projects of some architectural islands that had angled waterfalls, cantilevered countertops, and intersecting planes of stone. They were all very geometric with sharp angles. But I realized I hadn’t seen a lot of islands that used a circular shape, and I thought that it could be a unique and interesting way to use Corian Quartz and Corian Solid Surface combined.”
The semicircular island design stands out on its own but when you step back and look at it from the adjoining dining space (that Bobby also designed!) it becomes clear that the island and architectural element above the stove creates a full circular design. He says: “I started a sketch of an island with a semi-circular shape on the bottom, and then I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to mimic that shape on the cabinetry elevation above, so when you were facing the island, you’d see a full circle created from the island shape and cabinetry beyond?”
Bobby’s sketch began with this circle design element as a panel element, but then evolved into the formed copper extrusions, which we love! “From there I knew I had the basic shapes that I wanted, so I started pulling material inspiration. I’ve really been feeling a contemporary, Scandinavian-inspired look in a lot of my current designs, so I wanted to bring in light oak, a grey color, and keep the overall palette pretty light.” As he began adding more rounded elements and warming it up with copper, the design morphed into a beautiful blend of Art-Deco and Scandinavian design.
He was also inspired by the materials that Corian® Design offers and their flexibility. “I wanted to use a blend of both Corian Solid Surface and Corian Quartz products in the design to showcase the different kinds of countertop materials that Corian Design offers,” he said. “In order to elevate the overall palette and give some real visual detail and sophistication to the design, I chose the Versilia Grigio Corian Quartz, for its beautiful veining and exquisite detail.” To create more of a contrast, he selected the Deep Anthracite Corian® Solid Surface, a beautiful black with little sparkly flecks in it, giving the space a small, exquisite detail. Finally, he added Carbon Concrete Solid Surface to complement the Versilia Grigio Quartz. “It’s this beautiful, grey tone surface with just a little bit of texture. The mixture of the 3 materials made the space dramatic and still airy at the same time.”
One of our favorite details is the extruded channel he created to separate the island’s materials, which also helps define where the seating areas are. With the waterfall in front, he created inset cabinet panels where counter stools could be kept. “When I learned that Corian’s solid surface materials can be thermoformed into bended shapes beyond just a simple flat plane, I wanted to make the side of the islands underneath rounded into a solid shape that followed the waterfall edge,” he said.
Aesthetically, this design is simple but the actual design itself is more complex… Both the kitchen and dining spaces have some really unique details beyond the extruded channel. The copper extruded trim above the range brings warmth and texture, the geometric floor (a concrete tile by Ann Sacks called Ogassian Penta), and the wall paneling. We wanted to know: is wall paneling going to be a thing again? Bobby says, maybe! “I think paneling is associated with older homes from the 60’s and 70’s, but in the same way that wallpaper has seen a huge resurgence in recent years, paneling is another material that is versatile, and can add some architectural interest to your walls. Due to the simplicity of this design, it just adds a little more visual detail that the space needed.”
We are especially loving the color choices here, but have historically seen Bobby do a lot of brights, so he explained his choices: “I am definitely a fan of saturated colors, and sometimes I like to use bright pops of color in some of my other designs, this is true. I have noticed myself evolve though, and I find myself having more restraint with color than in the past.”
The perfect client for this design? Bobby enlightened us: “I pictured this space as being a penthouse apartment in Chicago (because New York would just be too obvious). I think a media mogul and her artist husband live here. They are often away on business, but when they do get to be home, they want to fix themselves a cosmopolitan and look over the city lights from their own slice of heaven on the 30th floor.” Sigh… do you think they’d adopt us?
Try it now. Use the Corian Moodboard Maker here.