Julian Kitchen Design Inc. specializes in cooking spaces that function well, look good, and stand the test of time.
Christine Julian started her career in kitchen and bath design 23 years ago, following two years at deGiulio Kitchen Design and five years at an archi- tectural firm. “I gravitated to kitchen design because I preferred construction and space planning over decorating,” explains Julian, who has built her own reputation with Oak Brook-based Julian Kitchen Design Inc. “I get pleasure from problem solving and making these functional spaces work hard for the homeowners.” Julian’s award-winning designs have appeared in local and na- tional publications—garnering acclaim for innovation, design, and quality. She also designs cabinet pulls and knobs for Sietto Handcrafted Hardware, which recently won honors for New Product Innovation and Best of Design in Hard- ware during the ASID Design Excellence Awards. Her work is known for being interesting and intricate, all while meeting the expectations and needs of her customers. “I like to mix textures and materials to create interest,” she says. “I layer details that you only discover the longer you’ve been in the space—subtle design nuances that you don’t notice right away, but add up to an amazing space.” The kitchen and bath design industry has changed dramatically over the last two decades, and Julian has seen it all. Steam ovens have now replaced microwaves. Wine coolers, coffee machines, and charging areas for technology are now commonplace. And while trends may come and go, one that Julian sees sticking around for a while is the open kitchen concept. To stay current, Julian attends the Kitchen & Bath Show every year, as well as events at show- rooms in and around the Merchandise Mart, and the Salone del Mobile show in Milan—all of which help her evolve her approach to design for kitchens, and baths as well. “Aesthetically, design is simpler, more modern, and less ornate,” she says about trends. “Gray has peaked, and white cabinets will likely never be out of style, but people are more willing now to use color and personalize the space. I love integrating satin brass to warm up the room and make it more modern, even in a traditional space. Mixing metals is a wonder- ful way to add interest and maintain balance.” Julian doesn’t do it alone. She works with a wonderful team of craftsmen, who pay attention to details and take pride in their work. The result is a robust roster of clients who each feel that Julian has given them exactly what they desire. “I’ve learned what’s important to one client may not be important to another,” she says. “And it’s my job to discover what will make each client happy.”