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“We used the REHAU materials because they are simple, effective and durable. They offer a large variety of colors and textures with high-quality and gorgeous design.”

-- Atousa Givi, Amytis Exclusive Kitchens

Amytis Exclusive Kitchens | Givi Residence | Irvine, California

Floating shelves create unique focal point for designer’s modern kitchen

Like the old adage about the shoemaker’s kids going barefoot, those in the design industry often put off their own remodeling projects while they take care of the needs of their customers.

As senior designer at the Irvine, Calif.-based Amytis Exclusive Kitchens, Atousa Givi spends her days creating beautiful spaces for clients. However, the kitchen in her own new home suffered from inefficient storage, not enough light and too little work space. The traditional American-style space was cluttered and inefficient, and did not mesh with her desire for a clean and modern European-style kitchen.

As she described it, “Our old kitchen was dark and it made us feel like we were in an enclosed room. There were so many small cabinets, and it was just overwhelming.” Yet despite the wealth of cabinets, she maintained, “There was barely any storage – and we had to bend down and look hard to find things in the cabinets.”

After designing so many beautiful kitchens for the firm’s clients, Givi was ready for her own brand-new kitchen – and she turned to Emad Behbahani, CEO of Amytis, to collaborate on the project. The firm not only manufactures beautiful European-style cabinetry, it also offers customized 3D kitchen services, space planning, interior design and installation, and specifies and installs REHAU products that offer a wide variety of color and texture options. With so many tools at their disposal, Givi and Behbahani were ready to transform the dated kitchen into a beautiful and functional space that would be more worthy of a high-end designer.

Behbahani explained, “The idea of changing the kitchen was to develop a more modern, efficient, ergonomic and bright kitchen for her house, as her old kitchen was a dark brown color with lots of small cabinets and spaces, and not much in the way of work surfaces.”

Givi and Behbahani were able to create the desired clean and bright aesthetic with the firm’s own cabinetry. Blum provided all functional hardware including hinges, lift mechanisms, drawer rails and slides while Kessebohmer accessories were used to dramatically improve access to the cabinet contents.

With the new cabinetry, Givi stated, “Storage is not an issue anymore. The cabinets offer plenty of room to contain things so there’s no more bending down; everything comes to you with the horizontal folding doors and the drawers.”

But while the cabinetry solved the kitchen’s primary functional issues, Givi also wanted to add a unique element to the room that would give it some ‘wow power.’ The solution was to incorporate REHAU floating shelves in RAUVISIO terra Mission Maple, which offer a lighter, more open-feeling storage alternative to wall cabinets, while complementing the hardware-free design of the modern cabinetry.

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Givi loved the aesthetics of the open shelves. She noted, “We chose them because we wanted to bring something different and innovative to our kitchen. The floating shelves just seem to impress so many people!”

Behbahani added, “Choosing and placing the REHAU shelves gave us the break that was needed from the row of tall cabinets to the section of base and wall cabinets. Continuation of wall cabinets after the refrigerator and oven would not have given us the open environment she wanted, and the actual installation of the shelves was very easy, as the instructions were very comprehensive.”

Once the storage issues were addressed, the two looked at how to make the space more family friendly. Indeed, Givi wanted her kitchen to be “the main hang out place for our family and friends,” a space that would be well suited for both entertaining and working.

To achieve that goal, Behbahani explained that they had to move the sink from the island area to the wall side to create a big, open island surface with plenty of space for work and entertaining family and friends. Dekton by Cosentino countertops were selected for their beauty and durability.

For the color scheme, Behbahani noted, “She started by choosing bright colors in wood tone – REHAU RAUVISIO terra Mission Maple [for the base cabinets and floating shelves] – while the high-gloss RAUVISIO brilliant Magnolia [used on the walls and tall cabinets] offered the light and brightness that this kitchen needed.” A backsplash of RAUVISIO crystal slim Sabbia acrylic wall panel finishes off the space.

Perhaps the biggest challenge with the project was grain matching the RAUVISIO terra along more than 10 feet of horizontal space, but according to Behbahani, the end result was well worth the extra effort.

Hafele lighting helps to show off the kitchen, while GE Monogram appliances add functional impact.

The new kitchen not only offers a light and bright aesthetic that meshes with Givi’s original vision, it also offers ease of maintenance. She said, “We used the REHAU materials because they are simple, effective and durable. They offer a large variety of colors and textures with high-quality and gorgeous design. The new kitchen is delightful; it just makes you want to go into the kitchen and start cooking as soon as possible!”

Having a clear vision and a collaborative approach in place also helped to facilitate a smooth remodeling process, according to Behbahani, who noted that the design was a true melding of their collective talents.

As a result, Givi said that not only does the kitchen feel lighter and brighter, but she feels happier whenever she enters the room. She concluded, “With the new design, we have an enjoyable, easy and bright experience in the kitchen.”

ProjectGivi Residence
Project typeKitchen remodel in a new home, completed in June 2019
Designer and manufacturer

Amytis Exclusive Kitchens

REHAU products usedRAUVISIO terraTM Mission Maple and RAUVISIO brilliantTM Magnolia with perfectly matched REHAU LaserEdgeTM technology; RAUVISIO crystal slimTM Sabbia polished acrylic wall panel
PhotographerLuke Gibson Photography

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