Rodney Lee

Suzanne DeRusha

About our Designer
Suzanne DeRusha is a 27 year industry designer and kitchen trends expert. For the past 15 years at Elkay®, she has devoted her time to becoming a Medallion product authority which is showcased throughout our photography. She loves designing spaces that inspire designers to use our products in new ways.

Neutral color palettes are on the forefront of trends — especially gray. Home furnishing companies like Restoration Hardware have designed entire collections around this concept. So it was an exciting challenge to embrace this neutral color theory, and I found myself incorporating, not two, but three finishes into a design that I would consider the perfect balance of maximizing interest and a color palette. My goal was to keep the atmosphere light and include enough contrast so the room scape would be inspiring. Here are a few key considerations.

  • Natural Light: The more natural light in the room, the more flexibility you have to include dark finishes without having the room “close in” on you. If the room is moderately lit, then reduce the amount of dark cabinetry; similar to this design. By using the Irish Crème painted finish on the wall and tall cabinetry, the Smoke stained finish serves as a grounding element that doesn’t overwhelm the space.
  • Pattern and Color: When designing this space, I knew that the flooring would show wood grain and that the brick on the opposite wall would create a strong pattern. For this reason, I used two cabinet finishes that would minimize the wood’s character; Smoke, which has a deep color and overall continuity; Irish Crème, which as a Classic Paint provides complete opaque coverage to the wood.
  • Focal Point: Two common focal points in kitchens are wood hoods and islands. In this design, I was able to utilize both features to highlight the character of the Greystone finish from the Stoney Brooke Collection. I love the way the Greystone finish is muted, yet distinct. The design flexibility of Medallion’s component wood hoods allowed me to change the mantel portion of the hood to the Irish Crème finish and create another layer of interest in the composition.
  • Other Materials: If possible, control your design by determining the cabinet finish before the flooring. Countertop material and patterns are best kept neutral for designs using three cabinet finishes. The same applies to the backsplash selection. This makes it easier for the eye to focus on the overall design.

Island Focal Point

The addition of furniture details is trending now in kitchen design. This is an affordable way to create unique designs that your customers won’t find anywhere else. The Medallion product offerings give you endless possibilities. The Mission door style, square legs, deluxe panels and the extra landing space below the counter all lend to the unique look of this table-style island. For the inside scoop on how this island was created, check out the design details on our dealer extranet.

“Consider naming your island designs to refer to as part of your personal brand. Create a photo archive to share with your clients.”

Island Focal Point

Stoney Brooke Collection

York Reverse Raised maple Smoke, York Flat Panel maple Irish Crème Classic, Mission Flat Panel quartersawn oak Greystone
Inspired by the look of weathered elements found in nature, the Stoney Brooke Collection adds timeworn appeal to a wide range of styling categories. Shown in our transitional feature kitchen, Greystone exhibits hues of light gray and beige with hand-applied brush strokes of silver and smoky hues. This collection is dedicated to oak and quartersawn oak, complementing the wood’s natural grain and character and resulting in an artistic finish to add to your portfolio of design creations. The Stoney Brooke Collection is available on most door styles in Gold. See page 200.16 of your 2015-2016 specifications manual for details.

Organized Bliss - Rodney Lee


is the newest addition to Medallion’s family of dark stains. Like our other multilayered stained finishes, Smoke’s translucent nature enhances the wood’s color and grain, exhibiting charcoal hues and subtle variations in undertone depending on the wood species. For example, there are silver undertones on maple and gold undertones on cherry. Smoke is an ideal option for clients who desire a dark finish and appreciate the character of natural wood.

  • Unlimited wood species available throughout Silverline and Gold.  
  • Add another layer of depth with Ebony accent in glaze only, highlight only*, or a combination of glaze and highlight (Silverline = Ebony highlight only).
  • Select woods available with Antique and Legacy distressing in Gold and with à la carte choice of Ebony highlight, glaze or glaze and highlight.


Organized Bliss - Rodney Lee

Irish Crème

A new member of the Medallion Classic Paint family, is a chameleon of sorts; shifting toward gray when paired with cool colors (as shown in our feature kitchen), or leaning toward beige when paired with warm colors, such as Ginger Snap or Amaretto. Light and neutral, Irish Crème pairs well with Medallion’s full finish palette and is a timeless option for opaque paint colors. It’s available on maple door styles for Gold* and Silverline. When the design calls for it, define the details of your Irish Crème painted doors with our new Pewter highlight.