Houzz: 4 Kitchen Design Ideas You Might Not Have Thought Of
Mitchell Parker
28 August 2015

A Convertible Pass-Through

Designer: Edward Siegel of Cooper Robertson

Location: New York City

Year built: 2008

Size: A 250-square-foot (23.2-square-meter) kitchen in a 3,000-square-foot (278.7-square-meter) apartment

Homeowners’ request: “The owner requested a contemporary yet warm loft that would be used on a daily basis as a home office, for casual living and for frequent entertaining,” architect Edward Siegel says. “The pass-through counter bar allows the kitchen to be open to the living and dining room, and the operable glass and walnut grillage shutters can be closed for dinner parties.”

Plan of attack: “Designing a kitchen is all about making it work functionally first but then integrating that into the aesthetic concept. Opening the kitchen up to the rest of the apartment dictated that we use similar materials in the kitchen that we used elsewhere — walnut cabinetry and trim, and stainless steel countertops and equipment.”

Why the design works: “Our client had numerous programmatic requirements for the living and dining space: kitchen pass-through, fireplace, wet bar, coat and audiovisual equipment storage. We used simple walnut cabinetry and trim to integrate these requirements into the living and dining space, and this concept was continued into the kitchen design and throughout the rest of the loft.”

Who uses it: “The owners are a young married couple who have a casual lifestyle and entertain often. He owns an advertising company, and she’s an attorney. They run a charitable foundation, which contributes to numerous nonprofits, and are avid art collectors of emerging artists.”

Designer secret: “In addition to the ceiling and undercabinet lighting, we turned the high upper cabinets into light boxes by facing them with a translucent resin and bamboo panels by 3form and backlighting them. Not only did we increase the storage with these cabinets, but the light-box effect wrapping the kitchen makes for a very unique environment.”

“Uh-oh” moment: “We didn’t have an ‘uh-oh’ moment, but to integrate custom wood stained trim and cabinet systems seamlessly into a large loft apartment requires a seasoned professional with skill and a keen eye for detail, and it is not inexpensive. Professional rigor must be continuously maintained throughout the project to successfully pull it off.”

Splurges and savings: “This project was not about one or the other. Our client wanted a beautiful loft but didn’t want it to be ridiculously expensive. There are cheaper materials than walnut stained cabinetry, but there are also much more expensive ones.”

The nitty-gritty: Cabinetry: custom walnut; countertops and backsplash: custom stainless steel; faucets: Tara, Dornbracht; stools: George Nakashima; range and range hood: Viking; undercabinet wine refrigerator: Sub-Zero; refrigerator: Northland; dishwasher: Bosch; resin and bamboo doors on high upper cabinets: 3form; flooring: white oak; walls: Venetian plaster; stone wall: quartzite

Team involved: Robert Silman Associates (structural engineers); Altieri Sebor Wieber (mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineers), de la Torre Design Studio (interior design); Cline Bettridge Bernstein (lighting), HiDef of Freehold (audiovisual); Peter Murdock (photographer)

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