A Tale of Two Kitchens

This kitchen, originally remodeled in the 1980’s had served the clients well, however, many of the design and functional details were out of date and appliances as well as cabinets were failing. What makes this project different is that it required 2 complete kitchens in one space, this is a kosher kitchen meaning strict dietary restrictions as well as food storage and preparation had to be observed. Not only food but all serving pieces, glassware, plates, dishes, and utensils had to be kept separate.

Working closely with the client, I came to understand and accommodate the requirements to ensure all aspects of the rules were honored. Designing a kitchen that would serve these restrictive rules while functioning within the guidelines of a well-designed kitchen and creating a dynamic and contemporary design style required a careful yet meticulous balance of design ingenuity and style.

The Existing Kitchen:

  • The old kitchen did not take full advantage of the vaulted ceilings and the layout was as convenient as it could have been with limited preparation space.
  • A dropped ceiling above the dining room entrance made the room feel diminished.
  • An out-of-date desk became a catchall and used valuable real estate.
  • Passover dishes were stored on another floor, which was inconvenient.
  • The refrigerator blocked the entrance to the room and lowered seating on the island was behind a cooktop, never a desirable location.

The New Kitchen Design:

  •  This client is a proponent of sustainability. With that in mind, I was able to reuse the existing Sub-Zero refrigerator and 2 dishwashers which were recently replaced.  The biggest challenge was convincing the client to eliminate the window on the outside wall, move the dairy sink to the island, and place the cooktop where the dairy sink once was.
  • I convinced the client that the view out the sliding doors and into the yard was much better than the view of the neighbor’s garage. This change created a wall for a design statement using beautiful tile running up to the peak of the room accented with a contemporary stainless-steel hood.  This now became the view upon entering the kitchen.
  • A framed pantry claimed the former desk space and a wall of tall shallow pantry cabinets provided all the space the client would need including the much-desired Passover storage.

The only request the client’s husband made was for a coffee/wine bar for himself. That was accomplished when the doorway to the dining room was moved 12″ and the client allowed me to claim 12″ from an oversized hall closet.

The contemporary style of the home is reflected in the flat panel rift-cut white oak cabinets surrounding the perimeter of the kitchen juxtaposed with a dark wenge veneer for the island and coffee/wine bar. Contemporary knurled black hardware softened and enhanced the colors of the veneered doors.  Stainless steel appliances and decorative cabinet door accents create a design statement. As purple is the client’s favorite color, the bold wall color is softened by a white and lilac quartz countertop and marble mosaic tiles behind the hood and bar area.

The final design is a testament to collaboration and trust between the designer and the client.


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