When Joanne Chmura, IADA, RES, was commissioned to design this 400 sq ft kitchen (a complete gut, but keeping the original layout) in Albany County, her goal was to create a space that was contemporary but maintained an intimacy.
To accomplish this, she started with the range. “The previous layout pushed the range off center of the fireplace in the family room,” says Chmura. “It felt disconnected, so in the renovation I removed a built-in pantry closet and centered the stove. We flanked it on the ends with a paneled refrigerator and the pantry was integrated into the cabinetry.”
Because the kitchen is open to the family room, which has vaulted ceilings, Chmura wanted to define the spaces — so she added coffered ceilings in the kitchen.
The large island in the kitchen (standing at 151 inches) is the centerpiece where everyone congregates. “Nine people can sit at it and of course quite a few more [can stand],” says Chmura. The island did come with its own set of challenges, though: “One downfall of having an island that size is that the marble would have had a seam,” says Chmura. “We rectified that by adding the walnut extenders so we were able to use the full length of the marble and maintain the requested size of the island. It’s quite beautiful!”
Another necessity in the design was organization. “Each and every cabinet has a specific job to keep the homeowner organized,” says Chmura. “There are drawers that hold dishes, ones that hold pots and pans, and others that house utensils. There are pantry pull outs, two trash/recycle cabinets; we also have two dishwashers: one is full-sized and the other is a single drawer used for overflow when entertaining. The sink is a big single basin, great for hiding soiled dishes.”
The color palette was kept monochromatic. “I used Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray on the walls, White Duck on the soffit trim, and Incredible White for the ceiling,” says Chmura. The subtle colors play off of each other nicely and let the design really shine, especially the wood details.
“I love the Danby marble (used for the island), I adore the pendants, but I also love the walnut island and accents,” says Chmura. “The wood is so beautiful and it adds such a warmth to the space.” Everything you want in the heart of the home.
What to Do: “Consult a designer!” says Chmura. “[Get] the best layout for the space; and the old familiar working triangle is a must in every kitchen.”
What Not to Do: Don’t leave garbage cans out where you can see them, and “if you don’t have three layers [of lighting] — overhead, task, and accent — then you missed the boat,” adds Chmura.