27 January 2017

Cozy Comfortable Kitchen Spaces

When designing kitchens, there's much attention placed on the functionality of it as a work space, but cooking aside, how will the space be maximized in terms of comfort and as a gathering space?

We enjoy advising our clients on work space planning, appliance selections and lighting plans, but we’re always thinking about where everyone will sit and enjoy the food once it’s prepared. Where will the homework be done, newspapers read, iPads be strewn? In this Tribeca apartment, we focused on a combination of table and chairs that fit perfectly together but are not predictable, and a cozy bench/banquette to lean back on at the end of the day, or to sit at while sipping a hot mug of coffee on a Saturday morning.

On another project, while creating the schematic design for a kitchen/dining room in a Brooklyn brownstone this month, we studied and later proposed two combinations for lighting, tables, and chairs to help the client visualize the type of lighting required to make the space feel warm and inviting.

Lighting Scheme 1

3D Perspective

Since this is a house built in the mid 1800’s, we like the idea of a traditional chandelier form, in a modern iteration-over the table, balanced by a pair of more modern glass globes over the island.

An eight branch chandelier with large ball body, beaded cups and bobeches and fine rope details throughout
Factory inspired pendants made of mouth blown glass wrapped in hand woven wire

Antique English dining chairs with a beautiful aged patina, pair so well with a modern oval metal dining table. We like the roundness of the chair backs with the oval shaped table. We’d probably reupholster the seat cushions in something colorful and fun.

Antique English Empire dining chairs

This metal dining table (below left) is so unexpected. We think it’ll be fabulous living in such close proximity to the calacatta marble countertops on the island in the kitchen.

Metal industrial-inspired double pedestal table
English Empire style antique chairs

Alternatively, we could also imagine a distressed wood dining table with traditional Windsor chairs, either vintage or painted reproductions.

Lighting Scheme 2

3D Perspective

In this scenario it’s the lighting, made in California with a Mediterranean feel, that throws things off a bit and makes it interesting.

An iron rope chandelier
Iron hanging pendants

Vintage Windsor Chairs in good condition, in numbers more than six, are really hard to come by.

Vintage Windsor Chairs

There are also a number of manufacturers on the East Coast still making reproduction Windsor Chairs based upon the original patterns. The distressed, painted ones add contrast.

Farm style table
Bow-back windsor chair

Do you have a favorite of these two options?

— Lauren & Suzanne
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Love the final design! So beautiful, especially the grasscloth and the color of the cabinets combined with the white countertops. Noting this for my own kitchen!
I want to know more about the settee or banquette...how do you choose the right shape and fabric in a kitchen that everybody would love to sit on but not be scared?! Love it!!
Great post and beautiful project. Is the table you used in the Tribeca project the Saarinen table with a wood top?
Suzanne and Lauren, I am a huge fan of your work! The pendants you chose for the kitchen island are my personal favorites. Would you share the light gray paint color you used for the kitchen cabinets? Looks fantastic.
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