2017-2018 KDC Finalist
Nestled in between links of a historic Georgian golf course, Brookhaven Residence is the ultimate adult retreat for its empty-nest owners. After their children moved out, the owners wanted to reinvigorate their home, creating a serene oasis in which they could entertain frequently. The heart of this oasis is the open, L-shaped kitchen, dining, and living area. This cohesive layout, designed by Karen Ferguson, connects all the main living areas, including a covered terrace—optimizing views of the nearby sloping greens and distant Atlanta skyline.
Karen FergusonDesignersView Profile
Cohesion was important to the clients, but so was the functional side of the kitchen. With the requirements of daily life and entertaining large gatherings of friends and family, dirty dishes easily stack up. Thanks to Ferguson’s vision, the galley kitchen behind the range wall provides a hiding place for the mess so the party, gathering, or quiet night at home can continue uninterrupted. The appliances were selected for their ability to integrate into the space without disrupting the design. Two wood-clad Sub-Zero refrigerators flank the room’s large, arched window, elegantly framing the view. Meanwhile, a Wolf warming drawer nestles discreetly in the bold, structural island. The Wolf range was selected for the timelessness of its stainless-steel construction, including the stainless knobs which enhance the already sleek look.
As you look at the layout of the kitchen, it is easy to understand why Idan and Shuji won the 2016 Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest (KDC) award for best small space kitchen. Compact as it is, the kitchen has plenty of workspace for a cook or two, seats three for casual meals, and opens naturally into the living/dining area when guests are present. The architects sought to maximize countertop and storage space, yet do so in a way that contributes to the welcoming quality of the kitchen. The upper cabinet of white laminate in a walnut surround "floats" within the marble backsplash, while the base cabinets start low at the window. Walnut floating shelves are situated between the upper cabinets and full height fridge/freezer box, providing easy-access storage and highlighting the backsplash.
Like the refrigeration, the cooking appliances have the understated presence that this simple, almost zen-like kitchen demands. A Wolf 36" gas cooktop provides plenty of firepower in a low profile, while the 30" convection oven built into the island is invisible from the rest of the apartment. Both architects consider Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances to be a key ally in designing the best small space kitchen. "Your products give us a lot of tools to work with," says Shuji. "The number of sizes you offer, from an 18" column freezer to a PRO 48 refrigerator. The ability to be either concealed or exposed in the design, or to have handles or not. And the performance is outstanding – we know that as avid cooks. It's easy to recommend Sub-Zero and Wolf to our clients."
"Sometimes less is more,"" says Idan. "The way your products work into a small space kitchen help our clients realize that it's not always about generous proportions – you can live well, and cook well, in a very compact space." As you might imagine, the innovative approach Idan and Shuji have taken to this Brooklyn renovation has had a very positive reaction. "The units sold out quickly, at aggressive pricing," says Idan. "Many potential buyers were too late to purchase, but we've had interest from them in renovating other townhomes, and taking a similar approach."
"While we do larger projects as well, the small space kitchen is the niche nowadays, especially in urban environments," says Idan. "It's an emerging market, one that will only become more important moving forward, considering paradigm shifts in urbanism, micro-housing, and notions of private versus public space." "In thinking horizontally, we've developed a philosophy that can have beneficial effects on the way people live in urban areas," says Shuji. "We think people will respond to that. And we expect the recognition from our KDC award to yield even more interesting opportunities in the future."
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