Every space poses unique challenges and these two modern kitchens in Nyack were no exception. One kitchen needed to serve a family with young children and two active professionals with a preference for modern minimalism and a love of cooking. The other served a solo professional. In both cases the owners wanted a modern kitchen. One home was a mid-century modern gem with a modern sensibility ahead of it’s time, but the original kitchen had become dated compared to the modernism of today, and many new materials and products offered fresh possibilities.
Professional designers in Nyack wanted a minimalist modern kitchen
This modern kitchen in Nyack was created for a busy household where the couple were both big cooks. In addition to being serious cooks, they had two young boys and they were successful designers, business owners in package design with a well-defined modern aesthetic.
THE CHALLENGE in this case was how to open the space which was divided into three small spaces. A traditional dining room area, a u-shaped kitchen, living room. There was no mudroom for the main entrance through the garage which led everyone through this maze. There were walls, doors, entrances, and structural considerations. This young family really used the whole space. We needed to create a good flow for traffic coming and going, a great work area in the kitchen for high efficiency. We needed a quiet area near the kitchen but separated from the kitchen hubbub.
THE FUNCTION is the driving force of a fantastic kitchen. The layout of the kitchen is the foundation of the room. Function rules. Appliances take the lead and in this case, sleek built-in units were called for. Traffic patterns, habits, and wish list of the family come next. Once the main work areas were defined, the prep, cook, clean up, and storage, we added a coffee bar with refrigeration to alleviate traffic jams in the early morning rush, tall pantry area for all main food to be stored conveniently near prep and cook area. We maximized the island storage as there were very few wall cabinets. The “work wall“ was entirely glass. Even the ventilation system was built into the ceiling to not interfere with the view. We created one wall for all the tall appliances, ovens, refrigerator, and freezer. We made sure there was a perch for company, kids, and family friends at the island.
We developed a proper mudroom with tall lockers, one designated for each member of the household to drop off their stuff on the way into the house and pick up jackets and backpacks on the way out. There is secondary storage and workspace with a sink and dishwasher to service the backyard. We created a quiet space that could double as a dining room when needed. We unified the entire first floor of this home without simply taking down walls.
THE LOOK was minimalist. Simple, uncomplicated lines and material choices. Easy for the eye to rest. Uncomplicated, sophisticated, strikingly beautiful. At the same time, this beautiful room never overpowers. We used four different cabinet materials, textured wood laminate in grey wash, gloss white for island and coffee bar, charcoal matte laminate for appliance wall, high gloss red cabinets for lockers. We concealed the refrigerator and freezer as built-ins in the charcoal gray appliance wall in keeping with the minimalist style. The counters matte grey quartz, the island was 2″ thick white glass.
THE OUTCOME is a space that delights, functions seamlessly, and will endure the test of time. This makes all of us happy.
See our other gallery of Kitchen Renovations in Nyack.
Architect Charles Winter built his own mid-century modern home, circa 1970, that needed a modern kitchen update for a new owner
This modern kitchen in Nyack was created for a professional woman who loved the outdoors and uncluttered space. The house had been built by architect Charles Winter for himself and shows classic mid-century modern ideas which resonate today. The homeowner loved the open plan of the central areas and the views into the trees at every angle. Harmony with the environment is elemental in this style of home and my client wanted to preserve that feel.
THE CHALLENGE in this case was to upgrade the kitchen with its distinctive style while making it function for today’s lifestyle. The space itself was rather dark because of tall storage cabinets closing it off from the rest of the house. The existing kitchen lacked excitement. It had function but the materials were outdated and the layout did not take advantage of the views into the trees. The room needed to be brightened up. There were electrical challenges arising from the two-story kitchen with post and beam construction. It needed to represent the client who loved bright happy colors and the zen-like feel of the house overall.
THE FUNCTION drives all good design, yet as a designer in residential remodeling I am always presented with elements that are “givens”. These may be the style of home, the parameters of the space ie. walls, doors, windows, ceiling heights, mechanical conditions that may not be able to change without great cost —plumbing. electrical, venting systems. Of course, the client will tell me their parameters. Can we move a door or open a wall? Are we going to keep the flooring? Budget will play a role. After assessing these conditions appliances come front and center. The space will dictate the appropriate appliances. For example, double wall ovens need wall space as do pantries and refrigerators. Sometimes a great slide-in range is a better choice. In this case, we decided to claim a wall and locate pantry and double wall ovens there. Additionally, we took down a wall to create bases with two-sided glass upper cabinets to let light in where there was previously no light. The main work area is a “Galley”. One wall has a five-burner cooktop, a refrigerator, and good storage. The island has the sink, dishwasher, trash, recycling, and lots of workspace while you face company and can look through the wall of glass into the trees.
THE LOOK was true to the modern form. Natural materials, simple lines, highlight the outdoors. We used Rift cut oak panel doors in a warm stain. Slab drawer fronts. Crisp white Quartz countertops. The client loved color so we carefully selected surfaces to paint an exciting color to liven the room while still keeping harmony in the space.
THE OUTCOME was that the kitchen looked and felt as if it belonged to the architecture while fulfilling my client’s wish list.