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The Teeny, Tiny Kitchen

This project, while incredibly small at 170 square feet, was challenging in that the homeowner wanted a modern kitchen in a historic house. The requests included space for a new eat-in area, a myriad of modern appliances that did not even exist 100 years ago, lots of storage and a respectful homage to the past in order to respect the character and heritage of the house’s architecture.

For inspiration, we looked back at the original character of historic kitchens during this period. Grandmas' kitchens were typically limited to a few basic appliances (icebox and wood or gas stove), a single pantry for dry goods, and a sink counter. The effect was a space of ill-fitted “appliance furniture” that does not reflect the technological demands of today’s modern cooks.  Further, the kitchens of old were not places to gather and chit-chat over a glass of wine at the end of the day, they were intentionally and sparsely furnished with a simple objective in mind – get the meal to the table.

The enjoyable aspect of our design respected the individual elements of the old-style kitchen by treating each “zone” as its own piece of cabinet furniture, complemented with custom-turned, furniture grade table legs. We selected a Wolfe Range because of the masculinity of the design and the technical performance of a high-quality gas stove with high heat output combined with fine tuning capability. We selected the Subzero Refrigerator because of its capacity, physical size, quiet sound rating, and professional grade hardware. 


Not only does the Subzero offer a thin countertop depth unit, but its height aligns with the other doors in the space which allows for continuity of trim bands. Further to the quality of daylight entering this small space, we added a bay window that is flush with the floor so the family could sit at a bistro table and enjoy their backyard during the preparation of a meal while the daylight (or moonlight) illuminates the space. We also infused the walls and floors with a traditional material palette of fumed quarter sawn white oak and travertine stone floors custom laid in a herringbone pattern which is all held together with marble countertops made from hand-picked slabs.

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