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Atypical shapes and curved lines promote movement in this loft apartment kitchen, while varying textures and patterns create a refined, modern feel

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Even in a space as expansive as a loft apartment, the kitchen is a popular place to gather. In an open-plan design, the use of curves is one way to promote flow and movement between different areas, with the kitchen acting as a central node.

Entertaining was an important element of the brief given to architect Jeff Sweitzer by the owners of this loft. A previous design in the same site had marked out rooms in a more traditional box-like manner. For the current owners, grown up children meant there wasn't a great need for many bedrooms, and as they often entertained clients at home, the whole apartment had to seem open to move through.

"Shaping suggests the intent for movement. The kitchen island curves slightly, echoing the line of the floor. The ceiling also follows this line, so you are drawn to move through the spaces," says Sweitzer.

The walls around the kitchen do not reach the apartment ceiling. A lower ceiling in an elliptical shape is suspended above the kitchen area. This shape is echoed by the circular structure above the small bar in the living space.

"These unusual shapes are both whimsical and allude to this movement. The kitchen is warmed and demarcated by the lowered ceiling," says Sweitzer.

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All of the living areas can be seen to stem from the kitchen. Between the island and the countertops, past a large freestanding cupboard that masks a structural duct shaft, is a library area. From the other side of the kitchen island, movement is promoted through the living space towards the outdoors.

Different flooring materials are used to demarcate areas of the apartment. This also reflects a request from the owners to use many different patterns, colors and textures in the home, but in a way that is refined and not too busy.

"Red is a favorite of the owners, so we repeated it through the light fittings and the furniture. Colors had to be very clean and clear. We didn't want the cabinetry timber to have any yellow tones," says interior decorator Jackie Wulf.

Four types of wood are employed in the kitchen. Beech floorboards provide pattern and texture. The smooth, grain-free tones of anegre, and darker mahogany and makore detailing, are used on the cabinetry. The countertops also display this variety, with a stainless steel stove-top counter, and marble on the island.

"The kitchen is central to the living space so we wanted a nice clear view through it. We tucked away appliances like the microwave and secondary oven for this reason," says Wulf.

First published date: 14 December 2007

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Credit List

Architect Jeffery R Sweitzer, AIA (Minneapolis, MN)
Interior designer Jackie Wulf, J K Interiors
Cabinetry Anegre with mahogany and makore detailing, by Millcraft LLC
Doors and windows Commercial insulating glass in thermal break aluminum
Flooring Beech and Santos mahogany with clear finish by Acoustics Associates
Backsplash Carrara marble
Countertops White Carrara marble with satin finish; stainless steel
Kitchen furniture Baba stools by Design Within Reach
Dining furniture Campaniello Policleto table; sit chairs in ultra suede
Wallcoverings Decorators White by Benjamin Moore Paints
Lighting Artemide; Tech Lighting; Juno
Blinds Charcoal gray with 10% open dot pattern by Mecho Shade
Kitchen sink Elkay
Faucets Elkay
Appliances GE Monogram
Cooktop Wolf