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This kitchen by Roberta Kravette has an artistic focus


When your passion is art and your kitchen needs remodeling, it makes sense to pursue a design that supports and stimulates creativity in this most utilized part of the home.

Celebration of art was top of the wish list when designer Roberta Kravette was asked to replace a 1970s white laminate kitchen with a modern cooking workspace. Avid collectors, the homeowners' taste in decor runs to clean lines and natural materials – an ideal backdrop to set off their many artworks, says Kravette.

"Their youngest teenager is also passionate about art and had used the existing kitchen as a studio and display space for her creations, simply taping them to the cabinet exteriors. The new kitchen needed to allow her to continue to do this – and at the same time offer excellent functionality, great storage and a look that wouldn't need revisiting for at least 20 years."

Within much the same footprint as the old kitchen, Kravette has transformed the space, by replacing what had been a hotchpotch of old cabinets with a simple, ergonomic layout.

"The new cabinetry is finished in rich-toned, plantation-grown anigre, originally an African hardwood, with a pronounced vertical grain."


While the warm wood tones predominate, the expansive countertops are in speckled Blue Pearl granite. Subtle hues from this stone are picked up again in the mosaic stone backsplash.

"The backsplash, much loved by the owners, calls to mind the vivacious sparkle and texture of paintings by Gustav Klimt," says Kravette.

The dining room table, finished in the same stone as the countertops, was designed in raw steel. Custom made for the space, the table fits well with other sculpture pieces in the home.

Positioned to set up efficient work triangles, the central island incorporates a set of drawers oriented toward the dining table. These provide storage for the daughter's art supplies. Beneath the glass-fronted wall cabinet, a buffet with wide drawers is also home to her work.

"We created two kinds of display space for the young artist's finished pieces. A section of vertical cork boards on the back wall provides plenty of pin-up room but has the simple lines of an artwork in its own right when empty. And the long, exposed sides of the refrigerator on one side of the kitchen and the oven cabinet on the other both include a full-height, attached-and-framed piece of glass, etched to mimic the anigre wood veneer. Artworks can be taped to these without fear of damaging the cabinets."

The kitchen also boasts a number of clever conveniences and storage options. These include a double pull-out recycling unit with foot release and a split pull-out pantry. A tall broom closet is angled into a corner, and a step ladder is concealed in a toekick.

"Most of these handy, space-saving utilities are out of sight and out of mind. This makes it easy to maintain the clean-lined aesthetic – an indispensable backdrop for the family's abiding passion," says Kravette.

First published date: 18 December 2012

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Credit List

Kitchen designer Roberta Kravette LEED AP, AKBD, NKBA, Nieuw Amsterdam Kitchens (New York)
Cabinet company Heritage Custom Cabinetry
Cabinetry Natural anigre
Countertop Blue Pearl granite
Custom table Sam Vider
Wallcoverings Benjamin Moore, Aura
Backsplash Mosaic stone tile with gold and silver etching, combined with London Grey field mosaics, from Artistic Tile
Sinks Blanco Precision, undermount
Faucets Dornbracht, satin nickel finish
Oven, ventilation, microwave Miele
Cooktop Gaggenau
Refrigeration Sub-Zero
Dishwashers Miele; Fisher & Paykel