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Warm cherry cabinetry enlivens this kitchen designed for a couple who are both professional chefs


It's always interesting to see new kitchens designed for professional chefs. Invariably they show us how functionality impacts on aesthetics, but there's never a compromise.

The kitchen in this new Charleston house was designed for a couple who are both chefs. Architect Alexander Gorlin says the pair wanted a cozy, practical and hardworking kitchen, rather than a show kitchen that would never be used.

"The house is a modern interpretation of a Southern courtyard house on a long narrow lot. The kitchen opens up to the courtyard on one side, and is the center of the house, both literally and in terms of the way the house is organized. There is a large table in the kitchen for casual meals – it is almost like dining in a restaurant where you can see the chefs in action."

A large island serves as the food preparation and serving area. This has a cherry wood butcher's block countertop and sink. Another sink is placed on a long stainless steel countertop on the perimeter cabinetry that serves as a cleanup area.

"All the surface materials were chosen according to the required functionality," says the architect. "The owners can chop vegetables directly on the island top, while the rear countertop is marble, which is used for rolling out dough for baking."


Cherry cabinetry was specified for all the doors, which are set flush, in keeping with the Modern architecture.

"Cherry wood was chosen for its visual warmth and strong graining," says Gorlin. "The grain itself becomes the decoration. We added frosted glass to some of the overhead cabinets to relieve the long expanse of wood running around the kitchen."

All the cabinetry features Häfele hardware, with custom inserts chosen by the owners.

Credit List

ArchitectAlexander Gorlin FAIA, with Jason Federbush and Glenn Goble, Alexander Gorlin Architects (New York)
General contractorHank Hill Fine Custom Homes
Structural consultantRobert McKaskel
CabinetryCherry wood
CountertopsCherry wood; stainless steel; marble
Ovens and cooktopViking
StoryColleen Hawkes
PhotographyAlbert Vecerka

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