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Space to spread out

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A huge 12ft-long island in this apartment kitchen provides plenty of preparation room for the cook, and a generous area where guests can relax and socialize

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For a homeowner who enjoys the dual roles of cooking and entertaining, the kitchen needs to be both functional and set up for socializing.

Kitchen and interior designer Mark Williams took on the project of transforming three condominium apartments into one. The entire space was gutted and the kitchen, dining and living areas were relocated along one wall of the building, with floor-to-ceiling doors and windows opening onto a large, 78ft-long terrace.

"The owner is an enthusiastic cook who also likes to socialize, so he wanted to be able to cook and entertain at the same time. The kitchen had to be functional, but also beautiful, because it can be seen from everywhere in the home," says Williams.

To achieve this, the design utilizes a simple palette of materials – stainless steel, natural and lacquered wood, and green back-painted glass along the rear wall behind the open shelves.

"These finishes create the subtle look we wanted, but they also complement the light, bright and sunny aspect of the rest of the apartment," says the designer.

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The large central island is split into two functional spaces – an area for cooking and preparation, and a table with seating for family and friends. These two zones are defined by their materials. The sink and cooktop are inlaid into a single piece of stainless steel, and the wooden table is constructed to be flush with the rest of the countertop.

Ventilation above the island is concealed in a series of stainless steel panels. Only those over the cooktop operate as a hood; the rest were made to match and provide additional lighting for the cook working at the countertop.

To achieve a clean look for the kitchen, the cabinetry was designed and laid out so the functional faces are not visible from the living and dining areas. Only flat wood panels on the long side and end of the island can be seen, and all drawers and cupboards are located below countertop height. Cabinets above the ovens are built to be flush, with concealed handles, while open shelves, which are designed for display rather than storage, are above the perimeter countertop. A short wall between the dining area and the kitchen shields the workspace from the view of guests in the hall.

On the far side of the kitchen, in an alcove next to the dining table, is a beverage center or butler's pantry. This includes a small refrigerator, as well as storage for glasses and other bar paraphernalia.

Credit List

Architect and interior designerMark Williams Design Associates (Atlanta, GA)
Kitchen designMark Williams, Roy Otwell
Kitchen manufacturerPoliform Varenna
ContractorCruickshank
CabinetryWhite matte lacquer; ovangkol wood
CountertopsStainless steel; ovangkol wood
FlooringBamboo
BacksplashUS Colorglass, custom back-painted glass
Kitchen furnitureKnoll Bertoia bar stool
Dining furnitureKnoll Platner table
Kitchen uplightingEstiluz
Dining room lightingBoyd Lighting
Kitchen sinkVarenna
FaucetsDornbracht
Oven, cooktop, microwave, dishwasherMiele
VentilationCustomized by Varenna
Refrigeration and wine coolerSub-Zero
StoryMary Webb
PhotographyJohn Umberger

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