Breakout zone

This contemporary kitchen features a flexible design and mix of materials

High-gloss gray cabinets and metallic glass tiles define chair, dining room, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, kitchen, living room, room, table, wall, wood flooring, white, gray
High-gloss gray cabinets and metallic glass tiles define this corporate condominium kitchen
This loft condominium has multiple uses – corporate accommodation, meeting room and entertainment space. Trends editorial director Paul Taylor looks at how Interior designer Tom Stringer achieved all that.

There's a good reason why developers opt for neutral palettes they don't want to scare prospective purchasers with a bold design statement.

This condominium in a restored turn-of-the-century loft building was a typical developer's package, says interior designer Tom Stringer.

"It was best described as a beige drywall box," he says. "This did not suit my client, a company with a strong design focus, who wanted a crisp, contemporary interior."

Stringer says the condo was to be used in a number of ways as a guest apartment for visiting clients, a corporate retreat for meetings, and for entertaining purposes.

"Design flexibility was essential. The remodel also had to be cost effective, without sacrificing good design."

Gas struts in the legs of the dining chair, floor, flooring, furniture, interior design, office, product design, recreation room, table, white
Gas struts in the legs of the dining table make it easy to raise or lower the tabletop, which can be flipped to reveal the pool table

With this in mind, Stringer suggested contemporary Ikea cabinetry in a glossy gray.

"Almost everything we do in our design company is bespoke, so this was a little off-the-wall for us," he says. "But even though the client is very design driven, and has a collection of classic Mid-century furniture pieces, the kitchen itself was not about provenance. I admired the lines of this Ikea cabinetry and the surface gloss was just right."

The designer teamed the cabinets with white quartz and recycled glass countertops, and smoky metallic mirror glass tiles on the backsplash, which have an iridescent quality. Polished stainless steel shelves reinforce the look.

Stringer also introduced a much longer island, anchored at one end to a structural column. The other end of the island forms a bar, where a bartender can serve drinks without interrupting the main work zone.

"The client wanted to be able to screen off the kitchen, without completely hiding the activity, so we added a long, sheer drape that can be pulled across the front of the island. You can still see movement through the drape, but it is muted meal preparation is like a ballet in the kitchen."

Interior designer Tom Stringer introduced a long sheer cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, gray, black
Interior designer Tom Stringer introduced a long sheer drape so the kitchen can be screened off from the rest of the living area.

Stringer says there had been a pool table in the condo when the client took ownership. This proved to be popular with clients and staff.

"We chose to keep this option, by specifying a dining table that can be converted into a pool table. The legs have gas struts, so they can be raised and lowered easily.

"The table also functions as a conference table video-conferencing equipment is stored in the long floating console below the television."

Despite the changes, the character of the building remains intact. The high ceilings and original windows were retained, as was the maple flooring. This was refinished, with a light gray tone replacing the yellowed varnish.

Credit list

Margaret Nowak AIA,
Ikea Akurum Abstrakt in a high gloss
Urban Metal series by Daltile
Bar stools
Hudson by Philippe Starck from Design Within Reach
Dining chairs
Donghia Furniture
Oven and cooktop
Microwave oven
GE Profile
Fisher & Paykel
Interior designer
Tom Stringer,
White Glace quartz and recycled glass by The Fine Line
Benjamin Moore
Dining table
Apollo pendant by Arteriors

Story by: Colleen Hawkes

Photography by: Werner Straube

22 May, 2014

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