Night and day new kitchen by Peter Nicholas

Marble contrasts with dark wood and black steel
Open shelving, translucent sliding panels, marble surfaces and cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, gray
Open shelving, translucent sliding panels, marble surfaces and walnut cabinetry give this kitchen a modern yet warm appeal

Priorities shift as a family grows and needs change. An interior layout that suits when the children are young might not be the perfect solution when they are older.

For the owners of this house, interior designer Allison Baskes and her husband Daniel, a growing family forced a rethink about the best position for the kitchen. After consultation with architect Peter Nicholas of Nicholas Design Collaborative, the original architect of the house, it was decided to swap the family room and kitchen around.

"The existing kitchen was much smaller and quite dark," says Allison Baskes. "Everyone likes to cook in this family, and we love to entertain. And of course everyone gravitates toward the kitchen when you are preparing meals, so we wanted a larger, lighter space."

The Baskes had a clear vision of what they would like, and the starting point for the design was the Calacatta Gold marble.

"I love the texture, depth and lightness of this marble," says Allison Baskes. "I also wanted dark cabinets and a semi-industrial look, so choosing this marble was a way to ensure the light and dark colors could play off each other."

This layered kitchen by interior designer Allison Baskes cabinetry, countertop, glass, interior design, kitchen, shelf, shelving, gray
This layered kitchen by interior designer Allison Baskes and architect Peter Nicholas includes a calcatta gold marble splashback, translucent sliding panels and walnut veneer cabinetry

Nicholas says a contemporary look was a given the kitchen needed to fit with the modern feel of the rest of the interior. Plenty of storage was another prerequisite.

"The design explores the concept of layering, starting with the translucent glass doors that slide along cantilevered walnut shelves on the marble tiled backsplash," says the architect. "Using long marble tiles on this wall instead of slabs gives it a whole other dimension. The pattern of the tiles adds a lot of visual interest. And on a more practical level, the tiles were more cost effective and easier to install."

The sense of layering extends to the island, which incorporates an oiled wood table top that overlaps the main marble slab.

The island repeats materials seen elsewhere in the kitchen. For example, the custom black-coated steel that frames the glass screens over the shelves is echoed by the steel framework of the breakfast table. And the custom hood is waxed raw steel its color is echoed by the large pendant light.

While the island cabinetry and cabinets near the cooking center feature dark-stained walnut, there is a bank of sleek gray lacquered cabinets on the opposite wall. The top row of cabinets have frosted glass doors.

Sliding glass doors with reeded glass separate the dining room, door, furniture, home, house, interior design, table, window, gray, black
Sliding glass doors with reeded glass separate the living area and dining room in this design by interior designer and homeowner Allison Baskes of Allison Baskes Design

"The glass breaks up the mass of cabinetry, so it is not too monolithic," says Nicholas. "It lightens it up a little. We also added a sliding ladder to access the top cabinets."

This cabinetry incorporates a coffee center, with its own marble countertop and backsplash. An opening in the center leads to the mud room and back door.

Baskes says she also consulted with designer Michael del Piero on certain objects, including the dining room pendant by Lucy Slivinski.

Oct 06, 2013

Credit list

Interior designer
Allison Baskes, Allison Baskes Design; with Michael del Piero
Goldberg General Contracting
Quartz on perimeter; Calacatta Gold marble on island; teak on tabletop
Kitchen and dining furniture
Crate & Barrel
Dining room pendant light
Custom by Lucy Slivinski, through Michael
Custom raw steel hood by Iron & Wire
Akzent Ladder System
Cabinet company
Fricano Construction Co
Walnut veneer
Calacatta Gold marble tile
Kitchen pendant light
Range and microwave oven
Sliding steel and glass panels
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