Sycamore and steel

Contrasting materials one warm, one cool give this integrated kitchen and small family area a harmonious balance
Story by: Colleen Hawkes
View of kitchen with wooden cabinetry and island, ceiling, countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, gray
View of kitchen with wooden cabinetry and island, stainless steel cooktop area and dining table with chairs.

When you have lived in a house for a quarter of a century, you get a pretty good idea about what works and what could be better.

The owners of this late 1950s ranch house knew the functionality would be greatly improved if the kitchen could be made larger to incorporate a small family area. Consequently, the couple commissioned architect Todd Main of Main Architecture and interior designer Shelly Handman of Handman Associates to come up with a plan.

"The previous kitchen was small, with an equally small dinette," says Main. "The owners wanted a much larger space where the extended family, including grandchildren, could gather, cook and relax."

To create the space needed, walls between several small rooms were removed. The original kitchen, a maid's room, pantry, a small bathroom and a courtyard space between the garage and house were absorbed into the new room.


View of living area with corner sofa, and interior design, living room, real estate, room, suite, orange, gray
View of living area with corner sofa, and desk with computer.

A large steel beam now supports the roof, in place of the structural walls that came down. Main also added a large skylight, which was a last-minute request from the owners, who wanted to maximize the light in the room.

Sleek sycamore cabinetry is contrasted by smooth stainless steel doors on the cooking center, which is the focal point of the space. Handman says the visual warmth of the wood balances the cool, semi-industrial feel of the steel and the commercial-grade hood, which sits above a 12-burner cooktop, griddle and grill.

"It's a tailored contemporary look with a lot of softness that fits with the rest of the house."

Handman says the kitchen was also designed to meet the needs of one of the owners, who is an excellent cook and likes to bake.

View of hallway with white walls and red ceiling, estate, floor, flooring, home, interior design, living room, real estate, room, gray
View of hallway with white walls and red rug.

"She has assigned different functions to each of the three sink areas. The sink within the stone countertop near the ovens is for floral arranging, while the sink on the island is for food prep, and the sink by the window is the cleanup area."

Storage is also positioned right where it is needed there are refrigerator drawers for vegetables and produce within the island, for example. And large banks of cabinets on the rear wall accommodate the owner's extensive collection of plates and platters.

Cabinetry also conceals a pull-out computer desk, which functions as a secondary office, and a television beside a cozy lounge corner.

May 17, 2011

Credit list

Interior designer
Shelly Handman, Handman Associates
Cabinet company
Bolhuis Woodworking Co
Cabinetry
Natural figured sycamore by Bolhuis Woodworking Co; stainless steel by Avenue Metal Manufacturing Co
Backsplash panel
Custom Kubis Panel System (KPS) by Heltzer Incorporated
Kitchen table
English trestle table with antique distressed bar top finish from Melvin Wolf
Bar stools
Lynn bar stools from Andreu World upholstered in Charles McMurray contract leather from Neill and Company
Pendant light
New Metal Crafts
Sink
Franke EuroPro from Hydrology
Ovens and microwave oven
Dacor
Refrigeration
Sub-Zero
Cabinet hardware
Häfele
Builder
T&T Construction
Painting
Master Finishes
Countertops
Jerusalem limestone island and backsplash by Murphy Marble Co; stainless steel top by Avenue Metal Manufacturing Co
Flooring
Pompignan Castlestone limestone by Rossi USA Corp
Dining chairs
Phuket rattan from Nancy Corzine
Banquette
Brusic Rose; upholstered in IZIT leather from Willow Tex and Trivium textile by Bernhard Design
Shades
Exquisite Draperies
Faucets
Grohe Ladylux3 in Sarlight Chrome from Hydrology
Ventilation
Avenue Metal Manufacturing Co
Dishwashers
Miele integrated
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