When I decided to open up some walls for our kitchen renovation, I knew I’d have to consider the design carefully from every angle. What would be the first impression when you entered our home? How much kitchen could you see from the entryway? Sitting on the sofa and gazing over at the kitchen, would I be looking at a sinkful of dishes? A hulking stainless steel appliance? On the wall of the sink elevation: Did I really need wall cabinets, which would block the line of sight to the window? It pays to consider every elevation as a vignette. These are the considerations that gave shape to my kitchen design.
I wanted the kitchen to feel like an extension of the living and dining room so I needed the cabinetry to feel like furniture—not in a formal Christopher Peacock–kitchen way, with milled cornices and ornate crown molding but in a plain white shaker cabinet kind of way. So I chose traditional Shaker doors, but used them in a modern slab fashion, elongated and devoid of ornamentation. In lieu of blingy hardware, I chose simple white edge pulls that fade into the woodwork.
The Pantry Run
The kitchens I admire most—Poggenpohl, DeVOL, Henrybuilt, Plain English, British Standard—have certain design principles in common. One main takeaway for me? They bank all the tall pantries to one side. This lends simplicity, symmetry, and grace to the design. It’s easy on the eye.
The Cooktop Vignette
|A kitchen similar to ours via Sweeten|
If I’d kept the range on the sink run, we would not have the beautiful vignette that is our cooktop and marble backsplash.
Also, wall cabinets above a range would have blocked the line of sight to the windows, so the kitchen would not have seemed as open, spacious, and bright.
The Sink Vignette
And I would have missed the opportunity to create this lovely vignette above the sink.
… with a brass picture shelf to lean artwork on.
The first was just a marble slab, with no shelf.
In this one I mimicked some DeVOL and Plain English kitchens that I loved at the time, which featured sconces—new and fresh then but seen in kitchens everywhere now.
I went instead with slim-profile brass cylinder pendants. And I’m happy with the choice, which draws the eye upward and accentuates the height of the ceilings.
Little by little, I made additions—the marble slab backsplash, the picture shelf, the recessed spot for a stool, where I can sit and read recipes.
Treating each elevation as a vignette was a bit of an exercise, but the result is a kitchen that looks beautiful from every angle, no matter where I’m standing.