Design Diary: Contemporary Kitchen With Folding Glass Wall

This fall I wrote about a condo in a classic 1920s brick Georgian in Brookline for the kitchen & bath issue of  Boston Globe Magazine. The story “A kitchen, deck combo lets the fun expand” features a sleek contemporary design by architect Michael Kim, who re-thought the client’s entire home. Initially a jumble of rooms and hallways indicative of life in the old days, Kim pretty much wiped the slate clean and designed a contemporary and highly single-floor family home that melds the indoors with the out. (David Cohen of Newton-based Hampden Design & Construction was the builder.)

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Splitting the home in half lengthwise, Kim positioned the three bedrooms behind the expansive living space. The new linear kitchen, designed by kitchen designer Charlotte Bogardus of Kitchens by Coco, features custom ash millwork handcrafted by Fall River-based East Bay Cabinetry, a local and more cost-effective solution than the high-end Italian kitchen cabinets they initially considered.  The layout is perfectly symmetrical, with pullout pantries anchoring each end, one flanked by an oven and microwave and one by a camouflaged 30-inch refrigerator. In the center of that wall, pocket doors hide a niche for smaller appliances and auxiliary counter space, under which are two sets of fridge and freezer drawers.

Design and color consultant Shelley Reed, who had worked with the couple on their previous home, guided them in choosing finishes and furnishings. The floor is high-grade walnut stained a rich brown, a color that simultaneously grounds the space, sets off the pale ash cabinetry. Reed purposefully combined contrasting tones of wood, all of which pop against the walls, painted Benjamin Moore White Dove. The Italian leather and chrome bar stools were $10 Craigslist finds and the weathered teak outdoor picnic table from Restoration Hardware. They flirted with the idea of splurging on Bocci lighting, but ultimately went with a more budget-friendly multi-globe chandelier from West Elm

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The 16-foot, stainless steel topped island, which the client loves even more now that it’s “beat up,” has a stainless double sink that they welded to the countertop for a seamless effect, a quick-to-cool induction cooktop, over which hovers a pared-down hood by Zepher that reads like a piece of contemporary sculpture.

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The living room is outfitted with a modular sofa from Roche Bobois and a pair of chartreuse chairs from Ligne Roset. The shag rug is also from Ligne Roset and the concrete coffee table from West Elm. A floating shelf, which doubles as a bench, hugs the jagged wall.

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The kitchen island aligns perfectly with the contemporary accordion doors that open to deck, which was designed by Boston-based landscape designer Ed MacLean of Potted Up. The mahogany deck features a gas grill, a built-in wooden banquette off to one side (not pictured), and semi-circular loungers by Tropitone (the homeowners saw a similar style in Florida and had to have them) around a fire pit that can also be topped to form a table). MacLean also designed gardens around the perimeter of the house. 

Photos by Shelly Harrison

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