New York, NY— Blood, serial killers and severed body parts are not the first themes most kitchen and bath designers consider when putting a space together. However, these themes became the first consideration for Johnny Grey and his team of designers when Metropolitan Home asked them to create a kitchen based on Showtime’s hit show “Dexter.”
Light and Dark
Seven designers from across the globe designed one room apiece around a popular Showtime series. A different program inspired each individual room, with the exception of the show “Dexter.” From the viewpoint of two separate designers, both the kitchen and dining room took on this series.
Johnny Grey’s team remodeled the 520-sq.-ft. 19th Century Greek Revival kitchen into a south Florida oasis. From gutting the original building through construction and detailwork, Grey and company created a space fit for both the serial killer character and his ordinary alterego, who preferred to have a small kitchen fit for entertaining.
The designers dug beneath the surface of Dexter’s character while putting together their design.
“The program is about moral ambiguity and was filmed in two different genres. There was dark and light, night and day. The dark was very dark and the daytime was very colorful,” Grey presents.
Using these themes as a springboard, the designers first wanted to incorporate the setting and lifestyle of the Dexter character into the kitchen. The show’s Miami setting became the basis for the color palette and sensual feel of the kitchen. Miami’s abundant Art Deco architecture was given a nod in the new space, as well.
Since Dexter is a show about a serial killer, albeit a moral one, blood was an influence on the design team.
“If you switch off the horror aspect and think about blood as a transport system for all of our life-giving minerals and supply of oxygen, then why can’t it be celebrated?” Grey queries.
Working within their idea of neuroscience analysis, the designers created the kitchen to feel comfortable and incorporate a command center. The orientation of the center allows the homeowner to see down the corridor to the front door to anticipate guest arrival, but also provides a garden view.
This spot created a focal point for the cabinetry. The designers used various species of wood to construct the kitchen’s furniture pieces. A laminated walnut butcher-block slab rises from the floor and curves to form the countertop. A CaesarStone countertop insert rests within the slab. The butcher block twists out again before winding up to form a support for the Aspen wall cabinets.
Finishing the design, the slab reaches upward once more toward the 12' ceilings. These cabinets have translucent glass doors for sight-accessible storage.
Similar slabs are parallel to this first piece. From the floor, these slabs rise, creating an arc to hold the island cabinets in place. Connected to the island is a raised height food bar. Beneath the island countertop is an open stainless steel shelf used for housing pots and pans in the limited storage space.
The designers also saved space by creating a cherry wall cabinet with bogged oak supports to house appliances. Further storage is found in the cabinet between the appliances.
Tying the cabinetry into the major themes, Lucy Turner, an artist with expertise in botanical illustration, researched blood cell structures. She used her findings to paint cells in large scale, creating a frieze for the top of the cabinet.
Creating a unique version of a work triangle, the island holds Thermador’s convection cooktop, while the large wall cabinet houses the refrigerator, freezer and a wine refrigerator.
The room’s architecture created an awkward protrusion amidst the division of three rooms. The designers put the protrusion to use by extending it, finishing the area in sandstone and placing the Thermador ovens and warming drawer within.
Since space was so scarce in the kitchen, the designers had to be creative in the placement of all of the major parts. Upon the ordinary client’s request for a kitchen created for entertaining, the designers dug recessed areas into the main window. These spaces house a wine storage unit and are covered by thin panels of CaesarStone. The panels match the insert on the main countertop, which houses a Blanco sink and faucet.
The designers used zebra maple wood for the flooring. The material is sustainable and created a jagged, striped look to the ground, evoking ideas of horror films. Additionally, a textile artist created an 8'-diameter rug based on an enlarged screen capture of a sonar image from the show.
For more about this project, click here.