Rochester, NY — Given the relatively conservative design style of many homeowners in Rochester, NY, one might never guess this modern, metropolitan kitchen sits tucked inside the townhouse of a young, professional bachelor.
His penchant for diverse, upscale contemporary design allowed Amy Kruger, senior designer at Bryce & Doyle Craftsmanship, also in Rochester, to step outside the box of more traditional remodels in her area of upstate New York.
“He was looking for a way to transform the small, ordinary space into a kitchen that looks like it belongs in an upscale contemporary home,” she notes.
The importance of color and texture
While her client had definite style opinions and did a lot of material and product selections himself – including those for the appliances, lighting, sink/faucet and granite countertop and backsplash – Kruger collaborated with the bachelor to incorporate dark, rich, masculine textures and colors into the space.
For example, on the floor, Kruger used dark-colored 6"x24" Provenza Lignes tile from ArtWalk Tile that resembles wood and is laid in a herringbone pattern.
On the island, angled cherry supports, colored with a deep Brandywine stain, were custom created at Bryce & Doyle. “We have a wood shop where we can create custom pieces,” she says. “If I can draw it, they can make it. It’s very liberating.”
The supports contrast with the frameless, rift-cut, oak cabinets from Decor Cabinet Co., which are finished with a translucent platinum stain that allows a hint of the grain to show through. Near the dining room, floating lower cabinets are topped with upper cabinets accented with frosted glass and lift-up hinges to serve as an independent serving area.
The island also boasts a 3/4"-thick clear tempered glass top that floats above the granite, supported by stainless steel stand-offs to which it is UV bonded. “One of our company’s missions is to never say ‘no’ to a client,” says Kruger. “We didn’t have any previous experience with UV bonding, so the owner had to do a lot of research and experimenting to learn how to fuse glass to stainless steel. But he likes a challenge, and we figured out a way to make it work.”
An illuminated bookcase/display shelf at one end of the island also helps define the space and provides a sense of design while adding distinction. “It catches your eye from the dining room and draws attention into the kitchen, toward the back wall, which is accented by two additional, complementary bookcases,” she says, adding that the white Plexiglass is backlit with long-lasting LED lights.
While the bank of drawers in the lower cabinet provides ample storage, her client wanted to minimize upper cabinets, so Kruger stole a few feet from the kitchen to create a pantry along the back wall. “We had to work within the confines of the existing footprint,” she says. “The one long wall (with the refrigerator and cooktop) is a fire wall to the next unit so we couldn’t make any changes to it, and we couldn’t change anything about the adjacent wall because it would affect the exterior, which isn’t allowed according to the condo rules,” she says. Her only option was to build a new interior wall.
The new pantry wall also hosts double ovens, inserted into custom-built cabinetry. “The space wasn’t deep enough to accommodate the ovens, so I created a cabinet that recesses a bit into the pantry while also protruding into the kitchen,” she reports.
Redesigning the area and adding the pantry wall also gave her an opportunity to create a new entrance to the powder room. “Previously, everyone in the condo could see whoever went into the bathroom,” she says of the entrance that opened immediately off the kitchen. “A big design objective with the remodel was to hide the entrance and redirect traffic to the powder room.”