A well-planned layout and light-toned materials create a relaxed space for casual dining in this New York City loft
Staff -- Interior Design, 3/1/2004 12:00:00 AM
"The client requested that we create a piazza in the middle of the New York loft," says Donald Billinkoff, Donald Billinkoff Architects, New York, NY. The couple wanted plenty of open space in the long, deep loft for their young son to be able to play with his toys.
"The homeowners were looking for light and bright," says Billinkoff. "He's a photographer with a sense of style, and they have one small son. So they wanted the loft to be durable enough to survive family playtime, easy to maintain, and to reflect their casual lifestyle.
Billinkoff has located the open, airy "piazza" living room in the center of the long loft. The contemporary style furnishings allow ample space for toys to be played with on the hardwood floors. The bedrooms and baths are accessed off the living room at one end, and the dining table and kitchen lead off it at the other end.
The kitchen has been moved from its original location. "The previous kitchen was in bad shape. It was the original loft kitchen installed about 20 years ago," Billinkoff explains.
Though there are large windows at the opposite end of the loft, the kitchen is windowless. The glassblock wall has been installed to serve several purposes. It shields the residents from viewing the corridor on the other side of it, which leads to the elevator for an adjacent apartment. At the same time, since windows flank the opposite side of the corridor, the glassblock allows daylight that filters through them to, in turn, be cast into the kitchen while maintaining privacy. In the evening, the glassblock is illuminated by halogen floodlights mounted on the corridor side that create a glow and prevent the feeling that's there is a dark void beyond.
The custom cabinetry has a light, natural maple finish. The countertops are solid surfacing in a shade called Bleached Concrete.
The backsplash above the range is made of stainless steel to extend the look of the vent hood and range. The remaining backsplash and the wall adjacent to the glassblock are adorned with 1 1/4-inch by 1 1/4-inch glass tiles.
The main sink beneath the glassblock is actually composed of two undermounted stainless steel sink bowls, paired with a single lever faucet in a stainless steel finish. A maple shelf that can be used for storage or display cuts across the front of the glassblock.
The island's storage is constructed of maple and includes a wine rack. Supported by a stainless steel base frame, the island accommodates seating for four. "The clients are casual people and wanted to be able to walk into the space and eat in the kitchen," says Billinkoff.
There are pantries for additional storage on the wall opposite the island wine rack, as well as a built-in television, audio equipment and a small desk/office area.