Sometimes, designer Stephen Roberts finds, minor changes make a major difference
Sheila Kim -- Interior Design, 3/1/2002 12:00:00 AM
The owners of a newly renovated, 1,600-square-foot loft in Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood weren't thrilled with their bland, developer-issued kitchen, but they wanted to avoid a large-scale overhaul. New York designer Stephen Roberts fulfilled their vision. By concentrating his efforts on new finishes and surface treatments, he accomplished a major improvement with a few small but strategic moves.
Roberts began by removing the Sheetrock walls that had enclosed the kitchen and set about creating visual and spatial continuity with the adjacent living area. He refinished the remaining walls in an ivory-tinted waxed plaster—save for the backsplash, which the clients painted gray-green. "They love playing with color, so we left designated sections of the walls for them to experiment with," says Roberts. The original oak floorboards in both the kitchen and the living spaces were ebonized, creating a unified swath of color underfoot. The same rift-oak veneer that wraps around the rear wall to envelop a closet also forms new cabinetry housing the Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer. The cabinets, stained a warm chocolate brown, are intended to look "like freestanding furniture," explains the designer. Several elements, though, are unabashedly kitchen, such as the functional stainless-steel cooking surfaces and the stylish Arne Jacobsen-designed faucet above the heavy-duty double sink.