Fluid lines in this kitchen continue serpentine curves that run right through the home.
Sometimes an open-plan kitchen is most effective when down-played rather than being showcased. Making the kitchen and extension of other elements in the house can lighten its presence, as can giving it a freestanding feel.
This kitchen, part of a home designed by Kevin Akey of AZD Associates, follows both these precepts.
“The two-level house is long and narrow, only 25 ft. across, and a series of curved walls create a snake-like path through it,” he says. “The kitchen island forms part of these curves, helping it blend into the greater environment.
“The kitchen is often used for entertaining and the island’s raised counter creates the impression of this being a bar area as much as a place to cook,” says Akey. “The industrial-look brackets that support the counter tie in with a semi-industrial theme found throughout, particularly on the home’s stainless steel and black exterior.”
In the kitchen, stainless steel toekicks, metal cabinetry handles, and stainless steel appliances all further this theme.
Another way the architect made light of the kitchen’s presence is through its free-standing appearance.
“In a sense, you can almost literally see through the kitchen,” says Akey. “The walls of cabinetry and even the soffit over the island fall short of the ceiling height giving it an airy, unattached feel.
“You even glimpse at the ceiling of the dining space over the kitchen’s rear wall. This see-through effect adds to the impression of a bar area for entertaining as much as a kitchen proper.”
With little land lying between the living room deck and the lake, an occupant of the kitchen could be excused for imagining they were on a ship’s bridge with nothing but the deep blue water before them.
“This was an intentional part of the design layout,” says Akey. “The island is positioned partly so the view can be appreciated while cooking or serving drinks. The sink and dishwasher are integrated into the island.”
At night, the kitchen recedes even more, although concealing lighting above the soffit creates a halo effect overhead.
“Far from overshadowing the modest living are, the kitchen works as a quiet design feature for greater space,” says Akey.