November 16, 2020
The Residences at W Austin in Austin, Texas, are known for their contemporary build – completed by local architect Arthur Andersson – and their laid-back style and downtown experience. The penthouse floors in particular feature all corner plans with 14-ft. to 20-ft. ceilings and panoramic city views, ideal for the urban city dweller and entertainer. Designer Steven Cooper, owner and principal designer of Hollywood, Calif.-based Cooper Pacific Kitchens, was charged with outfitting one of these exclusive suites with a mix of moody style and artistic fashion.
Creating a Dark Modern Kitchen
According to Cooper, the client wanted a space ideal for entertaining – one that “invoked social interaction, relaxing, curiosity, imagination and playfulness, combined with sultry style and fashion.” The penthouse residence was envisioned both as a space to detox and be inspired; the art, furnishings and the view would not only be featured but amplified.
“The focus was to make the kitchen not look like a kitchen,” said Cooper, adding that the client did not cook often but wanted the kitchen to still be highly functional and suitable for entertaining. “The goal was to create a stunning minimalist kitchen with sleek appliances and gorgeous finishes with plenty of clever storage.”
Fully concealed storage, including appliances, was part of the plan for a minimalist design. To accomplish this challenging goal, Cooper chose appliances that could be concealed behind full-length, frameless, stone oak cabinet doors, including the two refrigerators, two ovens, coffee maker, two dishwashers, speed oven and undercounter wine fridge. Pocket doors conceal shelving and storage to maximize space and improve user convenience.
These dark custom cabinets are carried across the kitchen for a sultry appeal, which is completed by rugged concrete countertops. The countertop material by Caesarstone was chosen for its industrial look and its durability.
“These countertops were one way we brought a conscious effort into sustainability,” said Cooper. “They are very low maintenance and long lasting – reducing the need for replacing materials or using chemical sealants – and are made with recycled pre-consumer glass and high-quality, reclaimed post-production waste from the fabrication process.”
While the functional components of this kitchen can be easily concealed, the client wanted elements in the space they could still show off while entertaining. One of these was the cigar cabinet, which is also integrated into the cabinetry. Behind the same stone oak doors as the rest of the storage, the interior of the cabinet is custom made of Spanish cedar. There is also state-of-the-art technology, such as programmable controls and a web-enabled interface, which allows the client to access data about the humidor via a smart phone app.
The elongated island countertop has another hidden component. The separate burners for the range lie directly on top of the countertop, with all the technical parts hidden below. This adds to the minimalist, dramatic design the client wanted.
The dark kitchen can be illuminated with undercabinet LED lighting for an appeal reminiscent of an art museum, which is enhanced by the antique French tapestries hanging on either wall. When the client is not entertaining, they wanted more focus on the art in their space and less on the technology.
“This space is a gallery of eclectic art and furnishings that mimic the creativity and quirkiness of not only the hotel but Austin and its art scene,” said Cooper.
Kitchen Designer: Steven Cooper, Cooper Pacific Kitchens
Interior Designer: Schoos Design
Lighting & Audio: Lighting System & Audio-Visual Service Tech
Photographer Credit: Chase Daniels
Cabinetry: PremierCustomBuilt Cabinetry
Range Top: Pitt Cooking