October 5, 2015
Winning isn’t everything, but for designers Luis and Laura Bebchik, co-founders of Miami, Fla.-based hausscape, it was the icing on the cake that followed a kitchen renovation in the city’s Fisher Island community.
A regional winner of Sub-Zero Group, Inc.’s 2013-2014 Kitchen Design Contest (KDC), the project aimed to reformat a traditional U-shaped kitchen with a modern, center-island layout.
“With a young European family, the client needed a more dynamic and modern space that was suitable for everyday cooking with plenty of appliances,” said hausscape president Luis Bebchik, who worked on the revamp with his wife Laura and hausscape senior designer Reinier Boulart.
The original kitchen was characterized by dark wood elements, raised panel doors and a single sink positioned on a peninsula separating the space from a primary dining area. Creating a second sink area that would add flexibility and functionality to the entire kitchen was a hurdle for the design team, but according to Bebchik, “This is typical in condominiums.”
To overcome this challenge, the design team crafted a technical wall that extended from the existing sink area to a new one built near the refrigeration and cooking area. While the preexisting sink accommodates dishes coming in from the dining room, the new sink is intended for food preparation and cooking.
The technical wall also serves as a bar structure with seven leather stools for informal meals and socializing. Its gray quartz is mirrored throughout the room’s wall treatments, which, like the ceiling, were finished in Venetian stucco to match the rest of the unit.
Since the entire residence featured a minimalist aesthetic – rooted in light colors, simple lines and beige limestone flooring throughout – Bebchik’s team proposed that the renovation build on this design language. Though contiguous limestone floors still highlight the kitchen, it now pops with a gray porcelain “area rug” in the cooking and island areas, which counterbalances the limestone’s porosity.
The newly added melamine island adds increased functionality while modernizing the space with lacquered doors and aluminum edges. Its lava teak hue was chosen in contrast to the floor’s light coloration. By separating the island into two adjoined units, the team was able to create a more versatile, utilitarian layout that “eliminates the feeling of massiveness introduced by the scale of the space,” said Bebchik.
Complementing the island’s matte finish, white cabinetry shines in a high-gloss lacquer, while lustrous light fixtures were suspended over the island to complement the room’s predominant use of mirrored, stainless steel.
“To be named the regional first prize winner [of the KDC] for the second time in a row, and to be a finalist in the Best of the Best competition, is truly an honor and an immense recognition to our daily efforts to excel in kitchen design,” said Bebchik.
Designer: Luis and Laura Bebchik, Reinier Boulart, hausscape
Photographer: Michael Stavaridis
Light Fixtures: Artemide
Stools: La Palma, Italy
Wall Finishes: Silestone