May 8, 2015
Despite the comfort in familiarity, even timeless design needs a revamp from time to time. When a Palm Beach, Fla. couple sought to breathe new life into their kitchen, housed within an award winning two-story contemporary home designed 33 years ago by Milton Klein & Associates, they looked to Miami-based ALNO kitchen designer and Rhythm Architecture & Design intern architect Jara Barreto.
The space featured a design still relevant today with a contiguous entertainment family room area and outdoor patio. However, the clients wanted a streamlined redesign with updated appliances that embraced their current lifestyle and included a functional communal area with space for reading, entertaining and working.
“The biggest reason why they wanted to redo their kitchen was to modernize it,” said Barreto. “One of the challenges I was faced with was incorporating new design presets and innovations, while keeping the couple in their comfort zone. We wanted to add something new to the design that matched the rare Italian marble flooring’s warm gray and brown veining.”
Organic decorative elements in neutral tones pair with eye-catching modern art to highlight the home’s white and cream interiors – a look Baretto sought to recreate. The former kitchen was decked in an all-white laminate with simple white handles.
To maintain a neutral appeal, glass was mounted directly onto the cabinetry’s lacquered surfaces – juxtaposed with a matte glass and satin finish – which were altered with a sleek, handle-less design using vertical channels and recessed grip compartments throughout.
“This might seem like a small detail, but it creates an ongoing line that gives it that modern element without being overpowering,” added Baretto.
Because of a lack of space, the pantry area was repurposed as a functional cooking space with built-in appliances. Frosted-glass upper cabinets with framed lacquer edges provide additional storage.
The original kitchen had two cooktops, one of which was removed to gain 36 inches of useful counter space for the island. Using sliding plates that move into the interior of the cabinet unit, a ‘garage,’ or ‘tambour’ holds small countertop appliances with an outlet inside for easy access and clutter-free surfaces.
“The island was a big challenge,” said Baretto. “I wanted to create a useful island, so we designed it to conceal hidden internal drawers behind cabinet doors – giving the clients space to store all of their cooking utensils – and a waterfall countertop provides seating for four.”
To make the island a unique element in the kitchen while still complementing the original design, Baretto chose a satin-finished brown matte to contrast with the space’s high-gloss, ultra-white design. An abundance of interior gadgets and drawers increase its functionality. To ensure smooth, continuous movement through the kitchen, the space was categorically divided into three areas: cleaning, prepping and cooking. The second island, where the main sink is, features a new paneled dishwasher, trash system and trash compactor. The main island is used for prep and contains a smaller sink and prepping utensils with direct access to a gas cooktop. The third area is the wall-to-wall cabinet area, in which cooking appliances and the pantry area are located. All of the cabinets were factory made to fit the new built-in coffee machine, warming drawers, gas cooktop, undercounter wine cooler, dishwasher and refrigerator/freezer unit.
Complementing the home’s design proved a challenge for Baretto. The house had an open plan with the kitchen overlooking a dining area and family room. To make everything flow, the kitchen cabinetry was designed to reflect the nearby family room’s entertainment center made with the same material. The designer decided to revamp the family room unit using the same ultra-white color as she had in the kitchen – in addition to altering it to accommodate a library of art books and a 70-in. TV. Instead of glass, the unit’s door was coated in a high-gloss lacquer to complement the kitchen and avoid creating a glare. Rather than use floor-to-ceiling cabinets, Barreto opted for decorative, open-box, linear shelving to keep it light.
Designer: Jara Baretto, alno-usa.com
Photographer: Andy Frame Photography
Cabinetry: Alno Kitchens- AlnoSatina, AlnoVetrina, AlnoSign
Cabinetry Hardware: Blum
Cabinet Lighting : Alno
Light Fixtures Over Kitchen Counter: Design Within Reach