September 25, 2016
A modern kitchen isn’t hard to come by in Miami. With stark white walls, clean lines and sleek appliances, this type of design is in high demand for remodels in the business district. Changing up this simple but clean design – and making it still timeless and warm – was the task designer Debora Papa, senior designer at ALNO Miami, took on with collaboration with architect Christopher Aichinger of VISION Miami.
Rethinking the Design
The Miami-based design team encountered two main issues in this project; one was before the demo and one was after.
“Before the demolition, we already knew we had to create an entrance to a walk-in pantry/AC closet, but it needed to be fully integrated with the kitchen as if it was part of the cabinets,” said Papa, explaining that the modern aesthetic required as much integration as possible. “The second issue we encountered was after demolition, and it was finding out the staircase was deeper than expected.”
In their original design, the staircase was going to be covered with panels with interior storage to take advantage of the space. This idea was expanded after the true size of the stairway was discovered. Cabinets were customized to fit below the staircase, and specially made doors and hinges take advantage of every corner.
“We needed to make the most of the space,” said Papa, adding that the solution for integrating the pantry and AC closet was to customize the panel fronts on the entryway so that they imitated the other cabinets, yet open to reveal a small room. “We wanted it to merge together with the rest of the cabinetry and not disrupt the streamlined flow of the kitchen’s design.”
More than White
One of the client’s requirements was to have a completely white kitchen. ALNO is a cabinetmaker with several white fronts, but the one chosen was ALNOSTAR Peal, one of the middle-priced lacquered fronts. This stays on budget, but it gives the kitchen that glossy, expensive look the client wanted.
The walls of white cabinets are split into three parts on each panel, with one main cabinet and a smaller upper and lower cabinet. None of the cabinets have visible hardware, cementing the seamless look the client wanted.
“One of our favorite parts of the design is the combination of spaces from the walk-in pantry to nooks in the cabinetry,” said Papa, referring to the appliance breaks in two walls of cabinets. “Also, we love the look of the wall of tall units and the island, as well as the lower cabinetry blocks, which create an interesting composition while also having function.”
The island has the same white cabinets but is instead surrounded by a waterfall-edged, stainless steel countertop. The material even runs along the bottom of the island for a frame-like look. On the perimeter counters is the same steel material, complete with outlets every few feet. An induction stove on top of the island solidifies the seamless look.
The Surprising Touch
Amid all of this white is a long wooden bar and a matching wooden hood. While the hood is placed over the stove, the bar stretches perpendicular to the island all the way to the perimeter counter – creating an open layout.
“The flyover top came up because of the idea of creating a sense of an open space,” said Papa, “so we built a long bar top perfect for a big gathering in a limited room.”
For that contrasting rustic look, the designers chose reclaimed oak planks assembled inside a frame. Above the wooden bar, four bronze metallic pendants with red interiors add an additional pop of color.
“The clients chose pendants from Tom Dixon simply because they matched the countertop color tone perfectly,” explained Papa, adding that this simplicity of tones continues the seamless look of the space even while adding a contrasting color.
Architect: Christopher Aichinger, VISION Miami – Design – Build – Maintain
Designer: Deborah Papa, ALNO Miami; VISION Miami
Photographer: Element Image
Kitchen Cabinetry: ALNO Kitchens
Waterfall Countertops: Caesarstone
Fly-Over Countertop: Bauhaus Miami
Porcelain Floors: USA Tile & Marble