This Eastern Long Island retreat, dubbed Northwest Peach Farm for the orchard that surrounds it, was designed to enhance the “rituals of everyday life,” says architect Paul Masi. And for the owners, a Manhattan couple who use the house on weekends year-round, that includes a celebration of cooking and dining. “They’re into good food and wine,” Masi says. “He cooks, so the kitchen became a central hub.” Masi and partner Harry Bates devoted a substantial amount of interior real estate—and considerable ingenuity—to a room that combines the arts of cooking and dining in a way that elevates both experiences.
The preparation area revolves around the needs of the chef, Masi explains. “He wants everyone to be gathered around and having fun while he’s cooking and being sort of serious about what he’s doing.” The long island the chef shares with his audience serves as both an intimate stage set and a sophisticated work environment. Its polished concrete counter was cast with integral tracks for a heavy mahogany cutting board, Masi points out, “so when he pulls something out of the oven he can put it down and slide it over to the sink.” Above the opposite counter is a stainless steel shelf that can be preloaded with ingredients for the task at hand, then swept clear when the cooking is done.
But in this kitchen, the details that don’t show are as important as those that do. Two large refrigerators hide in a bank of red cedar cabinets. A backsplash of quartzite tiles lapped in a shingle pattern rises into a skylight shaft, flanked by vertical cabinets that read more like structure than storage. The reveal below the island counter rim discreetly conceals a continuous power strip. “It has all these amenities,” Masi says, “but they’re all built in.” For its owners, the result is a room that turns everyday events into something special. “Even though they come out here every weekend, it still feels like a vacation.”