Sense and Sensibility
Most of the kitchens Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker design merge classic materials and details with contemporary sensibilities. But the owner of this home, who is also an interior designer, wanted to mix things up a bit. Cohen and Hacker worked with their client to create a kitchen that's both ordered and whimsical. “We like a visual rhythm, so that a space is calming,” says Hacker, “but we realized we could have harmony and variation.”
The designers used symmetry and proportion to let individual details shine while preventing them from being too much. An antique pine hutch, for instance, is the focus of one wall and was the inspiration for the furniture-like cabinetry. Similar dimensions and details tie the pieces together. Painting the built-in millwork white allows the hutch to stand out while it unifies the room as a whole.
Cohen and Hacker dealt with the client's request for varied materials in two ways: Each material is highlighted by a change in the surface plane and is reinforced by being used again in the room. For example, the marble pastry station on the island is dropped down to table height, and then the marble reappears as an elongated window sill along the sink wall, as a shelf next to the stove, and as a countertop for one of the cabinet sections. The interplay of surface and material was mirrored by the architect/homeowner relationship—they all came away from this project saying they learned from one other.