Kitchen of the Week: A Photographer’s Flexible Studio Kitchen in Ojai Valley


There’s a slim category of kitchens that embodies everything we think a kitchen workspace should be—equal parts functional and beautiful—and it’s the photographer’s studio kitchen. These spaces must be practical and usable, with efficient storage and clever shape-shifting solutions. But, as backdrops for photographs of lush entertaining spreads and heaping bowls of food, they must also be clean-lined and aspirational. (Just take a look at this one in Berkeley we featured a few months back.) The photo studio kitchen is flooded with natural light, flexible, and, often, with a photographer’s eye behind the design, especially artful.

This is particularly the case with photographer Victoria Pearson‘s studio, an outbuilding beside her house in California’s Ojai Valley that doubles as guest quarters (and which we first spotted over on Rip & Tan). When Pearson first moved into the main house, she rented out the small building—then strictly a guest house—to the existing tenants for a while, then renovated it top to bottom, transforming it into photo studio by day and guest space when needed, focusing especially on re-making the kitchen into a workable and beautiful backdrop for Pearson’s photography. (In addition to magazines like Travel + Leisure and Martha Stewart publications, you may have spotted her work in the cookbook Citrus: Sweet and Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes.)

“It is a perfect studio,” says Pearson of the space, and it happens to be an airy, thoughtful living space, too. Join us for a look.

Photography by Victoria Pearson.

Before work began, the outbuilding had &#8
Above: Before work began, the outbuilding had “a sleeping loft and, strangely, three bathrooms,” Pearson says.

To make the small building more efficient, Pearson downsized from three bathrooms to one large one and took out the loft. Then she set in on transforming the space from pure guesthouse to a working photo studio, replacing all of the glass with non-tinted glass (“it’s usually a green tint,” she says), adding barn doors for easy access to the garden, replacing the Spanish-style tile floors with cement, and painting the interior in, as she says, “plain white white.”

The priority, though, was re-doing the existing kitchen to optimize it for shooting. Pearson opted for an open plan that can be made even more open or moved around during shoots; everything is lightweight or on wheels. The kitchen is a high-low mix: a Viking stove and Miele dishwasher mixed with a quirky rattan lamp and Frosta stacking stools (a Remodelista favorite), both from Ikea. “I collect the good pieces,” she says of Ikea; “anything woven, wicker, or rattan”.

Open shelves display Pearson&#8
Above: Open shelves display Pearson’s collections of glassware and ceramics, used to style her photography. Her sources? “I love flea markets, thrift stores, and estate sales. I’ve brought back things from all over my travels,” she says. The coffee cups shown here are a mix of Mt. Washington Pottery and local Ojai ceramicist Mark Churchill.
Restaurant-style metal shelves on casters add significant storage for props, bakeware, and utensils, but can be rolled away to clear the room for a shot. The kitchen opens directly onto Pearson&#8
Above: Restaurant-style metal shelves on casters add significant storage for props, bakeware, and utensils, but can be rolled away to clear the room for a shot. The kitchen opens directly onto Pearson’s gardens.
A slim workspace, with a clean-lined desk and stool, fits next to the KitchenAid fridge, along with a low credenza on wheels for easy transportation while shooting.
Above: A slim workspace, with a clean-lined desk and stool, fits next to the KitchenAid fridge, along with a low credenza on wheels for easy transportation while shooting.

Pearson opted for rattan and natural-fiber details throughout the studio, from baskets to the daybed in the living area—for looks, but also for portability. “Everything in the studio needs to be easily moveable,” she says. “I sometimes clear the space for a photo shoot, or have it furnished for family and friends visiting.”

Case in point: An open lounge area is kept sparse, with a glass cabinet serving as storage for more props, and a low daybed from Elsie Green. &#8
Above: Case in point: An open lounge area is kept sparse, with a glass cabinet serving as storage for more props, and a low daybed from Elsie Green. “It’s covered in French ticking that I kept for 20 years waiting for the perfect project,” Pearson says. The Malm fireplace “replaced a cast-iron wood burning stove,” she says.

Pearson’s fine art photography, which she shoots in addition to commercial work, hangs on the walls. “I love the idea of Tabula Rasa: blank slate. I want images that you can interpret for yourself,” she says.

The added outdoor shower, paved with natural stones. Not shown: the studio&#8
Above: The added outdoor shower, paved with natural stones. Not shown: the studio’s bedroom. “I don’t sleep in the studio, but I do come over to use the outdoor shower in the winter,” Pearson says.

Follow Pearson’s work on Instagram at @victoriapearsonphotographer and @tabularasapicture.

Take a look at a few more California kitchens:



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Kitchen of the Week: A Photographer’s Light-Flooded Shaker-Scandi Carriage Studio


The first thing one learns in any introduction to photography class is that capturing images with a camera is all about light—the presence of it, the absence of it, the quality of it. Which is why when Vancouver-based photographer Gillian Stevens convinced her parents to turn a carriage house in their backyard into her own photo studio, foremost on her mind was how to get more light into the space.

“There was not very much natural light. It was a practical and cozy space but not really inspiring in any way,” says Gillian of the original structure, which was once a garage. Her solution? Gut the thing. “We added a ton of natural light through large glass patio doors, increased the window size in the kitchen, and added windows to the living and bathroom.”

Speaking of the windows, they are 100-year-old antique windows sourced by her dad through Craigslist for $80. “We had them restored locally, and they completely transform the feeling of the cottage,” says Gillian.

See for yourself. (And to rent the space for a photo shoot or event, go here.)

Photography by Gillian Stevens.

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Above: “The inspiration for the studio is a mix of classic British interiors mixed with Scandinavian minimalism,” says Gillian. “The purpose for the carriage studio is photography, so it was completely designed with that in mind: soft neutral colors, textures, and as much natural light as possible.”
Gillian designed the Shaker-inspired cabinets herself and worked with her contractor, Greycor, to bring them to life. On the walls is &#8
Above: Gillian designed the Shaker-inspired cabinets herself and worked with her contractor, Greycor, to bring them to life. On the walls is “Smooth Stone” by CIL, which Gillian had color-matched at Benjamin Moore. The cabinets and ceilings are painted “Stoneware” by Benjamin Moore. The Atlin Table is by Lock & Mortice.
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Above: “The biggest splurge was the Carrara marble countertop. It was the one element of the kitchen I wasn’t willing to compromise on—and I think it ties everything together,” says Gillian. The antique faucets were scored on Etsy.
All the lighting in the studio—including the globe pendant, the kitchen sconces, and the lighting in the bathroom—are by Cedar & Moss.
Above: All the lighting in the studio—including the globe pendant, the kitchen sconces, and the lighting in the bathroom—are by Cedar & Moss.
Beautiful light refracted through the antique windows. The Georg Bench is from Skagerak Denmark
Above: Beautiful light refracted through the antique windows. The Georg Bench is from Skagerak Denmark
A perfect nook for a bed. The shelf was custom-made by Will Morrison Studio; the bedding is by Last Light Collection.
Above: A perfect nook for a bed. The shelf was custom-made by Will Morrison Studio; the bedding is by Last Light Collection.
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Above: “The bathroom faucets and taps are a DIY that was originally inspired by a post on Remodelista. I hunted down the components, which I found are quite standard in the UK but not really available in North America. I had our contractor work his magic to make the valves fit with our copper piping (found at Home Depot),” shares Gillian. The Carissa bathtub is by Wyndham Collection, from Home Depot.
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Above: “I love how the faucets turned out, and the entire thing was incredible affordable. It’s a favorite feature among our renters!”

Before

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Above: “You can see it’s come a long way!” says Gillian of the before shot of the kitchen.

To see Gillian’s work on Remodelista, see:

And for more Scandi kitchens, see:



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Ask og Eng’s Sustainable Kitchen Design


When you design and produce kitchens for a living, you get to use your own quarters as a testing ground. Kine Ask Stenersen and Kristoffer Eng are the couple behind Ask og Eng, the Oslo, Norway-based workshop known for its artful Ikea hacks: they specialize in making bamboo fronts for Ikea kitchen cabinets.

The duo have also begun to create their own fully custom kitchens. After living with one of their very first Ikea upgrades, they recently decided to replace it with a bespoke design that showcases their newest bamboo finish. See Ikea Elevated for a look at their initial line, and join us for a tour of their kitchen.

Photography by Kine Ask Stenersen, courtesy of Ask og Eng.

The couple and their two young sons live in Drammen, Norway, in a 30&#8
Above: The couple and their two young sons live in Drammen, Norway, in a 1930’s wooden house that they’ve made their own by taking down walls, installing French doors and windows, and exposing—and sanding and oiling—the original pine floor. The dining table is an Ask og Eng bamboo design, the A3.

Drammen is a 40-minute commute to the Ask og Eng workshop and showroom in Oslo. Kine and Kristoffer both grew up in Drammen—he’s an architect and she studied environmental geography (and brings a green mindset to their collaborations). Five years ago, they moved here from Oslo to be close to family, and say that it’s thanks to Kristoffer’s engineer fatherm and his know-how and many tools (plus relatives ready to help with childcare), that they were able to get their company off the ground.

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Above: “The kitchen is visible from the living room, so we wanted it to resemble a piece of furniture,” says Kine. The cabinets are made entirely of bamboo inside and out; they extend from wall to wall—nearly 23 feet—and are in a just-introduced, vertical-grained Ask og Eng finish called Rye.

Their former kitchen, which they had “sawn, sanded, and oiled” in their garage, got disassembled and most of the parts have found new homes in other projects; many of the furnishings and appliances stayed put.

Step stools enable Vilmer, 5, and Artur, data-src=
Above: Step stools enable Vilmer, 5, and Artur, 1, to reach the counter of jura gray, a durable limestone patterned with fossils and shells. The induction cooktop is by Bora of Germany. The light at the end of the counter is the Accent Swing Wall Lamp by Remodelista favorite Wo & We of Lyon, France.
Kristoffer assists in waffle batter production.
Above: Kristoffer assists in waffle batter production.
Ask og Eng custom bamboo kitchen, Oslo, Norway. Above: Like all Ask og Eng kitchen designs, the drawers have cutout pulls and are fitted inside according to use. 

Some of the advantages of working in bamboo, the couple say, are that it’s a fast-growing grass that’s lightweight and strong. They get their raw material from certified plantations “to be sure it’s not only sustainable but produced responsibly.”

A Birch Hook Rack keeps crucial kitchen tools off the counter. Discover more of the many uses for peg rails in our book Remodelista: The Organized Home, and for sources see Object Lessons: The Shaker Peg Rail.
Above: A Birch Hook Rack keeps crucial kitchen tools off the counter. Discover more of the many uses for peg rails in our book Remodelista: The Organized Home, and for sources see Object Lessons: The Shaker Peg Rail.
All of Ask og Eng&#8
Above: All of Ask og Eng’s drawer and cabinet fronts are made of bamboo that’s been sanded, treated with pigmented oil, and sealed with a hard wax oil from Osmo to make them water- and spill-resistant. The sink has a Quooker faucet in patinated brass.

Of the overhead storage, Kine says, “The room is very sunny but we have a lot of dark periods here. To keep the space feeling open and bright, we decided against wall-hung cabinets and instead used our A7 Cross Shelf.”

To protect the limestone, there&#8
Above: To protect the limestone, there’s a collection of cutting boards on hand.
Kine and Artur. The couple were able to reuse appliances such as the dishwasher, concealed here behind a bamboo front.
Above: Kine and Artur. The couple were able to reuse appliances such as the dishwasher, concealed here behind a bamboo front.
Neff wall ovens are incorporated into a pantry wall. The Ask og Eng A-7 Cross Shelf comes in large (shown here) and small (shown over the counter).
Above: Neff wall ovens are incorporated into a pantry wall. The Ask og Eng A-7 Cross Shelf comes in large (shown here) and small (shown over the counter).
There&#8
Above: There’s a breakfast table and &Tradition’s rice paper Formakami Pendant tucked into a corner next to the fridge.
Gubi&#8
Above: Gubi’s now-classic Semi Pendant from 1968 hovers above the dining table. (See the light in brass in A ‘Dreamiest Dream Kitchen’ in Yorkshire, England.)
The kitchen viewed from the living room. Explore the rest of the house on the Ask og Eng Journal.
Above: The kitchen viewed from the living room. Explore the rest of the house on the Ask og Eng Journal.

Here are some other standout kitchens that designers created for themselves:



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Kitchen of the Week: A Plain English Interpretation in the East Village


The kitchen in the Manhattan townhouse was brand new, complete with sleek white cabinets and stainless steel appliances. But it just didn’t feel quite like home, which, for the owners, is mainly in London. Their solution: Commission Plain English, the bespoke “cupboardmakers” from the UK, to design a cozy kitchen that reflects their British roots.

“The clients were looking for a feeling of their London home when away from home. They wanted to create warmth in a white box, while also ensuring the kitchen didn’t feel like fitted cabinets but rather pieces of furniture,” says Plain English’s design director, Merlin Wright. “They wanted a space for family breakfasts at the weekend and also a functional space for having a coffee or a piece of toast before running out of the door on weekdays.”

Let’s take a tour of the haute-humble space.

Photography courtesy of Plain English.

The kitchen is compact and anchors one end of a spacious open living area. Oversized windows welcome in an abundance of natural light.
Above: The kitchen is compact and anchors one end of a spacious open living area. Oversized windows welcome in an abundance of natural light.
Scandi leather and canvas chairs surround the dining table. For a similar look, try Kaare Klinte&#8
Above: Scandi leather and canvas chairs surround the dining table. For a similar look, try Kaare Klinte’s Safari Chair or Carl Hansen’s Huntsman Chair; for a similar industrial pendant light, try the Titan 3 Pendant from British lighting company Original BTC. (See 5 Favorites: Scandinavian Canvas and Wood Chairs.)
Raw oak open shelving in the peninsula adds a warm counterpoint to the cool palette.
Above: Raw oak open shelving in the peninsula adds a warm counterpoint to the cool palette.
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Above: “Having loved and lived with an Aga for so long, it was impossible for them to be able to cook on any other range cooker,” says Wright. “We used the Aga City here to combine the look of the traditional Aga in a more contemporary, up-to-date appliance.”
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Above: “The hardware is by Plain English, and it is our polished nickel finish. It adds a light, slightly industrial feel to the kitchen,” says Wright. “The twist catches also give it a nautical feel.” A cararra marble backsplash and counter coordinates with the gray cabinets, from the company’s Spitalfields line.
A warm gray from Little Greene Paint & Paper was selected for the cabinets. The peninsula is painted &#8
Above: A warm gray from Little Greene Paint & Paper was selected for the cabinets. The peninsula is painted “Draughty Passage” from Plain English’s own color collection.
The faucet is by Perrin & Rowe. (See details in  Easy Pieces: Traditional Bridge Faucets.) The countertop here is Pippy Oak, a young oak tree with lots of knots.
Above: The faucet is by Perrin & Rowe. (See details in 10 Easy Pieces: Traditional Bridge Faucets.) The countertop here is Pippy Oak, a young oak tree with lots of knots.

For more Plain English kitchens, see:



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An Indoor-Outdoor Kitchen Remodel in Melbourne


When we last checked in on Anna Pipkorn Skermer and Jane Kilpatrick of Pipkorn Kilpatrick, the Melbourne-based interior designers had just tackled their first big commission: an extraordinarily refined houseboat: see Lake Luxe, Scandi-Style.  Today, we’re spotlighting another nature-centric project of theirs: Kilpatrick’s own indoor-outdoor kitchen in a charmingly tiny Edwardian brick row house in Melbourne’s Fitzroy.

To remake the quarters for Kilpatrick and her husband, the duo created a new “flow-through floor plan from front door to backyard,” ending in a clean-lined kitchen that’s fully open to the backyard. The front of the house was largely preserved. What had to be fully reconfigured was an existing north-facing addition out back: a clutch of small spaces ending in an awkward bath/laundry that was the sunniest room in the house. The laundry duo is now tucked out of sight, and a brick terrace and plantings have taken center stage off the large open kitchen. The remodel was completed 10 years ago and recently photographed to prepare the house for sale—Kilpatrick and her husband now have three young sons and need bigger quarters. We think this one looks hard to equal.

Photography courtesy of Pipkorn Kilpatrick.

The center of the house is a bright kitchen and dining area with custom bifold doors and a transom window that fully connects indoors to out. The shotgun hallway was created by flipping the position of the original hall. The charcoal paneled partition hides the fridge and laundry.
Above: The center of the house is a bright kitchen and dining area with custom bifold doors and a transom window that fully connects indoors to out. The shotgun hallway was created by flipping the position of the original hall. The charcoal paneled partition hides the fridge and laundry.

The house dates to the 1890s and brick salvaged from the remodel was reused to pave the new terrace. The plantings include an herbs garden in an old wooden crate.

A polished concrete floor adds to the indoor-outdoor vibe. The kitchen cabinets are a flat-pack design that Kilpatrick and her husband painted and assembled themselves—&#8
Above: A polished concrete floor adds to the indoor-outdoor vibe. The kitchen cabinets are a flat-pack design that Kilpatrick and her husband painted and assembled themselves—”we were on a tight budget”—and had their builder install. They’re finished with Carrara marble counters and Bosch appliances.

The small sink, Kilpatrick says, is scaled to the room: “it’s big enough to wash big pots and deep enough to hide dishes when doing a quick clean.”

Kilpatrick carefully stuck to a palette of whites and grays offset by warm wood tones. A frameless skylight over the kitchen further brightens the space.&#8
Above: Kilpatrick carefully stuck to a palette of whites and grays offset by warm wood tones. A frameless skylight over the kitchen further brightens the space.” Note the pantry/work area tucked off the kitchen—the fridge stands out of view opposite the desk.
The nook is used as a place to study and to charge phones.
Above: The nook is used as a place to study and to charge phones.
The partition is composed of readymade V-groove paneling. (See others example in A DIY Kitchen Overhaul for Under $500 and DIY Beadboard Ceilings, Before and After.)
Above: The partition is composed of readymade V-groove paneling. (See others example in A DIY Kitchen Overhaul for Under $500 and DIY Beadboard Ceilings, Before and After.)
The ash dining table is Hay&#8
Above: The ash dining table is Hay’s Ypperlig design from Ikea surrounded by Thonet’s classic Hoffman Side Chairs. The hanging lights are Nud Classic Black Lamp Holders.
A tall mirror enhances the sense of space and brings the garden into the room. The purple potted plant is a smoke bush.
Above: A tall mirror enhances the sense of space and brings the garden into the room. The purple potted plant is a smoke bush.
The little brick house retains its Edwardian crenellations and other period detailing—and now has a front-door view out to the garden.
Above: The little brick house retains its Edwardian crenellations and other period detailing—and now has a front-door view out to the garden.
The floor plan shows the new kitchen-dining setup and artfully relocated laundry and full bath (which had formerly occupied the back). &#8
Above: The floor plan shows the new kitchen-dining setup and artfully relocated laundry and full bath (which had formerly occupied the back). “We flipped the hall through to the kitchen so you could see the rear garden from the front of the house—and avoid walking diagonally through the living room,” says Kilpatrick.

Craving outdoor access? Here are three more remodels that connect kitchen to garden:



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Kitchen of the Week: A Glassmaker’s Imaginative Studio Kitchen in London, DIY Ikea Hacks Included


A look inside a maker’s studio almost always reveals far more than the artist’s craft; often, the space surrounding a workbench has been creatively adapted. Jochen Holz’s studio in Stratford, East London, is a case in point. Here, the German-born glassmaker—whose wonky, textured pieces and sculptural neon installations can be found at The New Craftsmen and Momosan Shop (you might also recognize them from our Trend Alert on two-tone glassware)—installed Ikea base cabinets and adapted them beyond recognition to create a kitchen unlike any we’ve seen. Join us for an exclusive look inside.

Photography by Kim Lightbody.

Holz&#8
Above: Holz’s kitchen occupies a corner of his studio in East London.
The glassmaker in his kitchen. His workbench can be seen to the left of the kitchen.
Above: The glassmaker in his kitchen. His workbench can be seen to the left of the kitchen.

Holz specializes in lamp working, which is a technique that transforms prefabricated borosilicate glass tubes into one-off pieces by melting the glass over a torch. The glass tubes are hardwearing and heat-resistant, which makes his unique pieces suitable for everyday use.

The backsplash is a sheet of painted glass, salvaged from an old project and glued in place. A round industrial magnet serves as a utensil holder.
Above: The backsplash is a sheet of painted glass, salvaged from an old project and glued in place. A round industrial magnet serves as a utensil holder.
 Holz affixed birch plywood fronts to Ikea cabinets, giving each front a coat of Osmo hardwax oil. (Holz mixed the oil with a touch of pink before applying.) Glass handles were made from colored glass rods in gray, teal blue, and pink. They are set into the plywood and glued with epoxy resin.
Above: Holz affixed birch plywood fronts to Ikea cabinets, giving each front a coat of Osmo hardwax oil. (Holz mixed the oil with a touch of pink before applying.) Glass handles were made from colored glass rods in gray, teal blue, and pink. They are set into the plywood and glued with epoxy resin.
Holz&#8
Above: Holz’s collection of ceramics is mostly sourced from Artesania de Galicia in northern Spain.

The work surface was made from leftover pieces of Marmoleum, glued onto a birch plywood board edged with a solid maple timber strip. (For more on Marmoleum, see Remodeling 101: Affordable and Environmentally Friendly Linoleum.)

Detail in Jochen Holz Studio Kitchen, Photo by Kim Lightbody Above: Holz’s collection of drinks includes milk kefir, water kefir, and green oolong from Taiwan, seen here brewing in one of his own textured glass pots.
Holz&#8
Above: Holz’s artfully utilitarian pieces line the shelves.
 Bespoke hooks are screwed into the whitewashed, breeze-block walls beneath a prototype clock by Fabien Cappello.
Above: Bespoke hooks are screwed into the whitewashed, breeze-block walls beneath a prototype clock by Fabien Cappello.

Holz shares the studio with his partner, Attua Aparicio of Silo Studio. The couple made these hooks together, setting colored Jesmonite acrylic into glass.

A trailing vine fringes Holz&#8
Above: A trailing vine fringes Holz’s open shelving system.

Prototypes and finished pieces are displayed in the studio beneath a thriving collection of indoor plants. The items made of clear glass have been given texture and shape through pressing the molten glass against various surfaces, such as burnt wood or perforated metal. “I wanted to get away from the idea that glass is this pristine material, to give it a bit more history and edge,” explains Holz.

A cluster of Trump figurines.
Above: A cluster of Trump figurines.

The colored glass collection is made using an Italian technique known as incalmo. Much like a ceramist, he builds each piece by heating and fusing together colored pieces of glass. The end product is intentionally playful. “I don’t normally do figurative work,” explains Holz, “but I had fun making these Trumps. I found the quiff worked really well.”

For more studio inspiration, see 1,000 Square Feet on a Budget: An Artist’s Loft in North London. And for more maker’s kitchens, see:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on September 27, 2018.



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Kitchen of the Week: A Katrin Arens Design in Sardinia with 250-Year-Old Wood


We’ve been followers of German designer Katrin Arens, an Italy-based master of old-as-new, for a while now. Arens, who is both a furniture and interior designer by trade, has been giving new life to castoff materials for more than 20 years through her furniture, kitchen, and object designs—long before the reclaimed wood trend came about.

Today we spotlight a kitchen that Arens designed for her favorite client: a Florentine family, makers of wine and olive oil in Tuscany, with whom Arens has collaborated for almost 15 years. (“They want individual solutions and they trust in my designs completely—so they are the perfect client,” she says.) For the family’s holiday home on Sardinia, which has a panoramic view of the Porto Cervo harbor, Arens used original wood discarded from a remodel of the 1768 Angelo Mai Library in Bergamo, near Milan. After minimal treatment, she paired it with stainless steel and new wood as needed for a practical, striking design that couldn’t have been achieved any other way.

Photography by Michele Branca, courtesy of Katrin Arens.

Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: The finished kitchen, with cabinet fronts made out of 250-year-old larch wood (larch is known for being durable and water-resistant).
Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: The ancient wood was treated minimally: “We just cleaned and brushed it, and treated it with some natural wax,” Arens says.
Wood paneled refrigerator in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: Typically, woodworking is complicated by the expansion, contraction, and general movement of wood over time—an issue annulled when using wood that’s 250 years old: “The old wood does not move anymore,” Arens says. “It’s totally dry and perfect.”

Another perk to using old wood? Its character. “Even in the new use, you can see the life of the previous story,” Arens says.

Stainless steel sink in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: Behind the sink is a stainless steel drying rack, slotted storage for cutting boards, and two caddies for kitchen utensils.
Stainless steel countertop in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: A compost bin and caddies for cooking utensils have custom wood detailing.
Knife rack in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: Another option for the homeowners: An interchangeable knife rack made of new wood.
Three part burner in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: The oven and three-part stovetop are by Italian brand Alpes Inox. (For more, see 7 High-Style Italian Kitchen Ranges.)
Wood drawers in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: Cabinet and drawer boxes are made of new wood, while the precious, 250-year-old larch wood is used for the faces.
Wood flatware organizer drawer in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: Arens’ kitchens are all fully custom designs, including storage solutions individualized for each client. Here, a flatware drawer tucked inside a deeper drawer has 10 cubbies for different-sized flatware.
Storage wall in an Italian kitchen made of reclaimed larch wood Above: Opposite the utility spaces, Arens designed a built-in armoire and bank of counter-height storage.

For more on kitchen design, start with our Remodeling 101: Kitchens section with advice on Kitchen Storage & Organization, Kitchen Sinks & Faucets, and Ranges & Ovens. For more home solutions in wood, see:

  • An Easy-ish DIY: Oversize Plywood Pegboard with Shelves
  • Outbuilding of the Week: A Garden Shed Made from Reclaimed Redwood
  • Kitchen of the Week: The New Italian Country Kitchen by Katrin Arens, Scrap Wood Edition



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Kitchen of the Week: A London Architect’s Sky-Lit Compact Kitchen


We love every inch of this compact 14-by-10-foot kitchen in the Peckham neighborhood of London. Designed by architect Jonathan Nicholls and his partner, Alex Randall, a lighting designer, it occupies the rear extension of their Victorian home. While many architects find the experience of designing their own home an existential nightmare, Nicholls found it be quite the opposite:

“As an architect, working on your own house is great fun. Because of time constraints, I didn’t get a chance to do full, proper drawings, so a lot of the time I’d scribble some plans on the wall at night for the builders to interpret a few hours later,” he told The Modern House. “Because it was our own house, I could experiment a lot more with things I wouldn’t risk at work.”

Nowhere is that playful spirit more on display than in their artful kitchen.

Let’s take a tour. (To see the rest of their house, see the listing at The Modern House.)

Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: When the couple moved in five years ago, the kitchen was on the top of their list of rooms to redesign as they both love to cook.
Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: The cabinets are one of Nicholls’ “experiments.” “We weren’t entirely sure how it would turn out, but it’s beautiful,” he said of the engineered-ash plywood joinery.
Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: The most whimsical feature in the kitchen, though, may be the skylight that not only funnels in natural light but also offers a glimpse at the wildflowers growing on the roof garden.
Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: In lieu of upper cabinets, a single wall-mounted shelf holding cooking tools and decorative touches extends across the length of one wall.
Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: A stainless steel sink with an integrated draining board. (See The New Art Gallery: 12 Favorite Kitchens with Paintings on Display.)
Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: Steel and glass doors by Crittal usher in even more natural light from the patio.
Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: Limestone tiles extend from the entrance, down the hallway, and into the kitchen. The rest of the house enjoys oiled-oak floorboards.
Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: The patio just beyond the kitchen has a surprisingly tropical feel thanks to a palm tree and bamboo. (See 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Bamboo.)

For more plywood kitchens, see:

  • Steal This Look: A Stylish Camp Kitchen in a Plywood Summer Cabin
  • Plykea in London: Stylish Plywood Cabinet Fronts and Worktops for Ikea Kitchens
  • Kitchen of the Week: A Cost-Conscious Kitchen in Sweden



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