“Donald Judd and James Turrell’s ‘Lapsed Quaker Ware’ coupled with a sense of Japanese minimalism.” Amy Kwok is explaining the sources of inspiration for her kitchen design—and it’s immediately apparent that she’s not the average home remodeler. In fact, Amy was once a Fulbright Fellow, researching architecture and ceramics under Chinese architect Wang Shu (2012’s Pritzker Prize winner). After working for several distinguished architecture firms—and becoming a mom to twins—she decided to strike out on her own.
Among her first projects: her home, a 1,000 square-foot condo in San Francisco’s Noe Valley that had last been remodeled in the late ’90s. “The arrangement of space was good, but the finishes and details felt like they could be updated and made to feel more like ‘us,’ the owners,” says Amy.
“Us” is her and her husband, I Wei. Several years ago, the two had fallen in love with a pendant light at an exhibition of Taiwanese designers in Paris. It was dubbed “New Old.” That phrase—representing the idea of tweaking tradition and reimagining classics and, more literally, making “our old space…new again,” says Amy—would become the driving force behind their kitchen remodel.
Below, a peek at the couple’s New Old kitchen, a space that, finally, feels like them.
Photography by Mariko Reed, courtesy of Amy Kwok.