cool kitchen with exposed beams, raw timber and art


This is part of the awesome residence inhabited by Claire Bigbie and Jay Shapiro.

The clean lines of the joinery against the worn flooring, stripped back ceiling, stark wall paper and art that was apparently contributed by the owners’ friends, makes this an exceptionally utilitarian space; much more than a kitchen.

You can just imagine inviting your guests to have a seat on the couch or even the robust island bench to enjoy a drink while you bang out a batch of pot stickers for the rest of the crowd, or you could entertain the whole party right there.
Look out for this guy though.

I think there is even a TV in the back corner…

See more of this amazing house here.

Photo via Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

mixing materials to add interest

mixing materials to add interest

One of the most common tools a designer employs is to take an existing material and use it in a different way or to put it somewhere unexpected.

If you’re looking for a designer feel to your space think about what you might use on the floor then put it on the wall or ceiling.

In the kitchen of this space slatted steel grating has been used as a cladding on the island bench which adds a real level of visual interest to this element in what is otherwise a very basic laminate kitchen.

Timber has long been used on the ceiling as a lining but what I really enjoy about this space is that is the only surface it has been applied too. It’s not a part of an interior completely lined from floor to ceiling in timber where you might traditionally see it used.

By combining the timber on the ceiling with the grating on the bench this space gains a very refined contemporary edge without feeling like either is a “feature”.

simple contemporary kitchen


Kitchens like the one above can add huge value and versatility to any home. While the layout ticks the boxes on function the cupboards or joinery also make it a very refined, simple contemporary space.

Storage running from floor to ceiling is a great thing to consider even in small spaces and the lighting is hugely successful from the practical recessed task lighting along the bench to the over counter feature lighting which gives the island a sense of table.

The same material is used on the cupboards and splashback and note the way the grain in the timber changes direction on certain elements. These subtle details are used by designers to break up slabs of similar materials and create visual interest. It’s a smart way to work within a neutral material/colour palette.