Text by: Tiffany Carboni
When it comes to creating a home able to withstand teens, dogs, cats and all their rough-and-tumble behavior, one usually doesn’t think to incorporate porcelain into its design. That’s exactly what interior designer Glenn Gissler did in this New York City kitchen—and lots of it. “I’ve worked with the family in this same apartment over the course of many years so I knew exactly what they needed to create a beautiful, but indestructible kitchen,” he says.
The prewar apartment, which is an integration of two units from different floors, was originally designed in keeping with the era’s traditional layout wherein the small kitchen was located in the rear servants’ quarters. Gissler repositioned it to a more prime central spot with bountiful light and views of Central Park.
Porcelain enamel cabinets in a transparent greenish taupe trimmed with polished steel are, in a word, enduring. So too is the high-tech porcelain tile flooring from Stone Source, which can’t stain. “The supplier told me this tile is what he’d put in Grand Central Station; it’s that durable and easy to maintain,” Gissler points out.
The gentle hues of the cabinetry soften the hard materials and completely hide the side-by-side refrigerators mitigating the room’s utilitarian feel. The dark Ubatuba granite embodies gold flakes with dark green and brown tones that play off the colors of the cabinets and flooring. Gissler had the countertops honed, which he advises for busy households because the low luster and visual texture makes the stone forgiving of fingerprints.The glass-tiled backsplash from Walker Zanger uses lighter earth tones to add contrast. “It was important from the start that we used a color scheme to work in tandem with the tree views of the park,” explains Gissler.
To preserve the building’s history, the doors’ substantial casings, just like the room’s moldings, were replicated to match the originals. The custom "Ye Olde” down lights and 20th century industrial America-style chandelier from Daniel Berglund Lighting in Connecticut accessorize as well as provide abounding light on dimmers needed when the sun goes down. The 19thcentury American-style table from The Studio in New York City that can accommodate eight is and continues to get beat up through its daily use, which according to Gissler, “increasingly adds more character and looks great.” The chairs from Ann Morris Antiques in NYC are upholstered in heavy-duty fabric and adorned with tacks for an antique appearance.
“I built this kitchen several years ago and it’s still in great shape,” says Gissler. “You’d never know what kind of daily abuse it withstands.”
As the designer’s success with this project proves, it’s vital to understand who will be living inside it long after its completion.