Written by: Tiffany Carboni
Growing up in Santa Cruz, CA is a far cry from being raised in downtown New York. So when the owners bought this NYC apartment, the lady of the house wanted to find creative ways to share her happy West Coast childhood experiences with her five East Coast-reared children.
With the guidance of Drew Stuart, principal at Incorporated Architecture & Design, the team transformed three neighboring apartments into one that includes this kid-friendly, coastal-inspired kitchen.
Thanks to the apartment’s generous size, Stuart designed an “evening kitchen,” which serves as the family’s showcase space for cooking and hosting meals, and a “day kitchen” that functions as a craft and snack room. The day kitchen has no ovens or cooking appliances, or even protruding door handles that a child can snag on. Instead the space offers the ultimate play zone with its craft/dining table from ducduc and matching benches complete with personalized cubbies under the sea-blue cushions.
Above the table are two pendants from Ikea. “We call this Ikea-hacking where we take an inexpensive item from the store and personalize it,” says Stuart. “The client painted these herself on the sidewalk. They’re red on the outside, orange on the inside for a bit of eclecticism.”
The vibrant hues, brightened even more with the aid of custom track lighting from Modulightor, pop against the natural-colored paneling. The reclaimed wall panels came from a barn in Upstate New York, though could have just as easily come from one of the many farms around Santa Cruz that the homeowner remembers fondly. The wood was lightly power-washed, stained and coated in polyurethane to prevent dirty fingers from leaving marks.
The paneled doors hide a host of elements, like a multitude of organized craft drawers, an integrated Sub-Zero refrigerator to facilitate snack time, and a washer-dryer so Mom always has a good excuse to check in on her charges. Each cabinet door is furnished with soft leather pulls from Spinneybeck.
Like the panels, the reclaimed wide-plank oak flooring was stained and coated in polyurethane to evoke the look of driftwood, but with greater durability. The concrete countertop created by Concrete Works East was cast in three pieces. Because there are no joints in the sink or backsplash, there’s no concern of trapping mildew, or finger-paints that inevitably splash everywhere at cleanup time.