When it comes to designing a kitchen, there is nothing like customization to create something truly unique. And when the residence of note is a penthouse pied-à-terre in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood’s highly-exclusive Hayden building, everyone pays attention.
In this case, Steve Karp, Director of Design for custom design cabinetry company, Bentwood of Chicago, and interior architect Alan Barker, of Lamar Johnson Collaborative, formed a dream team for conceptual yet practical clients interested in personalizing their newly purchased escape. To keep with the building’s factory-like, industrial-chic appeal, Karp and Barker worked hand-in-hand to create a jaw-droppingly gorgeous open-plan layout that highlights the views and is perfect for a home chef to indulge in her culinary prowess and entertain in style. While the initial design was replete with concrete, steel, and glass, Karp and Barker added a myriad of complementing materials throughout that kept the minimalistic vibe while adding in some show-stopping elements such as pleated zinc walls, zinc paneling, brass hardware and accents, and zinc as well as black-honed countertops. No detail was spared.
The kitchen, which inspires serious pride of place, took center stage. The client loved the polished concrete floors and dark-grout subway tiles already in place, but as a home chef, she wanted a fully functional kitchen where the island and various countertops were used as actual workstations rather than a place to drop purses, wallets, and any myriad of unnecessary items. First stop? Creating a home chef’s dream kitchen, with appliances, storage, and organization, top of mind. Stephanie Karp, Bentwood of Chicago’s Director of Business Development, explains that as a serious home chef, the client was very informed about True Residential refrigeration products, even once saying she had “been dreaming about the glass door refrigerators” offered at True. “She’s a commercial-grade kind of girl,” she adds. “The True Residential units were must-haves for her.” And sure enough, two 30” Glass Door True Residential Refrigerator Columns—united through one of our joining kits—are seamlessly integrated into the kitchen’s fantastic layout, leaving everything visible and within easy reach for the home chef. The entire back wall housing the True Residential units is what Stephanie refers to as a “function wall,” replete with an integrated coffee maker, double ovens, and a dishwasher. Custom brushed stainless panels right over the fridge speak to the industrial feel while offering additional storage.
Steve worked tirelessly with the client to create her pie in the sky kitchen, including attractive open shelving, areas with quick access to servingware, and even some custom glass and mirrored polished stainless steel cabinetry designed to store and showcase Le Creuset pots over which an ingenious custom-designed spice drawer sits. The island was also a custom design by Steve, made out of distressed white oak cabinetry that offers a variety of easily accessible shelves for plates, servingware, and more, topped with a striking black-honed countertop. Double sinks offer great ease of use right across from the custom-designed storage under the kitchen’s range, each flanked by eye-catching zinc countertops. To round out the chef’s kitchen, Steve even designed an eye-catching confectioner’s table, using a mirrored polished stainless steel that echoes the look of the nearby cabinetry storing the Le Creuset pots, topped with a beautiful white marble perfect to roll out dough.
While the rest of the home is just as gorgeous—from a custom Butler’s pantry that leads directly into the kitchen outfitted with an antique printers table, open brass shelving, and cabinetry in a vibrant admiral blue, an ultra chic wine bar, and a living room made for rest and luxurious relaxation—it’s the kitchen that steals the show. And the star of that show? The True Residential units of course.