The challenge of the 300-square-foot kitchen was making the long and narrow space feel as comfortable and inviting as possible. Working with designer Tom Spanier, the couple chose durable quartzite counters, a glazed ceramic subway tile backsplash, white painted maple cabinets, a custom stained white oak floor, oil-rubbed bronze faucets and fixtures, and customized storage solutions. Now they have a timeless kitchen that is very functional but also attractive enough to be on display in this well-detailed home.
Who lives here: Chris Dobrez, part owner of a family chemical and software business, and Amanda Dobrez, a labor and delivery nurse
Size: 300 square feet (27.8 square meters)
A long center island helps define the kitchen and serves as the main social hub of the space. Polished Hastia quartzite was chosen for the top of the island. “We went with the thicker top to add a little more interest and make it look substantial,” says Spanier, of TZS Design. “Everyone loves marble, but it’s porous and will stain. This quartzite has a nice, controlled veining that gives you a marble kind of look but better durability.”
The island also features a double bowl sink, a paneled dishwasher, a dual pullout trash bin, a built-in soap dispenser and storage drawers (including a designated “junk drawer”). Three oil-rubbed bronze pendants with glass shades above the island provide illumination. “With a heavy island like that, you need relatively substantial fixtures above,” Spanier says. “It’s about having the right scale. These ones are easy to clean, in a classic design with a timeless shape.”
White painted maple cabinets with classic detailing provide lots of storage. A few upper glass-front cabinets provide relief from all the white and add dimension to the room. The white glazed ceramic subway tiles on the backsplash keep with the classic feel of the kitchen.
Island top: Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois; island stools: Woodbridge Furniture; sink in island: Franke; sink faucet: Grohe; above island: Sloane Single Pendant with Glass Shade, Circa Lighting; cabinetry: custom, Hyland Design; cabinet hardware: Creations by Alno
A built-in outlet and USB port on the island give the couple an easy way to plug in laptops and charge their electronic gadgets.
A large stainless steel and black metal range hood similar to one Chris saw on Houzz — “I found inspiration for this kitchen and the whole house on Houzz,” he notes — sits prominently over the cooking area and creates a focal point for the kitchen.
Spanier points out that the hood provides much-needed contrast for the white kitchen and adds another layer of visual interest. “A white kitchen can sometimes be too white, and you need a balance,” he says.
The kitchen also includes a convection and microwave combo and a paneled Sub-Zero and Wolf refrigerator that maintains the quietness of the space.
Limestone tile in a curved design designates the mudroom entry from the kitchen proper. The kitchen’s custom-stained white oak floor with deep tones of black and brown provides an anchor for the space and a rich contrast for the lighter finishes in the room.
Paint on walls, trim and ceiling: Chantilly Lace OC-65, Benjamin Moore
Family room sofa: Verano, Crate & Barrel; club chairs: Alex chair and Elliot chair, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; side table: Romano, Ethan Allen; area rug: custom, Peerless Rugs; art above sofa: homeowners’ own; sheer linen fabric for Roman shades: Kravet
Taking the time to consider both the look and function of the kitchen and surrounding spaces was vital to the success of this project, Spanier says. “We literally discussed an inch here and an inch there,” he says. “Clearance is very important. Knowing how big to make things and what proportion you use for design elements is really key.”