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The owners have friends over for dinner regularly, and everyone wants to watch the chef. "With the old kitchen, that meant guests were hovering right in the work area," says DiCaprio. The 375-square-foot kitchen's new floor plan allows people to circulate from the eat-in counter to the dining area and around the kitchen itself.
Base cabinets: Akurum, Ikea; handles: Sugatsune; table, chairs: Cost Plus World Market; wall color: Tropical Tide, Behr
The layout has two distinct areas; a tight work triangle with the cooktop, the sink and the refrigerator/freezer, and a baking area with a butcher block top, a spot for mixers and an undercounter convection oven. A small dining counter between the two areas allows guests to linger without interrupting the process.
Refrigerator, freezer, gas cooktop, oven: Kenmore Elite; sink: Blanco Precis; faucet: American Standard
DiCaprio brought artistic elements into the kitchen with the help of local artist Tandi Venter, whose midcentury-inspired work felt right at home with the new kitchen's style. The clients already had some of her artwork, so DiCaprio sought her out to collaborate on a piece for the kitchen.
The front of the island, covered in reclaimed wood from an old barn outside Denver, proved to be the perfect spot for Venter's work. Venter engraved her designs into the front of the wood, leaving an original piece that had been inscribed with "I Miss Amy" intact.
Bar stools: Toledo Chair, Restoration Hardware
Venter also had her designs screened on the back of the glass on the upper cabinets, etching details into the front for a 3-D effect. All of the upper cabinets, shelves and end panels were custom made out of rift white oak by local craftsman Jeff Faine of AvenueTwo: Design.
Putting a full-depth cabinet above the side-by-side refrigerator and freezer allowed for space to the right for pantry storage. A microwave is stored in the upper cabinet to keep it off the counter. The open shelf extends across the window, creating a natural backlight.
Countertop: Caesarstone Desert Limestone; oven cabinet: maple butcher block, John Boos
Finding outlets that were to code and would fit into the home's original brick walls was a challenge, so DiCaprio used pop-up outlets on the pantry shelves.
Faine's custom shelving allowed them extra flexibility. "Don't be afraid to look at going custom with your cabinetry. In an existing kitchen, the dimensions of your current kitchen may not fit the standard sizing of off-the-shelf cabinets," says DiCaprio.
Photography: Zorn Photography