Custom engravings on reclaimed barn wood and a very functional design add to the exceptional vibe of the artistic and practical Denver kitchen. The owners were ready for an update to their 1950s setup. One, a professional chef, wanted a space that would function well and allow dinner guests to see him cook without their being at the middle of the workspace. Jonas DiCaprio of Design Platform worked closely with the Colorado few to design a distinctive professional-grade kitchen which accommodated the house’s unique design and contemporary necessities.
The owners have friends over for dinner frequently, and everybody wants to see the chef. “With the old kitchen, that intended guests were hovering directly in the work place,” says DiCaprio. The 375-square-foot kitchen’s fresh floor plan enables people to circulate from the Granite counter into the dining area and around the kitchen itself.
Base closets: Akurum, Ikea; handles: Sugatsune; table, chairs: Cost Plus World Market; wall color: Tropical Tide, Behr
The design has two distinct areas; a tight work triangle together with the cooktop, the sink and the refrigerator/freezer, and a baking place with a butcher block top, a place for mixers and an undercounter convection oven. A little dining counter between the two areas enables guests to linger without disrupting the process.
Toaster, freezer, gas cooktop, oven: Kenmore Elite; sink: Blanco Precis; faucet: American Standard
DiCaprio brought artistic elements to the kitchen with the assistance of local artist Tandi Venter, whose midcentury-inspired work felt right at home with the new kitchen’s style. The customers had some of her artwork, so DiCaprio sought out her to collaborate on a bit for the kitchen.
The front part of the island, coated in reclaimed wood in the old barn outside Denver, proved to be the ideal place for Venter’s work. Venter engraved her designs to the front part of the wood, leaving an original piece that had been inscribed with “I Miss Amy” intact.
Bar stools: Toledo Chair, Restoration Hardware
Venter had her designs screened on the back of the glass on the upper cabinets, etching details to the front to get a 3-D effect. Each one of the upper cupboards, shelves and end panels were custom made out of rift white oak by local craftsman Jeff Faine of AvenueTwo: Design.
Putting a full-depth cupboard above the side-by-side refrigerator and freezer enabled for space to the right for cupboard storage. A microwave is stored in the upper cupboard to keep it off the counter tops. The shelf extends across the window, making a backlight.
Countertop: Caesarstone Desert Limestone; oven cupboard: maple butcher block, John Boos
Finding outlets which were to code and would fit into the house’s original brick walls proved to be a challenge, so DiCaprio used pop-up outlets on the cabinet shelves.
Faine’s custom shelving allowed them extra flexibility. “Don’t be scared to check at moving habit with your cabinetry. Within an existing kitchen, the size of your current kitchen may not match the typical sizing of off-the-shelf cabinets,” says DiCaprio.
Photography: Zorn Photography