Susan and William Brinson (she's an art director and designer, he's a photographer) live in a New York loft that has been widely admired around the web (see the Sneak Peek at Design Sponge). "Our aesthetic is about contrast," the duo says, "Black and white, light and dark, masculine and feminine, old and new, rustic and modern." Their kitchen precisely reflects their ethos: it's an eclectic mix of sleek glossy white Ikea cabinets mingled with vintage pieces. Recreate the House of Brinson look with the following elements:
Above: The kitchen cabinets are fronted with high-gloss white Abstrakt Doors from Ikea. For a vintage kitchen island, Susan Brinson suggests finding an appropriately sized console on Craigslist or Etsy and adding wheels. "If you have a small space, buy a desk and add wheels," she says. Photo by William Brinson.
Above L: "We used Anaglypta Supaglypta Spencer Wallpaper made of recycled paper and cotton ($24 a roll at Wallpapers Plus), and painted it with high-gloss outdoor paint—no grease issues a year later," Susan says. Above R: The ultimate high-gloss exterior paint (it's a favorite with Roman & Williams) is Hollandlac Brilliant Traditional Oil Paint; for water-based paint, consider the Eco Brilliant line; go to Fine Paints of Europe for information.
Above: The Brinsons used a pair of Ikea's Grundtal Magnetic Knife Racks (about 21 inches long, $8.99 each) to hold their collection of new and vintage knives.
Above: The Brinson's light fixture is vintage; for a similar look, consider the galvanized Warehouse Pendant with twisted cloth cord; $99 at Barn Light Electric.
Above: The Brinsons found vintage enamel numbers on their travels; an Oval Numeral Sign is £13 at Classic Enamel Signs in Suffolk in the UK.
Above: The Brinsons use Vintage Wooden Crates for storage; $45 each at Three Potato Four.