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Kitchen of the Week: Life’s Daily Details Celebrated in an Architect-Designed Kitchen

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Kitchen of the Week: Life’s Daily Details Celebrated in an Architect-Designed Kitchen

September 22, 2022

Architects Andrea Fisk and Jess Thomas of Shapeless Studio are modernists with beating hearts. Their love of workmanship, new and old, and attention to life’s daily details is on display in all of their residential work, including their own Brooklyn quarters: see The Sentimental Minimalist and A Rising Star Architect’s Townhouse in Pinks, Grays, and Greens.

Admiring their projects on Remodelista is what led the owners of this brownstone in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill to work with the Shapeless Studio team on a makeover of their parlor floor. The 1867 Italianate structure came with a classic living and dining room sequence leading into a 2007 kitchen extension in the back. “The main goal of the renovation was to find a way to more seamlessly and intentionally integrate the kitchen with the other rooms while paying homage to the original structure,” says Fisk.

“Our sensibility is generally more modern, but we also wanted to honor the building’s historic details. Shapeless has that sensitivity,” explain the clients—a landscape architect and a food business professional with a toddler. “The kitchen and the backyard were our focus. We asked that the space be simple, textured, and clean lined—and that it tie in with the rest of the house.” Scroll to the end for a glimpse of what the setup looked like before.

Photography by Hagan Hinshaw courtesy of Shapeless Studio.

the architects grounded the space by opting for a contrasting palette: the dark 9
Above: The architects grounded the space by opting for a contrasting palette: the dark cabinets and soapstone counters “recede into the background,” says Thomas, “and the focus is the white oak island.” Afteroom Stools and the TR Bulb Linear Suspension light, both from Menu, contribute more black accents.

We cook all the time, love to have friends and family over, and have a child, so the kitchen had to be very functional, ” say the clients. “Nothing feels precious, we can really live in the space, and we like the way the natural materials will age.”

the soapstone, including a custom integrated sink, is from vermont and was sour 10
Above: The soapstone, including a custom integrated sink, is from Vermont and was sourced from M. Teixeira Soapstone. The Ceramic Up Down Sconces are from In Common With.

Fisk and Thomas sing the praises of their collaborators: all of the cabinetry was built to their design by ABC Cabinet Makers: “They are extremely detail-oriented and communicate throughout the process.” And Sunshine Renovations Management served as the general contractor: “kind and thoughtful, and amazing at working within the irregularity of old townhouses.”

the faucet is the spin d from mgs of milan. and the island has a thermador pro  11
Above: The faucet is the Spin D from MGS of Milan. And the island has a Thermador Pro Series Oven and Freedom Series 30” Induction Cooktop. The floor is tiled in Thin Dust Bejmat Zellige from Tiles of Ezra in a basketweave pattern inspired by the original parquet floor in the living room. “While soft and neutral in color, these tiles are rich in texture and pattern,” says Fisk.
the integrated fridge is a 30 inch leibherr, and next to it is a recessed, hidd 12
Above: The integrated fridge is a 30-inch Leibherr, and next to it is a recessed, hidden cabinet for things like the coffee machine and toaster, so the counters can be kept clear. The cabinets are painted in Midnight and the walls are Classic Gray, both from Benjamin Moore.
the breakfast nook is set in a niche that echoes an archway at the entrance. th 13
Above: The breakfast nook is set in a niche that echoes an archway at the entrance. The trestle table is a Shapeless Studio design made by Armada.
the custom white oak bench has built in storage. the light is the tipi orb pend 14
Above: The custom white oak bench has built-in storage. The light is the Tipi Orb Pendant in Reed Green.
the room&#8\2\17;s new windows and doors are from marvin and have custom ce 15
Above: The room’s new windows and doors are from Marvin and have custom Centor screens that are pocketed into the wall and slide to open—when not in use, they’re out of sight.
the architects preserved the flow of rooms and their original plasterwork and p 16
Above: The architects preserved the flow of rooms and their original plasterwork and parquet. To integrate the spaces, they widened the passageways and introduced flush thresholds and overhead transoms.

The kids’ table and chairs is the All Bright set, made of recycled plastic toys by ecoBirdy.

Before

the existing \2007 kitchen had little in connection with the other rooms living 17
Above: The existing 2007 kitchen had little in connection with the other rooms living spaces. The appliances and cabinets were donated for reuse.
the existing doorways were narrow and the spaces got less natural light. 18
Above: The existing doorways were narrow and the spaces got less natural light.

Two more Shapeless Studio kitchens:

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