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Kitchen of the Week: A Bright Addition with a “Pantry Portal” for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn

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Kitchen of the Week: A Bright Addition with a “Pantry Portal” for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn

October 22, 2020

The challenge: how to create a sense of light and space in a notably narrow late 19th-century townhouse? Located in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, the structure—with an interior width of 13.5 feet— was purchased by a young family of three who wanted to preserve the sequence of rooms. Equally importantly, they wanted a great-looking, central kitchen to replace the beat-up laminate design in the basement.

They found architects Anshu Bangia and Willam Agostinho on Remodelista. Members of the Remodelista Architect & Designer Directory known for their thoughtful, clean-lined work, the couple were hired to perform a top-to-bottom update. Not surprisingly, it’s their artful kitchen solution, an extension on the parlor floor, that the owners say is their favorite room in the house. Come take a look.

Photography by Nicole Franzen, courtesy of Bangia Agostinho.

Kitchen of the Week A Bright Addition with a Pantry Portal for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn The rooms are arranged enfilade: just beyond the front door, the living area opens to the dining room (with a Noguchi Akari Light over the table) and a view of the new window wall in the kitchen addition. Openings between rooms were enlarged—carefully: &#8\2\20;the existing moldings were removed, repaired, and in some cases added onto to keep with the original detailing of the house,&#8\2\2\1; says Agostinho.
Above: The rooms are arranged enfilade: just beyond the front door, the living area opens to the dining room (with a Noguchi Akari Light over the table) and a view of the new window wall in the kitchen addition. Openings between rooms were enlarged—carefully: “the existing moldings were removed, repaired, and in some cases added onto to keep with the original detailing of the house,” says Agostinho.

The architects also created functional “transitional spaces” between living areas: “utilities and storage are located in these interstitial spaces,” explains Bangia. The architects worked with contractor Ralph Attanasia of Showcase Construction, and Janik Furniture created all of the millwork.

Kitchen of the Week A Bright Addition with a Pantry Portal for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn To separate the new \10.5 foot wide kitchen and provide plenty of storage, Bangia and Agostinho designed a &#8\2\20;pantry portal&#8\2\2\1; between the addition and the dining room. The fridge is concealed here (on the right side) as is the new HVAC system in the low ceiling. The owners opted for over the counter open shelving in the rest of the space to emphasize the natural light and view.
Above: To separate the new 10.5-foot-wide kitchen and provide plenty of storage, Bangia and Agostinho designed a “pantry portal” between the addition and the dining room. The fridge is concealed here (on the right side) as is the new HVAC system in the low ceiling. The owners opted for over-the-counter open shelving in the rest of the space to emphasize the natural light and view.

The new glass windows and door by Marvin fill the back of the house with foliage. They open to a deck just big enough for a table and two chairs for morning coffee.

Kitchen of the Week A Bright Addition with a Pantry Portal for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn The owners are avid cooks and bakers; in lieu of a work island, they asked that the counters be extra deep. The cabinets are a custom design with Aria Quartzite counters from SMC Stone. The kitchen woodwork was shop spray painted in Farrow & Ball&#8\2\17;s Purbeck Stone, and the walls and entire pantry are painted Benjamin Moore&#8\2\17;s White Dove: &#8\2\20;the shifting neutral tones provide a sense of depth,&#8\2\2\1; says Bangia.
Above: The owners are avid cooks and bakers; in lieu of a work island, they asked that the counters be extra deep. The cabinets are a custom design with Aria Quartzite counters from SMC Stone. The kitchen woodwork was shop spray-painted in Farrow & Ball’s Purbeck Stone, and the walls and entire pantry are painted Benjamin Moore’s White Dove: “the shifting neutral tones provide a sense of depth,” says Bangia.
Kitchen of the Week A Bright Addition with a Pantry Portal for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn The owners purchased their 48 inch Wolf double oven range second hand. It has a Viking hood set in a custom cover. The backsplash is in Weathered White Zellige from Clé Tiles. The pot filler above the stove came from Signature Hardware. Considering one of these yourself? See Domestic Dispatches: Why Your Kitchen Needs a Pot Filler Faucet.
Above: The owners purchased their 48-inch Wolf double-oven range second hand. It has a Viking hood set in a custom cover. The backsplash is in Weathered White Zellige from Clé Tiles. The pot filler above the stove came from Signature Hardware. Considering one of these yourself? See Domestic Dispatches: Why Your Kitchen Needs a Pot Filler Faucet.
Kitchen of the Week A Bright Addition with a Pantry Portal for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn The open shelving, the owners tells us, was &#8\2\20;a gamble, because we know how easily shelves can get cluttered, but we really wanted that airy feeling. It&#8\2\17;s been easy keeping them organized, in large part because in addition to all the storage in the kitchen, we also have the dining room sideboard.&#8\2\2\1; And by displaying pieces that get used—and washed—frequently, they avoid grime buildup.
Above: The open shelving, the owners tells us, was “a gamble, because we know how easily shelves can get cluttered, but we really wanted that airy feeling. It’s been easy keeping them organized, in large part because in addition to all the storage in the kitchen, we also have the dining room sideboard.” And by displaying pieces that get used—and washed—frequently, they avoid grime buildup.

On the bottom of the cabinet, note the hidden toe-kick drawers with edge pulls—they’re sized for the couple’s biggest baking sheets.

Kitchen of the Week A Bright Addition with a Pantry Portal for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn During the design process, the owners took a kitchen inventory and the architects mapped out where everything would go. The depth of the transition portal was determined by these needs.
Above: During the design process, the owners took a kitchen inventory and the architects mapped out where everything would go. The depth of the transition portal was determined by these needs.

The metal pantry handles are from Rocky Mountain Hardware; the wood knobs were sourced online unfinished from Nice Knobs! and painted. The floor of wide-plank reclaimed pine was installed to match the parlor floor’s existing subfloor that was exposed and salvaged.

Kitchen of the Week A Bright Addition with a Pantry Portal for a Narrow Townhouse in Brooklyn The cabinets have pocket doors and plenty of space for appliances and cookbooks.  Report the owners, &#8\2\20;Having lived in apartments with tiny kitchens, the things we craved most were storage and counter space. Pretty much every night, you&#8\2\17;ll find one of us at the stove, the other making drinks, and our toddler running up and down the length of the house and occasionally &#8\2\16;helping&#8\2\17; with the cooking.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: The cabinets have pocket doors and plenty of space for appliances and cookbooks.  Report the owners, “Having lived in apartments with tiny kitchens, the things we craved most were storage and counter space. Pretty much every night, you’ll find one of us at the stove, the other making drinks, and our toddler running up and down the length of the house and occasionally ‘helping’ with the cooking.”

Bangia Agostinho are based in Brooklyn and specialize in residential design. Here are three more of their projects:

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