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Kitchen of the Week: A Minimalist Design by an Annabelle Selldorf Protégé

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Kitchen of the Week: A Minimalist Design by an Annabelle Selldorf Protégé

August 20, 2020

Lauren Wegel is an architect who loves succinctness. She began her career working for another New York minimalist, Annabelle Selldorf, which is how we met: see A Hardworking Brooklyn Kitchen By A Big Gun Architect. That was back in 2013, and, in recent years, Wegel has been running her own tiny firm.

The thought and care she puts into projects have won her a number of clients who have become good friends and repeat customers. Such was the case with fashion stylist Barbara Abbatemaggio and creative director Jakob Daschek. In 2015, one of Wegel’s first solo projects was their Reinvented East Village Galley Kitchen. Five years later and in need of more space for their two boys and many guests, the couple got Wegel to collaborate with them on the creation of an equally streamlined galley in their new East Village digs. Fun fact: the apartment, in a pre-war building, formerly belonged to actor Alan Cumming (scroll to the end to see what it looked like before).

Photography by Ed Hueber of Archphoto, unless noted, courtesy of Lauren Wegel.

the mandate for the kitchen was plenty of storage and a sleek but inviting look 9
Above: The mandate for the kitchen was plenty of storage and a sleek but inviting look: Barbara, who is from Italy, campaigned for warmth; Jakob, who is Swedish, likes logic and order. Inspired by an old mantel opposite the kitchen, the three settled on a cherry finish for the majority of the cabinets, “a perfect match for the fireplace,” says Wegel.

“The wood has the effect  of weaving together the materials and palette, so that the kitchen, although modern, feels integral to the rest of the apartment.” The Arctic Pear chandelier just visible in the foreground traveled with the family from their last place. The brass sconce is the Double Uptown by Jones County Road.

the sink in the former kitchen was awkwardly wedged in the corner next to the w 10
Above: The sink in the former kitchen was awkwardly wedged in the corner next to the window. Much discussion later, the new sink found its place in the center of the action. The counters are Bianco Gioa marble from Ionian Marble in Astoria in Queens, NY. The cabinets were custom built by Radical Design Solutions of Brooklyn.

Of the mixed finishes, Wegel explains: “We didn’t want to overdo the darker stain color on the upper cabinets because it would make the kitchen feel much smaller. And this time around, we all agreed to far fewer open shelves: Barbara gained more storage with cabinets, and, frankly, I prefer less visible clutter. That’s why the upper cabinets above the range counter are white: to sort of fade into background. And we kept them plain and simple with no visible hardware, just integral pulls. The backsplash is marble all the way across for the same reason—to simplify and streamline this wall since it’s so open to the rest of the apartment.” Photograph by Lauren Wegel.

the 30 inch range is from blue star&#8\2\17;s platinum series (with a miele 11
Above: The 30-inch range is from Blue Star’s Platinum Series (with a Miele retractable hood) and the faucet is by Grohe, selected for the same reasons that our own Izabella chose hers—see High/Low: Dornbracht vs. Grohe.

Notes Wegel: “The only metal elements are the lights, range, plumbing fittings, and pulls on the refrigerator, so that these moments of bling stand out against the rest of the kitchen. And we intentionally did not match these finishes because I think that would have been too much: at Annabelle Selldorf’s office, we often mixed metals intentionally and I have never forgotten that lesson. It’s a bit less rigid and most of the time, I prefer it.”

barbara and jakob initially only planned to change a few things in the existing 12
Above: Barbara and Jakob initially only planned to change a few things in the existing kitchen, but after a year of cooking in it concluded that every detail could be improved. Barbara specializes in fashion styling and is a partner in Amore da Matti, a boutique event planning company. Jakob oversees creative strategies at La Mer and Bobby Brown.
the fridge is a 36 inch wide, panel ready liebherr. 13
Above: The fridge is a 36-inch-wide, panel-ready Liebherr.
the formerly unused north wall was deep enough to install full height pantry an 14
Above: The formerly unused north wall was deep enough to install full height pantry and utility closets. The brass lights are Workstead’s Industrial Pendant.

Before

the all white existing kitchen belonged to alan cumming. the replaced appliance 15
Above: The all-white existing kitchen belonged to Alan Cumming. The replaced appliances got donated. Barbara’s mother stitched the Roman shade, the one detail that remains.

Here’s another Lauren Wegel project that formerly belonged to a famous figure: Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee’s Georgetown House Transformed.

Browse our kitchen archive for more design ideas, including:

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