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Kitchen of the Week: Two Young Architects Think Pink in LA

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Kitchen of the Week: Two Young Architects Think Pink in LA

September 7, 2017

Last January, architects Annie Ritz and Daniel Rabin decided it was time to put their 1949 bungalow in LA’s Silver Lake on the market. But first, to add value to the property and “give life to some ideas we’d been wanting to experiment with,” says Ritz, they turned the house into a design project.

The two, who met in graduate school at the University of Toronto, had lived in their bungalow for three years and accumulated a familiar list of to-dos, from upgrading the baths to installing new windows. But more than anything, they wanted to remove the existing old Ikea kitchen and start anew. “And since we owned the house,” Ritz tells us, “we decided to create a kitchen no client would ever ask for.”

The gambit worked—the bungalow sold right away; the couple (whose individual résumés include working for Herzog de Meuron, XTEN Architecture, and Barbara Bestor) have recently opened their own firm, Studio Ritz Rabin; and the project was a finalist in the recent Remodelista Considered Design Awards 2017 in the Best Kitchen Space, Professional category. Come see why.

Photography by Lauren Moore, courtesy of Studio Ritz Rabin (@studioritzrabin).

The architects introduced a minimalist, carefully crafted kitchen that Remodelista awards judge Sam Hamilton describes as &#8
Above: The architects introduced a minimalist, carefully crafted kitchen that Remodelista awards judge Sam Hamilton describes as “both Swedish and Japanese in sensibility. Joyful.” The unexpected detail? The cabinets are blush pink. “It would have been lovely in a more typical color,” adds Hamilton, “but the pink gives the space immediate character.”

Working within the existing kitchen footprint, the architects introduced a prominent skylight over the island and anchored the breakfast nook with a large square window that overlooks a tree in a planter (lesson: create your own view). The built-in storage bench is the one existing element that they kept.

&#8
Above: “The windows and skylight were a big part of the design, so for us the palette was: blush pink, copper, oak, and greenery brought in from the outside,” explains Ritz. “Each window frames a potted tree or a view to the backyard that we read in concert with the pink.”
 To keep the counters clear, the architects incorporated plenty of closed storage. The refrigerator is concealed behind a wall of flush cabinetry inset with an oak appliance nook.
Above: To keep the counters clear, the architects incorporated plenty of closed storage. The refrigerator is concealed behind a wall of flush cabinetry inset with an oak appliance nook.

How to find the perfect shade of pink? “Our first try looked like bubblegum and the second round was too light,” says Ritz. “Pink looks different throughout the day as the light shifts.” After settling on A Touch Of Pink from Benjamin Moore, they subtly diluted it by mixing in 20 percent Benjamin Moore Atrium White, one of our Architects’ White Paint Picks.

The metallic accents are provided by a Jewel Wall-Mount Lavatory Faucet in brushed copper, $375.79 from eFaucets, and Hamilton Bowes data-src=
Above: The metallic accents are provided by a Jewel Wall-Mount Lavatory Faucet in brushed copper, $375.79 from eFaucets, and Hamilton Bowes 1-Inch Satin Round Copper Round Cabinets Knobs, $4.49 on Etsy. The counters and backsplash are white Corian—read about it in Remodeling 101: Corian Countertops (and the New Corian Look-Alikes).
Getting all the details right takes finessing. Ritz selected the Modern Wall Sconces, $5 from Etsy seller Object & Light, in a copper-trimmed white finish. &#8
Above: Getting all the details right takes finessing. Ritz selected the Modern Wall Sconces, $155 from Etsy seller Object & Light, in a copper-trimmed white finish. “Then I decided the kitchen needed more contrast and custom-painted them black at the last minute.”
The bird’s eye maple cutting board is an Edward Wohl.

The island is detailed with oak cabinets. Original to the house, the floor is
Above: The island is detailed with oak cabinets. Original to the house, the floor is 2.5-inch red oak: “It was in great shape, but finished in a high gloss with orange hues,” says Ritz. “We had it sanded and refinished with Bona Naturale, which maintains the natural look without adding pigment or hues.”
The kitchen opens to the living room. The kitchen table, an old CB
Above: The kitchen opens to the living room. The kitchen table, an old CB2 piece, was formerly lacquered white; to “breathe new life into it,” the couple had it painted matte blue.

Ritz and Rabin say they haven’t done any more pink kitchens—”you can never do the same project twice”—but they currently have a pink dining room with a black-and-white terrazzo table and are designing a pink powder room for a client. “Friends and visitors don’t always pick up on the color,” says Ritz, “but they’re drawn to these spaces. Pale pink just has a nice overall feel.”

Pink has made inroads in quite a few kitchens of late. Take a look at 9 Rosy-Hued Kitchens from the Remodelista Archives.

For help on choosing the right paint color, see Expert Advice: The 10 Best Pink Paints.

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