The homeowners envisioned this project as a redesign for a chic "look but don't cook" kitchen. But designer Jerel Lake of Lakehaus Designs knew the space could do more. "They have a second kitchen in the back, so this one was a showpiece," he explains. "But it still needed to function, be practical, and have all the essentials." He wasn't intimidated by the small size of the room—but he did keep height in mind. The owners are 5'2" and 5'5" tall, so "access was key," says Lake, who made sure everything was in easy reach.
Another requirement? The couple is of Indian descent and they love to cook traditional foods, so Lake knew he needed to choose a countertop material that would withstand pigment-saturated spices, such as turmeric, often used in Indian cuisine. He went with quartzite, which is less prone to staining than marble, and a custom hood with a vent insert to keep scents from overpowering the space.
Despite limited square footage, Lake cleverly added storage. Underneath the range there are 48-inch-deep drawers for pots and pans, and below the double ovens is a dedicated area for baking sheets. The apothecary-style island has a docking drawer for recharging phones and tablets, roll-out drawers for Dutch ovens, and built-in steel canisters to keep side dishes warm. One thing he didn't fit: a freezer. The pair only cooks with fresh ingredients. And Lake says, "They aren't worried about resale—this is their forever home."
Lake chose wall ovens so he could customize the installation at just the right height for the petite homeowners.
The kitchen island appears to hold a series of cubbies but instead houses a two-door cabinet on the left and a set of drawers on the right for more practical storage needs. Appliances: Sub-Zero, Wolf, Cove. Hood: custom. Vent insert: Zephyr. Fixtures: Waterstone. Cabinetry paint: Revere Pewter, Benjamin Moore. Sconces: Visual Comfort & Co. Pendant: Riloh. Hardware: Matthew Quinn Collection.
The tea cabinet's interior is wrapped in stainless steel, which is easy to wipe clean.
Rather than pay for expensive glass-and-metal doors to flank the wall ovens, Lake created a custom paint color he calls Umbra to give the look of metal for a fraction of the price.
The owners fell in love with this showstopping pull-down faucet from Waterstone. Sink: Blanco. Countertop: African MonteBlanc honed quartzite. Cabinetry: Irpinia Kitchens.