This lakefront cabin was woodsy inside and out: Surrounded by trees, with walls clad in pine beadboard. The ceiling beams, floors, and even the fireplace chimney were also wood. It was way too much of a good thing. Mary and Rob wanted to tone down the hardcore country vibe that the old kitchen imposed, and bring out the soothing, calm essence of the natural setting.
Also see the before and after video.
Above and below: A porch and tall trees filter sunlight reflecting off the lake, which comes in horizontally, throwing long, interesting shadows tinged with green. Such a setting makes grey slate a natural choice for the flooring, fireplace and color palette. The island is topped with a variegated granite that reminds one of pine needles scattered on a forest floor.
Above and below: The massive island serves to organize a protected work space for the cook when there are weekend guests who want to *help.* The island gives them a place to sit, chop veggies, and have a cocktail, but the chefs have the work triangle to themselves.
Above: Drawer bases face the stove and hold an enormous amount of pots and utensils. The *tall wall* incorporates the fridge, two steam ovens, and a massive pantry. The bar cabinet on the other side of the doorway balances this mass and attracts guests away from the work triangle. The fireplace – now refaced with bluestone – is finally the focal point it should be.
Above: In the country, electricity can go out during winter storms, so a back up cooktop set into the island works off propane, but is otherwise neatly closed up.
Above: These dimensional tiles by Robert A.M. Stern are called “Manhattan,” a nice reference to the clients’ city home, but in this setting, they look more Arts and Crafts.
Above: A recessed area for countertop appliances and a microwave sports a variety of pull-out shelves, corner base trays, and other storage mechanisms. The custom cabinets were precisely planned and impeccably constructed. The doors are riff-cut white oak, stained grey, and the interiors are standard pre-finished maple.
Above: Roll-out pot and lid organizers sit under the induction cooktop.
Below: A bread box drawer stores homemade ciabatta, baked in the steam oven.
Above: On the seating side of the island, sliding doors stash lesser-used items.
Above: In the base cabinet that contains the gas cooktop:
a mixer roll-out tray and drop-down charging station.