Kitchen Tour: Annie & Paul Groove on the Retro

Annie and Paul are young architects who do a lot of residential design for a living. As such, they are able to appreciate the kitchiness of their first kitchen together.

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Paul and Annie hate how neglectful their landlord is of their mid-century apartment building but they know that if he took better care of the place, they'd be stuck with a cheesy, characterless kitchen and bathroom renovation.

The left-alone kitchen is in great shape and is original to the building. It's yellow laminate and brown fake wood cabinetry create a warm and instantly cozy color combination. The exposed brick along with Annie and Paul's great art highlight the small space as opposed to making excuses for it.

While Annie and Paul focus much more on long-lasting design than the ephemeral nature of food creation, they manage to cook home often and eat well while doing so. They've learned to cook, by example, from friends and family rather than via cookbooks by strangers. And they are very practical rather than esoteric or trendy when it comes to food shopping.

They get the job done with basic resources, basic foodstuffs, and a very tiny, very retro kitchen.

Annie and Paul's Answers to the Kitchn Questionnaire

What's your cooking style?
Winging it.

What inspires your kitchen?
We’re more design nerds than foodies- the look is inspired by the un-renovated mid-century laminates and tile (we’re renters).

What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
(Annie) I love my bright orange colander.

Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
(Paul) "to taste" ...response from my mom when i ask her how much of something she uses.

Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Space! It's tiny! We can only really have one person in there at a time so you're on your own!

Biggest indulgence:
Our “happy cow” milk — we get it from the farmer’s market from Milk Thistle who also supply Momofuku Milk Bar.

Dream tool or splurge:
I’ve always wanted Jasper Morrison's coffee maker for Rowenta.

What are you cooking this week?
I made one of my favorite salads that I learned from my friend Wes that is so simple and yummy — just tomato, feta, onion and olive oil.

What cookbook has inspired you the most?
We don't really use cookbooks, but Paul is really inspired by what his mom and his grandmom cook/cooked.

What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
(Annie) I tried to make biscuits (It was not so successful.) But for me, the most memorable meals that Paul has made are his Mom's recipe for spaghetti and meatballs and his grandma's Lebanese taboule and chicken with rice.

Resources

We don’t have fancy cooking implements, but for cheap and cool dishes and glasses we shop at IKEA and CB2. When I helped my sister and brother renovate their kitchen, I found remodelista to be a good resource — they’re good at rounding up fixtures and appliances and even materials.
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• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here.

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(Images: Jill Slater)

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