Here at The Kitchn we have visited all types of kitchens, from small and cozy to big and dreamy. I love seeing how people make the most of limited spaces, but I also really enjoy seeing cooks' dream kitchens — their finally, at-last, this-is-what-we-always-wanted home. Today we're peeking into one of these — a vibrant, juicy space for entertaining and family cooking designed and owned by Rebecca Odes, an artist and entrepreneur, and Craig Kanarick, the founder of Mouth, a playful and delicious marketplace for American small-batch foods.
We're visiting with Craig, Rebecca, and their kids all week long. First up: a tour of their home kitchen in Manhattan.
Rebecca & Craig's Kitchen Story
Rebecca and Craig are both creative entrepreneurs. Rebecca has worked in various art forms, including fashion, writing, and music, and she currently runs Wifey.tv. Craig has worked in Internet startups for some years and he founded Mouth, which is one of our favorite online sources for delicious foods of all sorts.
They moved their young family into this apartment near Greenwich Village about five years ago, first completely gutting the space and creating their dream kitchen. "We designed the kitchen six or seven times," Craig told me. It was always intended to be the center of the home, and a hub for entertaining. "In our previous apartment we had a small outdoor space off of the kitchen, and the requirement here was also to have outdoor space right off the kitchen. It's a really great layout for entertaining."
They picked this apartment partly for that great layout, but then the couple worked from there to figure out how to make the kitchen bigger, smarter, and more functional. "We wanted wall ovens," Craig said, "for instance, and dish drawers. We had young kids and so were trying to keep much of the function at eye level and universal."
"We certainly put the most energy and money into it of any room. It was the focus of the design of the whole apartment."
So, What's Up with That Backsplash?
There are so many smart, interesting details in this dream kitchen — but the one that grabbed my eye first was the mirrored disco-ball backsplash behind the sink. Of course, there's a story.
"The mirrored backsplash," Craig told me, "was inspired by a trip we took to a place in Italy called The Tarot Garden, which was designed and built by artist Nikki de St Phalle, who was clearly inspired by Gaudi." The artist's entire kitchen is covered with a mirrored backsplash and the couple wanted to recreate it in their own space, partly for the sake of the light. "We didn’t have a lot of natural light in the kitchen, so we wanted to make sure we could bounce a lot of light around," Craig said.
But they couldn't find a mirrored backsplash or tile at a reasonable price, so the couple built it themselves! "We bought a ton of mirrors at Home Depot, broke them into thousands of little pieces of mirror, and reassembled as a mosaic onto the wall." They used contact paper to build it on the ground, then put mesh on the back and grouted onto the wall. Pretty amazing!
We'll take a closer look at some of the other smart details in their kitchen later this week, including the rather amazing restaurant-inspired sink, as well as Rebecca's custom baking station.
7 Questions for Rebecca & Craig & Their Kitchen
As answered by Craig.
1. Tell us about a few of your favorite cookbooks.
Our cooking is inspired by the cookbooks we’ve collected and admire, including everything from Ottolenghi and The Kitchn Cookbook to Aromas of Aleppo, Cooking in the Moment, all of Mario Batali’s books, and Nigella’s books. We love reading old cookbooks as well. In fact, this past week, my wife made a bunch of dishes inspired by The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook.
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
Oh, I love all of my children equally. Some of the things I love now are our Gaggenau Combi Steam Oven, our giant Northland fridge, our custom sink, our Kyocera ceramic knives, our Le Creuset Dutch oven, and our giant Caeserstone countertop.
→ Read more about Craig's giant Dutch oven: In Craig Kanarick’s Cutting-Edge Kitchen, a Dutch Oven Prevails at The New York Times
3. Is there anything you wish you had done differently in building this kitchen?
We love our kitchen, so it’s hard to think of things we would change. We would have probably made our cabinets out of stronger materials but we went a very eco-friendly route and our choices were limited at the time. Other things are mostly small, like more lights, more outlets, and maybe more counter space for all the Mouth products I seem to keep bringing home.
4. What's the biggest challenge for cooking in your kitchen?
That the kitchen doesn’t clean itself.
5. What was the biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen?
The stainless-steel-interior glass-door super-huge Northland fridge and freezer.
6. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
I keep threatening to extend the mirror backsplash to take over the entire wall next to it.
7. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received?
Mise en place. (Get your shit together before you start.) That and keep a clean station.
- Architect & Designer: Jonah Pregerson
- Ovens: Gaggenau
- Refrigerator: Northland
- Dish Drawer Dishwashers: Fisher + Paykel
- Stovetop: Blue Star
Fixtures & Surfaces
- Countertop: Caesarstone
- Cabinets: Plyboo
- Bar and Counter: By Nightwood of Brooklyn
- Coffee Machine: Jura Capresso
- Mixer: KitchenAid
- Cookware: Le Creuset, Lodge, and Scanpan
Thank you so much for letting us peek into your kitchen, Rebecca and Craig!
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