Before & After: A Gentleman’s Working Kitchen

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

A serious treat for you today! Here is a kitchen before and after designed by Patrick James Hamilton, one of our own long-time readers and commenters (you may known him as patrick (the other one)), and a talented designer in his own right. His client is a gentleman and a deft chef, and he wanted to find the genteel grace within a purely utilitarian late 60’s-era kitchen, an oddity in this otherwise Old-World and handsomely appointed home.

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Style-wise, the client liked classic “Butler’s Pantry” kitchens. While that suited the vintage style of the apartment, Hamilton feared a bright white would have been too stark a contrast to the settled appearance of the rest of the home. Taking cues from wallpaper in the adjoining living room, and a handmade American ceramic subway tile chosen for the backsplash, client and designer arrived at a mostly monochromatic “golden vanilla” scheme that gives the space warmth, minimizes visual clutter in the highly visible space, and maximizes light when the kitchen is (frequently!) pressed into active duty.

A cabinetry-front, counter depth refrigerator/freezer prevents stainless steel from overwhelming the space. Underfoot, a 13 x 13 porcelain tile mimics slate, laid on the diagonal to camouflage the apartment’s quirky lines. The bar-height side of the island is finished in a darker “peacock green” granite, easing the transition into the apartment’s darker woods and more clubby feel. It’s repeated elsewhere as window sills and on the living room’s built-ins for continuity.

A silk-look vinyl wallcovering, with a subtle sheen, bounces light, provides an interesting but understaetd backdrop to the owner’s artwork, and relates to the kitchen’s visible stainless aplliances. Fluting on the island’s new pre-fab corbels was also repeated on custom pilasters separating the entry/dining room from the living room.

To minimize cost and disruption (and increase the odds of smoother Board approval), the client and Hamilton worked within the original footprint, and with existing plumbing, gas lines, bulkhead and island.

The kitchen was part of a larger renovation project, and it was completed during an approximately three-and-a-half month time period. The largest chunk of the budget was allocated for the custom wood cabinetry, although the entire kitchen (including all labor and appliances) fell within the mid- to upper range of typical Manhattan kitchen renovation averages.

The biggest compliment? When guests don’t realize the kitchen isn’t just a well-kept original feature of the apartment. And when they say to the owner, “This kitchen feels like you.”

Kitchen Sources

• Designer: Patrick James Hamilton Designs, Manhattan
• General Contractor: Wager Contracting, New Rochelle
• Photography (Afters): Jody Kivort, Brooklyn
• Cabinetry: Custom Color and Construction, Wager Contracting, New Rochelle
• Stonework (countertops): Castle Rock Marble and Granite, Bronx
• Panel-front Refrigerator: Sub-Zero, P.C. Richard
• Stove: GE Café Series, 30″ Freestanding Gas Range, P.C. Richard
• Microwave: GE Café Series, 2.0 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave Oven, P.C. Richard
• Dishwasher: Client’s own (Miele)
• Sink: Kohler Undertone Undercounter Sink, Blackman
• Faucet: Delta Faucet, Blackman
• Backsplash: 2 x 6″ Crackle Subway Tile, Artistic Tile
• Dimmable Xenon Undercabinet Lighting: Pegasus
• Floor (Porcelain tile): Kenya “Rame”, Emser Tile
• Dimmers: Lutron, Diva Series
• Cabinet Hardware: Lugarno Knobs, Restoration Hardware
• Cabinet Hardware: Hansen Handles, Restoration Hardware
• Island Overhead Light Fixture: Classic Billiard Light, Circa Lighting
• Barstools: Pierre Deux
• Paint Color, Kitchen Wall: Benjamin Moore “Niveous”
• Paint Color, Main Trim: Benjamin Moore “Milkshake”
• Wallcovering: Newcastle Silk (vinyl), “Stonewash,” Designtex, New York D&D Building
• Decorative Wood Brackets (Island): Legacy Arts & Crafts Corbel, Van Dyke’s Restorers
• Fluted Wood Pilasters: Custom, Wager Contracting, New Rochelle
• Area Carpet: Bloomingdale’s
• Gateleg Table and Rush Sidechairs: Antique (Client’s Own)

Thanks so much for sharing this project with us, Patrick!

Related: Before & After: A Cellist’s Beautiful Kitchen

(Images: After photos by Jody Kivort)