Project Description2006 CHDA
Custom Kitchen / Merit Award
Architect Todd Hansen looked to the iconic design of good kitchen knives—dark wood forged to metal—to reconcile his clients' desire for a contemporary kitchen with their home's Colonial style. The floors, stained translucent black to let the grain show through, merge with a stainless steel toekick that wraps the room the way a knife blade meets the wooden handle. Hansen repeated the concept with open shelves supported by steel bands. And again at the windows, black sashes are graced by stainless sash lifts. Even black and silver knobs on the gas range fit the theme.
Hansen maintained his cutting-edge palette while incorporating classic touches, such as recessed-panel cabinet doors, to generate a look that works across several centuries. “The unity of strategy and detailing makes it read minimalist, while the materials are traditional,” says the architect. The jurors appreciated Hansen's restraint: “The nice black and white palette is hip but quiet.” Contrasting colors also help the room feel larger and brighter, as do walls lined with high-gloss tiles that bounce light around the room.