Kitchen of the Week: A Scandi Blonde Wood Design in Bed-Stuy, Garden Included

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Having a backyard in Brooklyn is a rarity in the best of times. The young family of three who bought this 1899 townhouse in Bed-Stuy a year ago knew they wanted to link indoors to out—but they could never have anticipated how grateful they’d be feeling right now for access to their own patch of greenery.

The interior had been given an inexpensive once-over by a developer, but the new owners felt there was much room for improvement. They hired James Veal and Christine Stucker of husband-and-wife architecture and interior design studio Stewart-Schafer to step in and reimagine what could be. A wide-open, Scandi-accented, blonde-wood kitchen with window wall–and direct link to the garden—is now the star attraction (and the family’s saving grace during these unimagined days). Join us for a tour.

Photography courtesy of Stewart-Schafer.

Above: The existing kitchen was “dark, dated, cramped, and entirely lacked natural lighting,” say the designers. “We opened up the parlor floor by removing the powder room and the back exterior wall and adding a custom glass wall to create an open flow.” The new 900-square-foot kitchen is situated off the entry and living area.
Above: The custom cabinets are rift-sawn white oak. “We used natural materials that create an indoor-outdoor exchange. We wanted the space to be airy and light-filled, luxurious yet minimalist—and also child-friendly,” says Christine. “We’re also new parents and we know how much clutter can accumulate with children, so incorporated a lot of storage.”
Above: The counters are Caesarstone in a color aptly called Fresh Concrete. The cabinets were designed to be “as seamless as possible. We had to figure out a cost-effective solution for the pulls, ” says James. “We went with a two-inch solid edge with a pull routed out. We love the detail of the grains running in opposite directions: horizontally on the pulls and vertically on the fronts.”
Above: The 30-inch gas range is by Thor. The island serves as both a table and a work area; the back section shown here is maple butcher block.

The pale wood is echoed above and below: “We made the space feel bigger and brighter by opening up the ceiling and inserting custom wood beams that add to the Nordic feel,” says the designers. The new wide-plank wood flooring is from Sawyer Mason.

Above: Textural Thin Brick Tiles from Clé  serve as backsplash and backdrop for the open shelving next to the sink.
Above: The fridge is concealed behind oak doors with long pulls.
Above: One of the most unusual elements of the space is the cupboard that contains a hidden coat closet.
Above: In lieu of a door, the closet pulls out. “We liked the seamless look and feel but it’s also functional,” explain the designers. “The pull faces the front entrance; it’s easy to use and works very well.”

The two-seat bench is the Originals Loveseat by Ercol, available from DWR.

Above: A sideboard of rift-sawn white oak cabinets with Caesarstone counters runs alongside the far wall. The sculptural white bud vase on the bottom shelf is by Simone Bodmer-Turner.
Above: Of the glass windows and swing door, the designers say: “We were on a tight budget, so we had to make some compromises. We found an inexpensive aluminum door frame, which we hid into the drywall to give the appearance of a more high-end window/doorway.” The door opens to a balcony with stairs down to the garden.”
Above: A goal of the owners was to be able to cook while interacting with each other and entertaining. The classic Saarinen Oval Table creates a compact dining area. Workstead’s Industrial Chandelier hangs over the kitchen island.

Here are three other kitchen remodels oriented to the garden:

  • A Modern Farmhouse Kitchen in SF (Before and After)
  • A Garden Kitchen in a Melbourne Row House
  • Steal This Look: The Endless Summer Kitchen

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