After visiting my friends Sarah and John in Brooklyn, then dining in the middle of their spatially challenged living room that faces the back of their sofa, I offered my design services to put their open concept kitchen to better use. The kitchen, a 75-square-foot L-shaped space sits right smack in the center of their two-bedroom apartment. It is packed with new stainless appliances, solid-surface countertops and honey-toned cabinetry. And although it looks great and fits their day-to-day needs, it could be better utilized with an integrated dining space — especially since both enjoy eating fresh, home-cooked meals along with newborn daughter Orly and John's tween daughter, Emily. After convincing them to give their space up to my team and I for a three-day design update, I assigned my team a clear goal: Maximize storage and free up enough space to seat four people comfortably.
First on our to-do list was to create and install a four-person seating arrangement. Secondly, add warmth and pizzazz to the existing beige walls and ceiling with olive-green paint. Since a 52-inch radiator wall divides the kitchen from the living room, we decided to put it to good use with a wall-mounted counter-height table. Determined to give Sarah and John something durable and custom, I worked with furniture designer and former HGTV Design Star contestant Dan Faires to create a one-of-a-kind table that had to be kid-friendly, sturdy and made from reclaimed wood.
After cutting the lumber to size, sanding it, then finishing it with a wax treatment, Dan installed it directly into wall studs using heavy-duty anchors and drywall screws. With the table in place, we turned our focus to seating — adding a set of four stackable steel stools done in a powder-coated celery green finish. Since saving space was the most important element of the kitchen's update, keeping the stools stacked and tucked below the table ensured the floor surface remained open and unobstructed. Once guests are seated, the sleek lines of the stools still offer plenty of room for Sarah and John to work in the kitchen.