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The Kitchen

Workstead takes a streamlined approach to a combo kitchen/dining room in a classic brownstone.

In this Brooklyn home, the layers of architectural detail had been lost to time. This liberated the owners to approach the space in a more modern and functional way.

They turned to the design firm Workstead to create a room for real cooking and eating. “They pushed us to open the space up as much as possible,” says Workstead’s Ryan Mahoney, “and get the light from both sides of the building. They wanted a fluid situation, with dining and living areas and kitchen all blended together.”

The millwork by Markus Bartenschlager, with whom the firm collaborates often, reflects this fluidity: The kitchen cabinets seem to melt into an attached sideboard in the dining area (where the custom table is also his handiwork). The character-grade oak has knots and other details, and the less than pristine wood reflects the room’s overall inviting casualness. “We always try to celebrate material in our work,” says Mahoney, “and there’s a certain utility to our designs. This is a practical kitchen, for a family of five—it has to hold up to people using it, not treating it like it’s precious.”

  • The backsplash is zinc in a matte finish. “We didn’t want it to be shiny, but we still wanted it to read as metal,” says Ryan Mahoney.
  • The countertops are quartzite. “We chose a surface that’s resistant to stains and scratches and heat,” says Mahoney.
  • The wood ledge on the island is for dining.
  • The range and hood are by Blue Star.
  • The faucet is by Zucchetti.
  • The overhead fixtures are by Allied Maker.
  • “We wanted the room to feel complementary to the Robert Moody painting, because we knew it was going to be front and center,” says Mahoney.
  • The Hakwood oak floors are from LV Wood.