A Baker’s Dream

Photo: David Allee

Moving from a crisp white loft to a rambling prewar apartment near Sutton Place unleashed Eleni Gianopulos’s desire for more color in her life. “I wanted pattern,” says the founder and owner of Eleni’s New York cookies. “I wanted every room to be fun and unique.” But since she’s a food professional, and her husband, Randall, is an accomplished amateur cook, they also had some very definite ideas about the kitchen, which they enlarged by taking out a wall and connecting a maid’s room. “We like to entertain, and that is why the plates and everything are out in the open,” she says.

To satisfy both, designer Steven Sclaroff, working with architect Carmen Tagle of ARCT, created a kitchen that has two of everything: two ovens (Gianopulos uses a Dacor electric one for baking because “electric bakes much more evenly”), sinks, and countertops (marble, for rolling out dough, and stainless). Touches like a glass-front bookcase for cookbooks, a Wayne Thiebaud–esque photograph of pies and cakes by Sharon Core, and especially the bold-but-classic David Hicks wallpaper contribute to the mod-meets-English-country homeyness of the room. “I think a lot of people would be afraid to use it,” says Sclaroff of the wallpaper, which normally appears in entryways and libraries. “They totally were not afraid.”

The shelves.Photo: David Allee

“We decided it would look nicer to have custom stainless shelves,” says Sclaroff. “We designed them to be bigger, sort of Donald Judd.”

(1.) Counters
“Randall really wanted stainless,” says Gianopulos. “I wanted marble. We were torn.” They did both.

(2.) Ovens and sinks
There are two of each, separated by a work island. The Philippe Starck plastic stools for Kartell are light enough that they don’t fight with the dark wood and busy wallpaper. They’re from the MoMA Design Store.

(3.) Windows
First and foremost, Gianopulos wanted lots of natural light; this kitchen came with unobstructed north-facing views of the skyline, including the Roosevelt Island tram.

(4.) Cabinet
The 19th-century mahogany cabinet came from an auction and now holds cookbooks. “I didn’t want it to feel like a completely contemporary industrial kitchen,” says Gianopulos.

A Baker’s Dream