July 5, 2017
Studio ESNAL Designs a Luxurious Kitchen in Gramercy
Ines Esnal on the design of a fabulously white kitchen in a Gramercy building set on a plot of land once home to the American industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper.
by New York Spaces
NYS: We love the new kitchen you designed at 7 Lexington Avenue! What inspired the design?
Ines Esnal of Studio ESNAL: The design was motivated by the necessity of light and integration. The kitchen has no window and serves as a hinge between the entrance and the living room—it's admired from different views and needed to be elegant and "disappear" as a kitchen. It is inspired by minimal art.
NYS: How did the building's c. 1951 bones enhance the design?
Ines Esnal: There is always so much history in New York City's buildings. This plot of land was actually the
home of American Industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper more than 100 years ago. The building was designed for rental, and the quality of materials weren't the best; the ceilings were low, and structural platforms made it even lower at some points. The unit is on a lower floor and faces the north, so we had to maximize natural light as best we could. The original aluminum windows are the elements that give us a clue of the building we are in. We enhanced them by designing a continuous piece of millwork along the perimeter that unifies the windows and integrates the existing heating and ac units.
NYS: You transformed a studio and a one bedroom into a three-bedroom home. How did the expanded space influence the design of the kitchen and your choice of materials?
Ines Esnal: Optimizing the layout required moving the kitchen to the apartment's interior and away from natural light. To keep the space light and modern, I used a light color palette: Dekton Kairos for the countertop and backsplash and white cabinetry with integrated lighting. I also added two large pendants over the peninsula to add extra light.
NYS: We love completely white kitchens but they also terrify us! What about Cosentino's materials keep owners' of a white kitchen worry free?
Ines Esnal: What I especially love about Dekton is its durability. Its colorways that capture the beauty of natural stone provide the allure without the maintenance. With natural stone you have to worry about stains and sealing. But Dekton is highly scratch, heat, and stain-resistant, making it an ideal material for a homeowner who doesn't want to worry about stains that can result from everyday use and wear.
NYS: What made you decide to keep the backsplash white as well? Did you have a hard time choosing from Cosentino's surface materials? If so, why?
Ines Esnal: We like a sobriety of materials carefully selecting only a few. Therefore being able to keep Dekton surface as a backsplash was the ideal choice. As we needed to bring and reflect light, white was the best option. We also considered a mirrored backsplash to help reflect as much light as possible, and to create an illusion of floating and expansion in the space.
NYS: We love how the light shines in the kitchen even though it is actually away from natural light. What design tricks did you employ to make it feel light and airy?
Ines Esnal: We installed a continuous under cabinet lighting. That, in conjunction with the material selection and neutral palette provided a modern and elegant look to maximize the brightness.
NYS: If you could design your own kitchen with Cosentino materials, what would it look like?
Ines Esnal: I would like to try the new Eternal collection from Silestone. Hopefully I have that opportunity soon! However my own kitchen (and in general) will look different depending on the location and conditions of the project. We also like to take the kitchen as an integral part of the project so it would be designed in relationship to other spaces.
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