January 29, 2016

Q&A with Cecilia Dupire of Cezign

New York-based Interior designer Cecilia Dupire of Cezign creates a sleek modern kitchen for client's who needed to expand their dark, cramped space.

by New York Spaces

cecilia dupire of cezign
Cecilia Dupire of Cezign

NYS: We love what you did with your Upper East Side client's kitchen! Can you tell us what it looked like before you decided to take on the project?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: It felt small, dark, cramped, and had no storage. The whole kitchen was very out-of-date in all ways. The appliances were too visible and too big for the space. The window was divided into two parts, so the focal point was not the outdoor view, but the strip of wood in the center of the glass that blocked the view.

NYS: What were the client's wishes when they approached you?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: They wanted a modern kitchen, something sleeker, that was lighter, had tons of storage, and that they could put a small table in comfortably.

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign

NYS: What was the process like? Were there any obstacles you had to overcome?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: The owners were great to work with. They were open to new ideas on how to reconfigure the kitchen. Having a precise idea of what they needed in terms of storage and yet open to new ways of working the space.

The main problem was the very narrow space with a lack of light and room to move. I wanted to transform the kitchen into something more spacious without breaking walls and moving water pipes etc. This due to a fairly strict building restrictions and apartment layout.

NYS: How did you create space for storage when there was none?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: I removed the old ceiling and gained 1 foot of storage height for the upper cabinets. I custom-designed the new kitchen units to fit/ use the space at it's very maximum.

I transformed the old eating alcove in the back of the kitchen to a storage wall, creating much deeper and efficient storage together with the fridge/freezer and the micro/ oven combo. I also extended a wall 7"in order to gain a 18" deep storage space next to the air con unit. A transformation that one hardly can see with the eye but that creates a substantial difference in the amount that can be stored within the space.

The new kitchen features built-in appliances

NYS: How did you make the room multifunctional?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign:By using new appliances. I removed the old gas stove and replacing it with an induction stove so that one can use the space as a work top when not in use. The micro/ oven is another space saving and multi-functional unit. The table, being light and easy to move, can be used as a additional working table or dining table.

NYS: Why did you decide to go with an all-white kitchen? What do you feel are the advantages to this approach?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: The kitchen is not all white. The top cabinets and the storage wall deepest inside the kitchen are but the base cabinets were given a slight moss green color to warm the space up and to make it have a softer appearance together with the old floor.

NYS: We love the sleek look of the newly designed kitchen. How did you keep it looking so polished and seamless?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign:By removing as many details as possible and hardly using any handles. The back-splash is in one piece, worktop in very thin .5" thick corian to give a sense of lightness an airy feeling. I tried to see it as a volume instead of as a "kitchen" and by creating a more spacious, light and peaceful place than before.

NYS: We are quite amazed you managed to fit in a table and chairs directly in front of natural light we might add. How important was this to your client?


Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: It was very important for my client to have a table in the kitchen that could seat 4 people. This is where the family gathers when the boys comes home from school or where everybody eats breakfast. It was crucial to me that the table should be close to the window.. The connection to the outside is always something desirable.

NYS: We love that you incorporated built-in appliances! How much of a space-saver are they?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: The down draft and the induction stove top are huge space savers. It makes the kitchen feel more seamless and allows storage both below and above the units. The micro/ oven saves the space of one oven which is great in a small space like this. The built in dishwasher just makes the kitchen feel more uniform as well as the 36" wide fridge/ freezer that is smaller than the one that was used before but still big enough to work very well for a family of 4.

NYS: What was one of your favorite aspects of the design?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: It's pure appearance and it's perspective lines.

NYS: How did the client react to the finished kitchen?

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign: They love it very much, and find that it fits their needs in every way, and really reflects their aesthetic. The children find the kitchen especially fun they think the downdraft makes the kitchen look very "Star Wars"!

Cecilia Dupire of Cezign

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