Designing for a Chef…

Industrial Meets Modern Kitchen

Another transformation blog post coming your way because, after all, ELDS is all about redefining your space and making it perfectly balanced for your everyday needs.

When we met with Tia Keenan for the first time in her 1925 Colonial style home in Kew Gardens, Queens, she proudly shared her passion for her house and maintaining its 94-year-old history. However, as a chef, cookbook author, and creative who had successfully renovated the lower level of her home in a unique blend of industrial modern style materials, Tia wanted to bring some of those elements to the first floor without taking away from the home’s traditional bones.

From style, we then moved to layout and function...

From these photos, you can clearly see the need for counter space and flow. However, storage was equally as important for this chef and the abundance of cooking supplies she has for each of her cooking and catering enterprises.

Tackling Flow

The Renovation involved the kitchen as well as an oversized powder room. The original space was divided into two spaces divided in half by the placement of the double oven in the middle of the longest wall. We removed the double oven and moved the cooking space down to allow for a professional 48” range and ample counter prep space.

Tia loved the idea of having enough space on both sides of the range to create stations for what she called, “sweet prep on the left and savory prep on the right.” For balance and light, we added a new window to the right of the range. The sink remained in its original place, but we added more additional windows right and left to bring in more light and open up the view of the outside. This new detail with the classic subway tiles created the minimalist feel that Tia was looking for.

Tackling storage

Wanting to maintain an open feel and not crowd the space, I had to find a solution for storage. This led me to an oversized powder room that was accessed from the hall behind the fridge. I loved that the door to the powder room was not in the kitchen, but its size and orientation were too clunky for its end use. We decided to relocate the toilet and sink and reduce the width of the powder room to create a pantry closet with access from the kitchen. Note the long blank wall across from the table and take a look at its new look! This reallocation of space was such a win for meeting all of Tia’s storage needs.

Left: Hallway to the new powder room with a view of the cookbook shelf from the dining room..

Right: Breakfast nook and new pantry doors.

The wooden shelves and magnetic knife storage system provide the perfect nod to the industrial vibe. This space wouldn’t be complete without a bookshelf for Tia’s growing cookbook legacy (franchise).

Redefined Powder Room

Good things come in tiny packages! Shoutout to Tia for her unique design choices in this powder room.

I'm a professional chef and cookbook author, so kitchen layout and functionality is super important to me. I LOVE cooking in this kitchen, and that’s the best endorsement I can think to give.”

~ Tia Keenan

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