The wonderful thing about an old-fashioned pie safe is the ability to store food such as baked goods, cheese, fruit or vegetables at room temperature in a closed cabinet that lets air circulate freely. Antique pie safes are highly collectible. In an Long Island beach-house kitchen the idea was recast. A floor-to-ceiling cabinet with screen doors was built between a large pantry and even larger kitchen. Most significantly, it’s accessible from either the kitchen or the pantry side — a see-through larder in essence. The upper half is accessible via sliding screen doors and the bottom has screen doors with pulls.
A view of the built in pie safe wall from the pantry [top] shows how deep shelves are built to accommodate pantry cabinets. A door with divided lites closes but keeps the look consistent. Why a door? This is not just a pantry. It’s actually a sub-kitchen, or catering kitchen, with a second Wolf range, sink and dishwasher plus marble counters topping the same stainless steel cabinets used in the main kitchen space. Yes, wow is the word.
The house is the work of Sardar Design Studio in New York City and it’s a ocean front residence. So the gigantic open kitchen, with barn-style ceilings, occupies one section of a floor plan designed to maximize ocean views for which the Hamptons are famous. The main kitchen boasts a huge island with a big Wolf cooker, warming drawer, built in espresso machine, steam oven and refrigerator. An island chimney hood soars into the ceiling blessed by natural light that filters through a skylight around it. Stainless steel cabinets and appliances have a professional look but the end-cut butcher block island counter keeps things from tilting towards industrial. Wide-plank wood floors, which appear to be ash, are whitewashed and stenciled with a honeycomb design that feels warm but keeps everything bright.
Seating for six along the outer rim of the island allows guests to relax while the host cooks. What a perch for a morning latte and a plate of pancakes.
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