This elaborate kitchen, chock full of Delft tile, has historical sources and a shocking “before.”
When NY designer Howard Slatkin renovated his Fifth Avenue apartment, his Extreme Decorating style was not excluded from the kitchen. Describing the iconic blue-and-white Delft tile on the ceiling and walls as a “wild mix,” he was hardly exaggerating.
While the kitchen’s footprint did not change, the result surely is a world away from this pre-reno mishmash that hardly looks like a kitchen at all. Kitchens like this one are still found in NYC apartments even at the most elegant addresses.
The Russian palace built by politician Aleksandr Menshikov is said to have inspired the kitchen — including this floor, which Slatkin likely sampled.
We also found a tile detail from Tsarskoye Selo (The Czar’s Village) palace of Catherine the Great in Pushkin, a St. Petersburg suburb — a building somewhat contemporary to Menshikov’s palace. Slatkin made the most of this iconic blue-and-white motif, using it also in the multi-arm Dutch brass chandelier and pottery displayed in the paint-decorated hutch. Dutch tiles are often are feature in historically significant European buildings — notably the French painter Claude Monet’s kitchen at Giverny.
The result is a timeless mix that swings from a strapping pro-range beneath a custom vent hood complete with finials, to a marble-topped antique breakfast table in the nook. And while the polychrome parquet floor underfoot was “beat up for patina and history” this kitchen qualifies as an extreme makeover in any century.
(Source: NY Mag, travelpod.com, it.stlawu.edu)
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