Light wood kitchens seem to be edging out dark and shiny cabinet looks.
In a vacation house on the Maine coast, designer John Saladino created a kitchen for a couple of internet entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Overall, the owners wanted a African safari lodge look and so wide-plank paneling was used in many of the rooms. In the kitchen, that theme likely presented a challenge for Saladino who is known for restrained interiors. The result is an elegant tone-on-tone approach to materials, with wide-plank oak for the island and other surfaces in one of the most attractive light wood kitchens I’ve seen recently. Stains or washes help create a uniform hue on cabinets and paneling by moderating distracting streaks in the grain. And the resulting taupe color blends well with muted metals the designer favors such as steel and iron.
One of Saladino’s kitchen signatures are the steel cabinets he favors. Here, they flank a La Cornue Chateau range with a handsome awning hood overhead. Practical, durable and wonderfully attractive, the metal cabinets don’t exactly fall into the nature preserve genre though they blend in surprisingly well. Over the island, very elegant pairs of minimalist Steng Licht Pino pendant lights illuminate the work space without interrupting the sight lines. And informal seating is provided by Arteriors Hinkley swivel bar stools with mango wood seats, an ideal choice to straddle two sensibilities.
In addition to the wood-planked island, there is a tall cabinet and a terrific Dutch door where the planks run horizontally across the top half. The last Dutch door I saw was in a 1940s film! It’s a surprise here and somehow fitting for a New England light wood kitchen where a balance of rustic and industrial elements keep it looking youthful and modern.
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