Over the last ten years, the 2003 Something’s Gotta Give kitchen (actually a movie set) provided a much-copied formula for a popular black and white look: white Victorian-style cabinets with black counters and accents. That scheme created crisp, high contrast drama. The latest variation on the black and white theme is simpler. I’m seeing white kitchens with light counters and only a single dark accent — a black French range. Both Lacanche and CornfuFé offer stunning French-made ranges in a variety of black and near-black finishes, both matte and glossy. Since these ranges qualify as investment pieces, it’s logical to make one the focal point for a kitchen that intends to be elegant and unforgettable. Here are two.
The traditional kitchen in a renovated Georgian-style house [top] has an elaborate arched niche to showcase the imposing glossy black 43-inch CornueFé 110. A manufacturer of hand-made ranges since 1908, La Cornue introduced their somewhat more affordable CornueFé line in 2005. This one features 5 burners and two electric convection ovens. Currently a high-end darling that designers favor for its looks and prestige, the Fé can be customized with satin chrome, or a combination of chrome and copper or brass. This one sits on the axis of a main kitchen sight line in the center of the niche. Under the hood is a concealed vent system which also lights the stove as brightly as a jewelry store counter. When a range has powerful burners, heatproof material is required on the wall behind it. Instead of the usual subway tiles the designer chose 4- x 4-inch white glazed ceramic squares, which keeps things simple and are budget-friendly as well. But there’s no lack of decoration as the niche is embellished with ogee brackets on each side and a high shelf in front where a collection of brown transferware plates is displayed.
White marble counters keep the kitchen light and airy. Those marry well with white cabinets that include well-loved Victorian details such as bracket feet, glass-door upper cabinets, and a chest-on-chest cabinet with a drawer. Our Herringbone Medallion Kitchen (with its big black Aga cooker) is an English prototype for this traditional cabinet look with its built in range niche.
In an apartment outside Oslo, a blindingly white country-style kitchen boasts some amazing architectural features. This kitchen, in a repurposed top-floor living room, houses another black French range — a 56-inch Lacanche Sully. With up to seven burners and two ovens, Sully can use gas or electric with trims ranging from brass to chrome, nickel or stainless steel. Parked below a custom chimney-shaped hood with a charming cut-out for a religious statue, the range is intended to be an attention-grabber but it has plenty of competition.
This kitchen has a knockout vaulted, planked ceiling that makes it so unique. Wood planks are also used on the walls and range hood. Narrow beaded board repeats the look on cabinet doors and refrigerator panels. A white subway tile backsplash wraps both walls of the L-shaped kitchen and topped by open shelves all the way around. Counters are lacquered oak. There are no upper cabinets and the relatively small island was designed to be accessible from all sides. Chalk-white paint, used on the walls and ceiling, keeps the room bright even on the shortest and darkest Nordic winter day. While the pine floors and stairs were stained, cabinets were sprayed with three coats of paint then glazed for durability. Underlying the glamor is also a no-nonsense intensity in this kitchen as well as a sweetness that radiates from the from heart-shaped cutouts on the wood-plank stairway.
(Source: brooks&falotico, klikk.no)
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