A Blend of Rustic and Contemporary Styles

O’Brien Harris LLC
Photography by Cynthia Lynn Kim

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here:
A family
Location: Hinsdale, Illinois
Size: 275 square feet (26 square meters); 12½ by 22 feet
Designers: Laura O’Brien of O’Brien Harris (kitchen design) and Moment Design (architecture)
Builder: Julie Laux of J Jordan Homes

This home was a new build, and O’Brien collaborated with builder Julie Laux on the design. The goal was to create a kitchen that cooks would love and that would work well for gatherings. “The lot sizes here are small, so we had to work out a relatively compact floor plan,” O’Brien says. “This meant that the kitchen would be fully open to the family room.” About 275 square feet was allocated for the kitchen, and O’Brien made the most of it.

This is the view from the family room. “The approach was to integrate the kitchen into the architecture, because it is completely within view of the family room. The design of this wall was driven by this openness,” O’Brien says. A hint of farmhouse nostalgia inspired the white oak cabinetry, while the clean lines and contemporary lighting provide a sleek look.

The designer wanted the window wall to look like a paneled wall, so for the cabinetry she used kerfed wood, which has grooves that make it look like paneling. She hid the fridge behind the kerfed wood on the left; a pantry cabinet is on the right. The middle of the pantry cabinet contains two appliance garages — those doors flip up.

“I also needed to deemphasize the vent hood and I felt that using wood on it would make it too bulky,” O’Brien says. “Using the sleek stainless steel makes it fade into the background, putting the focus on the windows.”

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