It has been said that the larger the kitchen, the less frequently it is used. However, the owners of this contemporary home in Los Angeles do not subscribe to that theory. “They actually cook and are in there every day,” says architect Richard Landry, who, at his clients’ request, created a space that is open and not isolated from the rest of the house. “The kitchen is connected to the backyard, the breakfast area, and the family room, which are the areas they use the most,” says Landry. “And everything pivots around a central fireplace so that the rooms are linked but also defined.”
Landry, who designed the home from the ground up, created a layout in which the floors, ceilings, and walls form a series of different angles. “The overlapping panels on the ceiling tie the room into the rest of the house. They make the space more intimate and follow the flow of the kitchen countertops,” he says. “It’s a simple gesture, but it really helps people relate to the contemporary space.”
To warm the 600-square-foot room, Landry selected maple cabinets. He also used stainless steel and granite alternately on the countertops to mitigate the potential for a cold and monotonous appearance in such a large, open space. For this same purpose, Landry used mirrored surfaces for the backsplashes, except for the one behind the sink; there he installed a fish tank. “The mirrors reflect light and give a variation from stainless steel,” Landry explains. “The fish tank is unexpected, but it adds a lot of color and gives you something interesting to look at while you wash dishes.” He equipped the kitchen with a Thermador oven, Wolf cooktop, Sub-Zero refrigerator, and Miele dishwasher, all of which he considers the best at performing their respective functions.
The appliances, countertops, cabinets, and, of course, the fish tank were intended as focal points; the kitchen floor was not. “We wanted something clean and minimal that would not detract from the other materials. So we custom-designed concrete tiles,” says Landry. “Unlike wood or stone, you have total control with the color and texture of concrete. We were able to make something that was completely uniform and practical at the same time.”
Landry Design Group Inc.,