A Kitchen Designed for an Empty Nester

At only 150 square feet, this kitchen makes downsizing a dream.

Downsizing from a circa 1700 farmhouse to a custom-built home at the beach, homeowners Andrea and David Cross knew they were ready for a change. Andrea, a residential designer and owner of Axel Interiors in Norwalk, conceived the kitchen’s minimalist design with the help of architect Jim Denno of Jim Denno Design. Her self-directive­— create an efficient, elegant kitchen while maximizing the home’s amazing water views. At only 150 square feet, the kitchen had to function for the couple’s everyday use, with the ability to accommodate family and friends when entertaining. The kitchen opens to the dining and living areas, so Cross opted for a clean design that wouldn’t compete with the family’s beloved antiques, artwork and sweeping views of Long Island Sound.

Cross engaged Henrybuilt, a New York City–based company specializing in tailored design, European-styling and craftsmanship, to fabricate the custom cabinetry. Plank-matched natural walnut lower cabinets and appliance fronts speak to the fine furnishings in the adjoining areas, while upper cabinet fronts in a durable opaque resin (by Wüd Furniture) lend a contrasting note. Minimal hardware and built-in Gaggenau appliances integrate seamlessly into the bespoke cabinetry. Anchoring the space, a bar-height waterfall console by Wüd is crafted from a single black walnut slab with inlaid bands of bronze encased in an epoxy resin. Laminated leather stools comfortably accommodate seating for four or more at the island. The perimeter of the kitchen was purposely kept quiet with creamy enameled Pyrolave lavastone work surfaces (a must-have for David, who loved the material in their previous home) and a textural porcelain Mutina tile backsplash, designed by architect Patricia Urquiola.

The print version of this article appeared with the headline: All Things Considered.