what can we say... we like white and gray! (kitchens that is...)

Those of you that have visited us at the studio have probably had the opportunity to poke, prod and analyze our glossy modern kitchen. We thought it time to share what we like about it, and how we arrived at the design. The studio kitchen is part of the Retail Studio's cabinetry line - Imbue.

Imbue was born of rigorous collaboration between interior designers (us!) at bright designlab and builders (them!) at Hammer & Hand. We draw on eclectic influences: Bauhaus and NW Modern design, age-old traditions of artisanship and craft, contemporary product design and manufacture,and the celebrated creative dynamism of Portland, Oregon.  We playfully named our cabinet "personalities" to represent different finish levels - from the glossy face of Jasper and the slick laminates of Talia, to the warm wood of Jett and sustainable grains of Pippi.

As interior designers who work on kitchens on a day-to-day basis, it wasn't easy deciding what we wanted to put in OUR studio kitchen. I'm pretty sure the only way we were able to convince ourselves to land on something was with the promise that we would change it later (I guess we are afraid of commitment!). Being minimalists and modernists at heart, we wanted to start with something that had a clean simple palette with just a pop of color. In an old loft space, such as our studio, we love having a open feel to the kitchen without upper cabinets weighing it down. So we chose to add an accent shelf - in walnut - for display and storage, but also to contrast the stark white cabinets and bring in an element of warmth and texture. We tied this in with walnut bar seating that wraps the island. The gray counters and rectangular glass tile backspash, add just enough contrast and add to the visual feast. The kitchen is, of course, complemented by the stunning SMEG appliances from the Piano collection, which are available at the Retail Studio.  The appliances are cleanly detailed, and some have a sculptural element to them which is almost mid-century in styling.  One of our favorite design details in the kitchen is the counter that waterfalls from the oven along the twelve foot counter and all the way to the floor on the right.  We took great care in the alignment of colors, the dark wrapping the light, as if the kitchen was unfolding to show us its gray middle.  Often times we approach the challenge of kitchen design as we would solving the Rubix cube or playing Tetris...needless to say we had a lot of fun dreaming this one up!

- Leela

gray Chroma counter waterfall, and walnut accent shelf.walnut accent shelf and bar.pullouts, with dovetail and interior silverware drawer keep the cabinet fronts uniform.full kitchen in retail studio.