Those twin wine cabinets: You’d be forgiven if you were distracted by them, or by the wide swath of wenge wrapped around the quartzite countertop. Bells and whistles abound in this Chicago kitchen perched high above Lake Michigan, designed by one of America’s greatest kitchen gurus, Mick De Giulio.
Having worked for these homeowners twice before over the course of two decades, De Giulio was pretty sure of what they needed from their empty nest this third time. “I already knew how she used the kitchen, and that they entertain,” he says. “That allowed us to really hit the ground running.”
As part of the renovation, he knocked down walls to create a more open floor plan and lowered the ceiling to create coves that hid the air ducts. “It really gives a sense of more light and space overall,” he says. Wide-plank walnut in a Norwegian finish went down on the floor, and the cabinets were covered in a tranquil Magnolia-white gloss by SieMatic.
But it’s the details that really leave an impression: the faceted cabinet doors with their ultrathin pulls, for one, and serrated trim around the fridges that looks like the inside of a box of matchsticks. “The clients didn’t want it to be super-modern, with a hard feel,” the designer explains. “The faceted fronts give dimension. An edge detail gives more texture and takes it away from being so flat.”
From every vantage point in the kitchen, you can see Lake Michigan, and the room’s wide layout mirrors the view. “There is a horizontality that connects to the lake and the sky. It gives that sense of serenity,” De Giulio says. “You see that countertop? It looks like it’s floating.”
Designer Mick De Giulio started with the floors. “We wanted it light, with a natural feel,” he says. Walnut planks were given what he calls a “Norwegian finish, so you have a stronger grain on the floor against the cabinetry. It provided a contrast, and also a mix of materials.” Custom barstools from Saint Dizier Home.
De Giulio pioneered the concept of “lips” along the sink edge, where cooking accessories like colanders and cutting boards can hang. “It’s all over the place now,” he says of the design he created for Kallista. “I wish I had a patent on it!”
Next to the tall Sub-Zero wine unit and main fridge is a cabinet for glassware and other accessories.
At Close Range
This sliding Taj Mahal quartzite door hides a pull-out toaster tray.
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