open-plan-kitchen with reflective surfaces and bright lights
Photo: Kenneth Chen

Open Plan Kitchen

Like many homeowners, Sara Lopergolo and Ed Wood love having the kitchen in their downtown Manhattan loft open to the conversation and activity in the adjacent living areas. But one glance at the cluttered restaurant-prep-table island and the homemade plywood countertop that ran the length of the kitchen’s one wall made it obvious why the cobbled-together cooking zone was the area of the home that most often made them cringe.

Of course, closing off the kitchen wasn't really an option. So Lopergolo spent years mulling over an upgrade. She always envisioned modern white cabinetry with slab doors but abandoned the idea of stainless-steel appliances when she got a look at gleaming, glass-door models from Jenn-Air. With help from This Old House magazine, she arrived at the perfect solution: a uniform row of glossy, white-lacquered cabinets set around even shinier glass-front appliances and fitted with charcoal-colored resin countertops. Not only would the reflective surfaces appear cohesive, but they would also be a sleek counterpoint to the loft’s rougher-textured exposed brick and beams.
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