Anatomy of A Gray Kitchen

I have kitchens on my mind… Seriously, I can’t shake this kitchen off my mind. I’ve been a long time fan of everything Steven Gambrel does and this kitchen is part of one of his recent Sag Harbor projects. Personally, I think it’s fantastic and deserves a post on its own. These are my take-aways from the project:

  1. Get the architecture right. Part of a historical home in Sag Harbor with a coastal, country vibe, the interiors are reflective of just that: wide vertical planks on the walls, varying width for more character, multi-paned windows with contrasting sash (the Gambrel touch)
  2. Plan for great lighting. In addition to a great amount of natural light, a mix of flush mounts and pendants cover the lighting needs of any high-traffic kitchen.


3. Keep it interesting. Instead of opting for matching finishes, mix your metals. The antique bronze finish on the lights and table legs is complemented with polished chrome and silver finishes on the faucets and cabinet hardware.

4. Embrace the heights of ceilings. In older homes, where low ceilings are inherent to the architecture, vertical planks help create the illusion of more height. Open shelving and well placed artwork do the same.

5. No island, no problem. To keep the view open, a large farm table stands as both island prep space and in-kitchen dining area.


6. Well chosen color palette. The colors you choose can make or break the charm of a kitchen. Steven Gambrel’s love of blues and grays is displayed in contrast with a rusty orange farm table. The bleached pine floors keep the room light.

7. Juxtaposition. Old and new coexist beautifully to create a space that feels collected over time, well-thought out and interesting. The clean lines and historical character of the room are in tension (the right kind) with the choice of more contemporary furnishings. Mid-century modern ¨wishbone¨ chairs with leather cushions, and the ¨odd¨ leather chair are  unexpected, yet perfect for this kitchen.

One of the interesting things about great design is that it’s not that easy to replicate. This particular project has been created over the course of many months. It took careful planning/searching for the right pieces so I won’t pretend that I can just throw together a few items and recreate the look.  Nonetheless, I put together some thoughts that capture part of what makes this kitchen great for me. Hope you like it as much as I do.


Have a great week!