A passion for food + fashion

Kitchen Makeover

In Design, Fashion on June 18, 2012 at 3:14 pm

My friend Kim Friday, who is a senior fashion editor at Women’s Wear Daily, is also a fierce cook. So when I noticed kitchen demo photos going up on her Facebook page a couple months ago, I couldn’t wait to see the finished results. She started with this.

Kim Friday’s Kitchen: Pre-Makeover

Poor little Lola (pictured above) needed a more stylish space for her kibble, so Kim took her editor’s eye and created a super chic kitchen in a 30-square-foot space. Here it is, ready for its closeup! The paint colors all have lovely names like the Martha Stewart Popcorn on the walls or the Farrow & Ball Elephant’s Breathe on the cabinets. The space seems so much bigger thanks to sleek cabinets, integrated appliances (like a Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawer) and other clever space savers. She gives us the skinny, below…

The Reveal: Kim Friday’s Kitchen

What were some of the design challenges in designing the space?
First and foremost its size—30 square feet, welcome to New York City!—and L-shape. I used finger pulls for hardware, a garage door to conceal the microwave, an integrated dishwashing drawer that blends right into the cabinets, and painted pegboard (in honor of Julia Child) the same color as the wall so the pots and pans look like they are floating. Everything has its place.

A pegboard is painted the same color as the wall so pots appear to be floating.

My building was also a challenge as it was constructed in 1931, which meant all kinds of soffits that concealed plumbing or electrical that couldn’t be moved. My kitchen designer, Sally Humphreys, had her work cut out for her.
Did your experience as a fashion editor come into play?
I think for me the new kitchen had to tick three boxes that were equally important—maximize space, be super functional and look great. I approached it much like I would a shoot starting with tear sheets and images of kitchens I liked, paint chips, appliances and accessories that spoke to me. When I couldn’t find specific things I wanted I improvised, which is very much a stylist’s trick. My spice rack is in fact a picture shelf from West Elm, and I made my own kitchen mat with fabric, spray adhesive and polyurethane.

Metal Picture Ledge via westelm.com

Kim’s spice shelf

What is the first you cooked in your new kitchen?
I planned on doing a simple salad with sweet grape tomatoes that my vegetable guy on Madison/72nd squirrels away for me, drizzled with the J. Leblanc hazelnut oil I got on my birthday trip to Paris, and a cheese soufflé, served with a gorgeous bottle of ’98 Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame that I’ve been saving for the occasion. Plans changed when it was finally finished on the weekend True Blood premiered it’s new season. I always host True Blood Sunday with friends so instead the first meal ended up being an ode to Louisiana with a crazy good seafood gumbo with cornbread muffins and a mixed berry crumble for dessert.
What five things will we always find in your pantry/fridge?
1. Intelligentsia coffee, I live for their El Gallo organic breakfast blend
2. Couscous – I like Savion’s Homestyle Plain Passover version that’s made with Matzo
3. Some sort of fish, lately a lot of local wild flounder and sea scallops
4. Assorted vegetables. In the winter root vegetables and kale, in the summer I love all sorts of tomatoes, beets, spinach and sweet corn
5. Stoli Vodka & Rose’s Lime Juice for gimlets
What five things will we always find in your wardrobe?
1. T by Alexander Wang v-neck tee shirts
2. Slouchy Tse Cashmere sweaters
3. Rick Owens or vintage Ghost wide-leg pants or pull-on midi skirts
4. Statement Accessories – lately it’s this massive black leather bangle by Honest Joe, a gorgeous wood and horn ring my pals at Sticks & Stones in Portland gave me and my engraved neon Original Satchel Company bag.
5. Ann Demuelemeester boots in winter, Christian Louboutin sandals in the summer.
What is your advice for designing a space that looks good and gets the job done?
Make a list of what you use regularly and what are the biggest challenges when you are cooking, then start ripping out tear sheets from magazines and printing pics from websites and blogs. You’ll see a trend fairly quickly of what you gravitate towards.
From left: Fretwork bracket in doorway salvaged from the porch of Kim’s childhood home. Umbra floating shelves hold her favorite cookbooks.
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  1. Smart strategies! The kitchen is not that big… but you keep it in good condition using light colors and nice drawer organizers.

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