This Partners 4, Design Minimalist Kitchen brings research to reality
Pictures of Scott Gilbertson
Looking back on her many years as an interior designer, Anne Newman of Partners 4, Design considers the clients of this contemporary lakeside kitchen to be “outstanding” and “unique” – largely because owners Elise (who, believe it or not, grew up in the house next door) and Brian came to her with a clear vision already in mind for their dream home.
But designing this dream home (which, save for its foundation, has been completely gutted and rebuilt) has been a true “labor of love” for his clients, Newman says. Brian, in particular, was particularly sensitive to their vision and had already researched what elements were essential for the couple. For example, the couple knew they wanted Poggenpohl cabinets, and Partners 4, Design happens to be the Minneapolis dealer for German-made cabinets. “It’s common for us to have a contact say, ‘We’re interested in [the Poggenpohl cabinets]and by the way, we also hear you designing kitchens! says Newman.
Elise and Brian’s initial conversation with the P4D team showed that they wanted a contemporary design aesthetic and a minimalist, open-plan space, preferably brandishing a refined black and white color theme. They wanted to prioritize organization and cleanliness in a family-oriented space that included a coffee bar, steamer, hidden cold air return grills, minimal hardware, and more.
The challenge for Newman, along with his collaborators and colleagues Nicole Sirek and Andy Ostreim, was to find a way to fit those wants and needs into a clean, modern design that didn’t feel sterile. Wide-plank parquet brings warmth into the space from the ground up, and cabinetry has been lowered to show off massive bay windows that allow natural light to stream evenly from one side of the kitchen into the adjoining living room .
The smallest details (like the flat Italian Bocci outlets on the side of the island that were carefully set into the 1.2 centimeter thick countertop material, for example) were of equal importance. Additionally, to eliminate cabinet hardware, Newman incorporated push-to-open drawers, electronic upper cabinets, and a knock-to-open mechanism for the dishwasher. In the end, the Partners 4, Design team realized their clients’ kitchen dreams and more, combining the initial wish list with the company’s design expertise to create a cohesive final look – a look Elise and Brian couldn’t be happier with. “It was everything you hope for as a designer,” says Newman. “It’s their home, and you just want them to like it when you leave.”