Design: Vani Sayeed Studios
Vani Sayeed is a Newton, Massachusetts-based interior designer and artist who has received multiple PRISM Awards from the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston for interior design. This spring Sayeed will participate in the Boston Junior League show house. She has also been featured on HGTV’s White Room Challenge, as well as published in several New England magazines. Her main challenges for this West Newton kitchen redesign were to open and brighten up the working space and provide a welcoming breakfast area for the family. The kitchen was chopped up into two rooms—a small, dark pantry that was unutilized space, and a kitchen that did not reflect the needs and aesthetics of her clients. The breakfast area was somber and unappealing.
To create a larger, more functional, light-filled space, she took down the internal wall. Continuing the streamlined appearance, all electrical outlets were installed as under-cabinet mounts, ensuring a seamless look to the walls. An integrated drain board negated the need for any countertop appliances.
Sayeed opted for long sleek work surfaces of engineered stone. She installed high gloss upper cabinets and contrasted those with horizontal-grained English sycamore under-counter cabinets. The mix of components generates strong visual interest while maintaining the clean, contemporary look the client yearned for. The kitchen already benefited from substantial ceiling height, so she maximized the upper cabinets to full height, which created additional storage for items not used daily. An appliance garage holds bulky items and frees up counter space without breaking the visual line of the cabinetry.
Because the interior space has no windows opening directly outside, Sayeed specified special LED lighting throughout the kitchen to mimic daylight. The backsplash is a pure white Thassos glass tile that bounces light around the room. Because kitchen sinks are often placed beneath windows, Sayeed created an internal window above this sink with a view into the family room.
The sleek aesthetic carries over to the adjacent light-filled eat-in area. A built-in banquette, covered in a durable all-season fabric from Gloster through Ailanthus, offers cozy and comfortable seating around a custom designed steel-base white oak breakfast table, and includes spacious under-storage.
The jewel of the kitchen is an ultimate bar area in a special metallic finish on wood. It creates an ambiance of sophisticated drama and grounds the entire space.