The Birman's Chicago Kitchen

When self-confessed growth marketing nerd, Greg and his wife Nika, set about undertaking the renovation of their new Chicago home in a project they named ‘Home 2.0’, they had some bold ideas on how to revitalise the kitchen space.

They wanted to create a timeless, elegant look, that delivered a serene space with the calm tranquillity that comes from a room filled with natural light.

They had a vision of a kitchen where the sink was the hero, but not just as a gleaming white piece of eye candy; it had to be practical and serve multiple essential functions. Greg had always wanted a classic Shaws sink and chose one of our hero pieces - the large and extremely functional Apron Fronted Shaker Double Bowl, which was the perfect width for its placement.

The Double Bowl’s dimensions beautifully complement the elegant period sash window above the sink and fitted perfectly into the existing cabinet box they were working with.

The cabinetry presented the Birman’s with one of their biggest challenges. Having designed the new kitchen themselves, Greg and Nika were keen to upcycle and reuse the existing Omega cabinets but at the same time completely change the layout of the kitchen.

They liked the existing Shaker cabinetry, so the idea was to completely remove the suspended high-level cabinets as well as the peninsula units and the existing sink. This allowed them to open up the space to more light and reposition the new Shaws sink to be under the window. The suspended cabinets, once unreachable, were cleverly repurposed for use as a vertical serving cabinet, while the peninsula was converted into an island. With these bold changes, the couple maintained all the storage space they needed, whilst adding more square footage to the kitchen and bringing in a lot more precious, natural light. The pure whiteness of the Shaws Double Bowl sink inspired them to choose countertops that were as white as possible to make the transition between the two as seamless as possible. The sink was embellished with a beautiful and contemporary Polished Brass tap by Perrin & Rowe to create a heightened sense of luxury.

In addition, the homeowners stained the wooden floors darker to blend with the cabinets, painted the walls white, added a herringbone tiled backsplash, and replaced the microwave with a low-profile Smeg range hood. Finally, they replaced the outdated chrome cabinetry hardware with brushed brass pulls from Emtek to bring out the rich walnut colour of the cabinets.

Images courtesy of Greg Birman.