A Contemporary Kitchen in Castle Harbor Designed by Susan Rocco of The Kitchenworks

Editor’s Note: Haute Living caught up with Susan Rocco of The Kitchenworks who gave us an inside look at their latest project. 

Through careful design decisions and a guiding concept, this kitchen embodies a balance showing deference to the natural surroundings through contemporary elements.

This sun-drenched kitchen in a Fort Lauderdale beach residence is surrounded by picturesque views of the Intracoastal waterway and enveloped by lush tropical landscaping. Because of these arresting vistas, we sought to design a kitchen that would reference the unique characteristics of the site. Furthermore, the home is the clients’ secondary residence and a stark contrast to their primary home in a colder, metropolitan setting. This informed the way we approached our design decisions, influenced our approach to design a kitchen as a reminder of place; strongly supporting the quality of its surroundings- the warmth, airy, crisp, sunny and relaxed mood and characteristics of beachside living. Selecting the proper finishes and crafting a clean, contemporary composition for the layout was essential to achieve our goals.

Photo courtesy of The Kitchenworks
The symmetrical composition of the kitchen with the cabinets extending to the ceiling was devised to let the views speak simultaneously with the shapes in the kitchen taking precedence. We did not want to create visual breaks with staggered cabinet heights or busy forms. The clean, slab door style was chosen for it’s simplicity embodying a relaxed and simple mood. On the cooktop wall, the client chose to do a window backsplash rather than a solid wall. The view is carefully framed by the cabinets where functional requirements become opportunities to further support the spatial quality we sought to create. A row of cabinets above cleverly conceal the hood preventing it from otherwise becoming an object standing in the way of the vantage point. We chose a hood liner with the least possible depth. Rather than keeping all the cabinets the same depth of the hood and losing storage space or staggering their depths creating busyness, we arranged the wall cabinets in two rows of two different depths keeping a minimal composition and opportunely aiding to pull the eye towards the view beyond.  
Photo courtesy of The Kitchenworks
Playing off on relating to the site, we chose to finish the cabinets above the window and the appliances  in stainless steel as an accent finish that subtly reflects the surrounding environment, the silver gleam in the water and resplendence of the sun. The stainless is delicately contrasted by a darker wood finish. We chose a custom stain on maple wood to add warmth. It was the perfect shade giving off a warm impression from a distance but revealing an interesting blend of hues upon closer inspection that echo the tonal variety of the canal water. The countertops are a pure white quartz, bouncing off the glow of the outdoors. We designed the island with a waterfall edge to create the effect of continuity, for the eye to glide past the surface towards the view outside.