August 15, 2019

Sub-Zero, Wolf & Cove Kitchen Design Winner: Karen Swanson’s Award-winning Contemporary Kitchen


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How do you transform a small traditional urban kitchen into a peaceful, contemporary gathering place for a young Boston family?  Designer Karen Swanson of New England Design Works rose to the challenge in a house dating back to 1864 and earned top honors for Contemporary Kitchen in this Sub-Zero, Wolf & Cove Kitchen Design Contest winner.

Karen united the original dining room (which was underutilized) with the small kitchen space to create a gracious gathering area that now offers a kitchen, dining area and living area all on this one floor. Two brick chase ways, which were originally seen as an impediment, where deftly incorporated as design elements

Sub-Zero column refrigeration creates the center stage of the design. The two towering units – one a 24” all freezer unit and the other a 24” all refrigerator column –  flank the main countertop area and the 96” x40” island is centered between them in the center of the room. Wolf’s energy-efficient induction cooktop gave the couple superior cooking ability, while eliminating that eliminated the need for ventilation that was vented to the outside, which would have been very difficult in a five-story row house. Instead, Karen utilized a recirculating ventilation hood and avoided having to install make up air. The couple fell in love with the Wolf M Series Oven on a trip to Clarke’s 7 Tide Showroom in Boston Seaport.

Grey cabinetry, stone and warm woods are flooded with natural light from windows and a door in the front and back of the building. A banquette nestles the dining area in the corner by a window and beautifully designed floating cabinets and shelves add visual interest and a feeling of airiness to the space. The completed suite invokes a serene, peaceful, warm feeling while being streamlined and modern at the same time.