Rochester Kitchen Boasts a French Industrial Feel

Two design styles become one inside a soft, light-filled kitchen that flaunts increased functionality and international flair

Photos by Marit Williams

In this refreshed Rochester kitchen, natural light bounces off the Calacatta turquoise marble island through three new windows.

Sometimes, when two design approaches come together, it elevates the overall aesthetic of a space. This is certainly the case in this Rochester kitchen, which features a marrying of soft, yet modern French and industrial touches that result in a uniquely luxurious atmosphere. The homeowners called on Beyond Kitchens’ Kailee Klevan, lead designer, CKBD, to refresh the 2005 design along with the adjacent laundry room, and now, the new kitchen is a far cry from the dark, dreary space it used to be. “A few of the homeowners’ goals were to improve the lighting in the space, add windows to better capture the view into the backyard, and include lower, more efficient storage,” explains Klevan. “[They also wanted to] incorporate pieces and finishes with a French-inspired style.”

The sleek La Cornue range embodies the essence of the French industrial aesthetic.

Working closely alongside the client, she accomplished these goals and then some: The revamped space is not only highly efficient but also incorporates “intentional” base cabinet storage that “would suit [the client’s] needs,” Klevan says. This was achieved by eliminating the wall cabinets, a decision that created a more open feel and “allowed the walls to breathe.” Now, the kitchen features spice pullouts, utensil storage, large drawers with organizers, tray dividers, and a mixer stand.

Natural light also seeps into the kitchen through three new windows. “Previously, there were two windows in the corner with a wall of cabinets, causing the space to feel dark and closed-off,” Klevan says. “Installing a wall of windows and repositioning the sink allowed for an abundance of natural light to pour in, and it makes the space feel much larger.” The airy hue of the island and accompanying backsplash also lends to the light-filled quality, with honed Calacatta Turquoise marble brightening the space and reflecting sunlight.

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets provide ample space for storage and decorative displays.

While the kitchen is undoubtedly magazine-worthy, it doesn’t showcase a pecking order of popular trends. The French industrial styling offers its own brand of visuals, with light colors and sophisticated details that meld with industrial touches in metals and fixtures. It’s also missing something found in many of today’s kitchens: pendant lights. “Deciding against pendants allowed for an open sightline to the stunning hood, marble backsplash, La Cornue range, new wall of windows, and sconce lights,” Klevan says. “They simply would have been a distraction, and the space feels perfectly balanced without them.”

This approach allows the distinctive features to stand on their own. Klevan reflects, “The more you study the kitchen, the more you realize just how special each detail is.”

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