Mark Cunningham Creates a Chef’s Dream Kitchen in New York City

Mark Cunningham Creates a Chef’s Dream Kitchen in New York City

New York City isn’t exactly known for its generous kitchen space, but a professional chef’s

New York City isn’t exactly known for its generous kitchen space, but a professional chef’s needs go beyond the gloomy galley setups many urbanites are accustomed to at home. When one such culinary master and his husband called up designer Mark Cunningham for help with their duplex home in the West Village, he dreamed up a spin on the open-concept kitchen and living room.

69 bank street, ny, ny residence designer mark cunningham inc owner lapham location west village, ny

Back-of-House Prep Area Behind a jib door built into the cabinetry, Cunningham designed a hyperfunctional butler’s pantry, which contains a coffee station, a second dishwasher, and a pull-down
stool to access ceiling-height storage. The space allows the homeowners to keep the main island clear while hosting.

Dana Meilijson

You won’t find a sprawling white marble island or bare shelving here: With the space’s industrial bones, “the biggest thing was trying to bring warmth,” explains the designer, who worked with Michael Gilmore of Weddle Gilmore on the gut renovation.

First, Cunningham swathed the room in oak paneling. “It adds a sense of continuity, and when you’re sitting in the living room, you’re not staring at a refrigerator,” he says. While black granite countertops and black oak flooring keep the space grounded, he brought softness with more wood on the ceiling and a matching casing around the windows, which are flanked by plush wool curtains.

“The focal point” of the project, Cunningham says, is the stove, with its towering hood of blackened steel. A strip of white between the oak cabinetry and the coffered ceiling “brings a lightness” to the space—plus, says the designer, “I love how the hood breaks it.”

A seating area across from the island/table makes hosting a joy. “They love having everyone around,” Cunningham says, and even when it’s just the two of them, “they’re always at this table.”

Oak Enclosure
Custom cabinets designed with Weddle Gilmore conceal the less pretty parts of cooking—and display the good, like a robust wine collection. The custom table acts as both island and dining table; the cabinetry below is set on wheels so it can be removed for larger parties. Stools: Lepere. Faucet: Dornbracht. Curtains: Ralph Lauren Home.


Nearby Lounge. To counter the potential coldness of a wall of windows, Cunningham outfitted the living area in rich textures, like wool on the sofa and leather on the chairs. The sofa and brown chair are his custom designs; the red vintage Trelax chair is by Pierre Guariche. The lithographs are by Ellsworth Kelly. Pillows: ALT for Living. Coffee table: Atelier Démiurge. Side table: Wyeth. Rug: Sacco.

Dana Meilijson

Sweet Spots

These stools cradle you during lunch prep, fine dining—and the odd Zoom meeting. (PSA: Most stools come in bar or counter height, so check before you purchase.)

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