Regina Bilotta, Bilotta Kitchens of New York, 150 E. 58th St., 9th Floor, New York, NY 10155; 866/245-6882, bilotta.com.
Photographs by Tria Giovan and Peter Rymwid
Text by Amy Elbert
Produced by Bonnie Maharam
Where do you start when designing a kitchen? Focus first on the big picture, advises New York designer Regina Bilotta. "Don't get hung up on the details. Stand back and think about the overall feeling you want a room to have. What are the colors and tones you want to live with?" asks the designer. "Are you looking for bright whites, cool grays, or warm browns? Then you can get into the details."
Burnished copper brightened with shimmering surfaces were Bilotta's vision for the kitchen and pantry at the 2011 Kips Bay Show House in New York City. The homeowners asked for a welcoming kitchen where they could entertain large groups, accommodate caterers--and have a place for the family to gather comfortably. "The idea was to create an intimate kitchen, which is why I brought in copper and warm colors," Bilotta says.
A copper countertop with an integral sink casts a golden glow. The raw copper will patinate over time, similar to the way a copper roof or gutter does. "It will scratch, but the more you use it, the better it looks," Bilotta says. Above the counter, an almost-quilted effect is created with ogee tiles in a mix of cream and gold tones. Bilotta repeated the copper story on the opposite wall with custom-cut, copper-backed glass tiles behind the range.
While the designer focused on creating warm, intimate spaces, she also used reflective surfaces--stainless steel appliances, glistening backsplash tiles, glass doors and light fixtures, and metallic paints--to brighten the rooms.
Handcrafted linen-white painted cabinets brushed with a brown glaze keep the mood light and speak to the house's traditional styling. The large kitchen demanded visual weight, however, so Bilotta chose stained cherrywood for furniture-style pieces such as the island base, corner hutch, and cabinets flanking the range.
A corner banquette warmed by cherry paneling is ideal for casual dining and family time. A flat-panel television mounted on a nearby wall functions not just for TV viewing, but also as a computer monitor. Computers are a mainstay of today's kitchens, the designer notes, with many homeowners preferring to go online for recipes rather than searching cookbooks.
Decorative glass pendants and recessed fixtures are equipped with dimmers, so lighting can be dialed down for intimate dinners or turned up for task lighting.
To meet the family's requirements for entertaining, Bilotta outfitted the spaces with two side-by-side ranges, two warming drawers, two dishwashers, a 42-inch refrigerator, two separate refrigerator drawers, and a wine cooler.
The butler's pantry links the kitchen to the dining room. Glass-front cabinets and wide drawers provide space for china, crystal, and silver. "The pantry is all meant to support the dining room," Bilotta says. "This is a true family-oriented environment, and it's perfect for entertaining."
Cabinetry (designed by Regina Bilotta): Rutt Handcrafted Cabinetry, 717/351-1700, ruttcabinetry.biz.
Finish: "Linen White" with glaze, and cherry with a natural stain.
Countertop on island and range wall ("Roja Alicante Marble"); flooring ("Jerusalem Gold Limestone"): Eastern Stone, 914/937-2100, easternstoneny.com.
Countertop on sink wall (natural copper): Brooks Custom, 800/244-5432, brookscustom.com.
Backsplash behind range (custom-cut "La Leaf" in a blend of Copper and Antique Copper); backsplash behind sink ("Toledo Classique" in Crema Marfil and Calacatta Gold): Artistic Tile, 877/528-5401, artistictile.com.
Range (dual fuel); refrigerator; warming drawers; dishwasher; refrigerator drawers: Electrolux/Icon, 877/435-3287, electroluxicon.com.
Faucets (Vintage Collection): Whitehaus Collection, whitehauscollection.com. Available through Bilotta Kitchens of New York, 866/245-6882, bilotta.com.
Pendant lights over island ("Billet," handblown Murano glass-ribbed shades #R197.0002): Chameleon Fine Lighting, 212/355-6300, chameleon59.com.
Lighting controls: Lutron Electronics, 888/588-7661, lutron.com.