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Glamorous Baltimore Kitchen

Brass tones bring modern flair to a classic—and compact—kitchen inside a Baltimore rowhouse

Written and produced by Charlotte Safavi
  • Jennifer Hughes

    A young professional couple had huge dreams for their little kitchen. It would be the place they’d cook sensational new dishes, the spot they’d stylishly entertain friends. Only one quandary stood in their way—how to pack all of that function and fabulousness into 225 square feet, the extent of space available in their new Baltimore rowhouse. 

    “The space constraints and the long, narrow footprint were concerns,” designer Bria Hammel says. “A rowhouse presents unique challenges.” The Minnesota-based designer met them, crafting a layout that maximizes the modest square footage. 

    A Wolf cooktop and ovens let the homeowners flex their culinary muscles on one side of the light-filled kitchen while, on the opposite wall, a wet bar with a Sub-Zero wine refrigerator caters to entertaining. 

    Photography: Jennifer Hughes

    Interior designer: Bria Hammel, Bria Hammel Interiors, 750 Main St., Suite 214, Mendota Heights, MN 55118; 651/688-1121;

    Cabinetry “Flat-Panel Inset” in Overcast by Crystal Cabinets with custom brass plates and rivets: Smithouse Construction;
    Countertops “Nuvolato Marble” with Waterfall Edge: contact local cut-stone suppliers.
    Backsplash tile “Pearl White Polished Fan Mosaic”: Elon Tile & Stone;
    Cabinet pulls “Hudson Pull,” knobs “Port Royal Knob”: Water Street Brass;
    Sink “Cape Dory Cast Iron Sink” in White: Kohler;
    Faucet “East Linear” in Satin Bronze: Newport Brass;
    Cooktop, double wall ovens, refrigerator integrated with cabinetry “French Door,” ice maker, wine refrigerator, dish-washer: SubZero/Wolf;
    Wall and trim paint “Decorators White”: Benjamin Moore;
    Pendants “Country Industrial Pendant” in Antique Burnished Brass with White Glass by E.F. Chapman for Visual Comfort: Circa Lighting;
    Bar stools “Bertoia”: Knoll;
    Flooring “Red Oak: contact local flooring suppliers.

  • Jennifer Hughes

    Cooking Wall

    Playing off the grid pattern established by a wall of muntined windows that bathe the kitchen in natural light, Hammel used paneled cabinetry as she set up two distinct zones separated by a showpiece island. A cooktop and expansive vent hood sit on one wall. 

  • Jennifer Hughes

    Wet Bar

    It’s mimicked on the opposite wall, where a wet bar quenches the homeowners’ thirst for serious socializing. “When the couple are entertaining, they can cook and prep the meal while their friends can access and enjoy cocktails on the other side,” Hammel says. “The setup created instant symmetry.”

    Organic shapes, including curved faucets, knobs, and a fan-shape marble mosaic backsplash, contrast the grid pattern seen in windows and cabinetry. 

  • Jennifer Hughes

    Gray Cabinetry

    Good looks were vital—for the sophisticated couple and the home’s open floor plan. “You see the kitchen when you walk upstairs to the main living area,” Hammel says. “That’s why we gave the island a dramatic waterfall edge in Nuvolato marble. I like its impact, its smooth lines, its sense of movement.” Its gray hue repeats on cabinetry, which runs to the ceiling for maximum storage. Substantial satin-brass hardware pops against the neutral canvas. “Scale was important,” Hammel says. “With 10-foot-high ceilings, hardware can disappear.”

    Brass finishes on the faucets, custom vent hood, Visual Comfort pendants, and Water Street Brass hardware add glimmer. 

  • Jennifer Hughes

    Functional Seating 

    The oversize hardware and twin pendants infuse an industrial edge that nods to Baltimore’s history. Milk-glass shades and an antique-brass finish on the light fixtures layer in a subtle forever-there vibe. “The rowhouse is new, but I wanted some elements to feel like they’d been here awhile,” Hammel says. She also chose 3.5-inch red oak floorboards—rather than wide planks—to emulate an earlier age. The wood flooring adds warmth that’s echoed in brass elements, from the banded-and-riveted hood to faucets and bar stools that finish the kitchen in sparkling style.

    Knoll bar stools let friends and family, even canine companion Penny, cozy up to the Nuvolato marble island.

  • Jennifer Hughes

    Glamorous Barstools

    Open-grid bar stools, glass-front cabinetry over the bar, and a wall of windows ensure an airy feel in the small space.

  • Jennifer Hughes

    Dining Area

    Red oak floors and gray tones connect the kitchen with the dining room.

  • Emily Jenkins Followill