Love it or Leave it?

The June 2010 issue of ELLE DECOR features a pretty remarkable kitchen renovation by Manhattan party planner, Bronson van Wyck. van Wyck and his partner, Andrew Fry share an apartment in a New York building from 1884. They set out to create a kitchen space that would evoke images of what you would expect to find in an English or French manor house. They certainly achieved their goal! While the kitchen is thoroughly modern, it certainly has a European, country feel. The use of bold, dark colors against white subway tile feels supremely English to me.

{I love the open shelving above the sink.}

{How great is the chalkboard paint on the refrigerator? I love the beautiful colors of the glasses on display! What do you think of the single light bulb in a plain socket? }

{So, on to the big question. What do you think of the vent hood sheathed in white subway tiles? I really think the kitchen is fantastic, but I have reservations about it. Is it ingenious or odd? What’s the verdict…love it or leave it?}

Image Credit: Tara Striano for ELLE DECOR

33 thoughts on “Love it or Leave it?

  1. I like it a lot in general but (personally) would never choose that color green for the walls. The color looks a little dated but maybe it’s so out it’s in?!

  2. For me its a little bit all over the place. I like that it has personality (i liked the donkey head) and that it looks like someone actually cooks in there. I don’t like how everything is mismatched – it almost looks temporary rather than a costly overhaul. Its not something I would do but Im sure it reflects the owners tastes very well and thats what its all about. (Im also sure anyone with this design style would absolutely hate my house with a fierce passion so to each his own) So I guess for that reason I give it a ‘love it’.

  3. With the dark green walls, dark cabinets, darkish wood island, dark open shelves and chalkboard paint I think the white subway tile brings light to the space – especially since it reflects light. I think the tiled hood works to keep that corner of the kitchen seamless and open. A stainless hood would probably make for a dark corner. I love everything about this kitchen….except for the tile floor which doesn’t seem to “go.”

  4. Hmmm….I am having mixed reactions to that vent hood too. On one hand, I applaud the ingenuity of applying a veneer of tile to the vent. But, on the other, it almost makes the kitchen look top heavy—could be the trapezoidal shape? But, overall, a wonderful kitchen with lots of fantastic details. And, surprisingly, I kind of really dig the British Racing Green walls….

  5. I love the covered vent! (but mine is covered, too–so it is a preference!) Somehow I think they got it right. It is unique…but I wouldn’t call it odd. Unique in a good way! By the way…remember Badgley Mischka (forgive the spelling) ranch home..they have the subway tiles with dark grout and the color-coding open shelving, too. Really reminds me of that kitchen! Lovely post as always.

  6. Well, it’s certainly not an “average” kitchen, that’s for sure. What is weird to me is the subway tiles on the ceiling section. I understand why they did it, I’m just not sure I like it. Perhaps in a small space like this, having the vent cover blend into the walls (and ceiling) visually opens up the space. It’s not my fav, but I always appreciate a new idea.

  7. Hmmm…I’m torn. I love some aspects of it (open shelving, chalkboard, island), but I feel like it doesn’t flooowwww…Not really digging the green to much or the white tiling. I’d probably leave it.

  8. I love the subway tiles but could do without the hunter green. Looks too office-ish..just needs a dash of plaid. Give me a dark gray or slate blue. I’m not even bothered by the donkey head…the green needs to go!!

  9. One can tell it’s a guy’s kitchen, so utilitarian. HATE naked light bulbs anywhere. There are some restaurants who have funky lighting with exposed bulbs, I won’t go back. I would have coppered the vent hood because of the pots. Love the colored glasses with the open shelving…as long as it stays perfectly neat. And, the cookbooks & wine bottles make it look like a home. Nice post.

  10. So funny – I had the exact same reaction when I read this article! “Subway tiles! Love Love..ohhh…why did they put them on the vent?”

    I say love the entire kitchen, but leave the tiled vent.

  11. For me, it’s a perfect Somebody Else’s House – lovely to look at with all sorts of interesting things, but I wouldn’t want to live in it. That said, I do love the coloured glassware – so beautiful (but such a dust trap?) and the copper pots and pans on display. Will pass on the donkey, though!

  12. I actually really love the look of this kitchen. It’s definitely not a kitchen any one else has. I’m not a fan of that vent though. There are so many different vent hoods out there that would look amazing in this space and this just looks like they ran out of ideas (which I’m sure they did not). I do really love how they did the subway tile but every so often did a different pattern!

  13. The vent hood is the best, very subtle. If it had contrasted it would’ve been one too many elements in the room. Fabulous island! Paint color reminds me of the 1970’s. This kitchen has lots of personality and I bet it’s made some great meals.

  14. I wish I could love open shelving – but I don’t. It really is the best solution when you have a sink on the wall, like we are going to have in the new house – and my whole design team wants me to do it – but I just can’t get on board!

  15. Yes, I love it. It’s decidedly masculine yet fresh and inviting. I feel like the hunter green is a surprise, but a nice one.. The cabinets’ color is something I would have chosen in my own kitchen; like the single-bulb-socket; like the rainbow glasses; would love to live with this kitchen.

  16. I don’t love the hood, but I don’t think I’d leave it altogether- it does a good job of disguising itself when you’re not looking directly at it, however, looking at that last photo of it alone raises an eyebrow or two. On its own I would swap it for something that celebrates the hood a little more instead of trying to hide it (maybe some of that gorgeous copper?), but then again in the context of the room that may be too much. It’s a draw!

  17. The tile over the hood is over the top. A copper hood would definitely have been a great accent. Looks like a great kitchen to cook in. Love the island and the blackboard paint.

    The single light bulb reminds me of the builders who want to pass inspection – they just stick one of those up in order to pass.

  18. I love the hood, I am in seach of the perfect hood to re-do mine so I am always interested in something unexpected and this sure is! Great, beautiful post, I love your blog

  19. I do think they did an amazing job with this kitchen but I think the exception is the vent. Not entirely loving the tile covered hood, but definitely loving your blog!

  20. Love it! I am bored to death with perfect white kitchens with a sea of Carrera marble everywhere. This is refreshing.

    Love your blog by the way, I think I found you via a Pieces #FF on twitter and I’m so glad I did!

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