A vintage key bowl produced for the Chicago Athletic Association, an iconic city institution that closed in 2007, adds luster and shine to the countertop. “I wanted to integrate those pieces that had a lot of Chicago history attached to them,” says interior designer Vern Yip.
A polished chrome faucet complements the kitchen’s Arts and Crafts-style design elements.
An oversized, stainless steel sink — designed with input from professional chefs — accommodates both food prep and cleaning duties. A bottom basin rack prevents pots and pans from scratching the sink’s surface and protects fragile stemware and dinnerware.
A sliding cutting board, crafted from American walnut, is among the sink’s interchangeable components.
A plastic utensil tray, which rests on the sink’s accessory ledge, doubles as a soaking basin for soiled flatware.
When filled with double-sided ramekins, a flip tray turns mis en place station for the home cook.
A vintage matchstick holder, purchased at P.O.S.H, a Chicago boutique that specializes in hotel silver, restaurant china and flea market finds, adds a pop of color on the neutral quartz countertop.
The kitchen backsplash, clad in stone and glass mosaic tile, echoes the design of wall-to-wall tiling in the powder room. Vern selected a Roman brick proportion to echo Frank Lloyd Wright’s own emphasis on linear forms.
Countertop appliances include a single-serve coffeemaker that accommodates busy professionals. Stainless steel surfaces counterbalance the apartment's warmer metallic fixtures and finishes.
Candy- and cookie-filled canister jars add texture and color to the countertop. Swedish treats also pay tribute to one of Chicago’s most influential ethnic groups: In the early 20th century, Chicago was considered the Swedish-American capital of the United States.
The kitchen comes stocked with a gourmet cook's collection of high-end appliances, including a soup blender and a coffee-/hot-water maker.
For ease of use, a 14-quart food processor is nestled near the induction cooktop and microwave.
A wall rack is stocked with “every spice you could possibly conceive of at your fingertips,” says Vern. The colorful assortment of jars complements the apartment's Global Spice color palette.
Glass-fronted wall cabinets recall design features — most notably, cross bracing and mullion detailing — of Chicago's iconic Water Tower, says Vern. The designer filled each cabinet with a color-saturated, mouth-blown glass vase.
"Storage is important, especially when you live in an urban environment and you don’t have the square footage that you have in the suburbs," says Vern. "Every square inch counts, so this kitchen is really thoughtfully designed."
Drawer pulls and square knobs in an antique nickel finish reference the Arts and Crafts movement's emphasis on simple, strong lines.