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From a glass backsplash to apple-green drawers, this kitchen by Chris Smith and Claire Baldwin of CMS Architecture & Design is unique. Here, more than a dozen of the best ideas.

Backsplash

Instead of tiles, CMS (212-219-9191) chose tempered 1/4-inch-thick glass sheets painted apple-green on the back (Galaxy Glass & Stone; 800-378-9042 or www.galaxycustom.com). The easy-to-clean glass panels are long—six feet in places—and the nearly seamless wall complements the industrial-looking 60-inch Viking stove ($7,850; 888-VIKING1).

Layout

The 12-foot island has an Elkay prep sink ($408; 630-572-3192) that faces the stove and pantry. Harry Bertoia barstools from Knoll in polished chrome provide seating at the island and at the desk in the corner ($970; 212-343-4000).

Divider Design

CMS custom-designed the geometric maple open shelves between the kitchen and the family room. The counter, made of Fossil Stone (limestone embedded with seashells), has a straight edge—more modern than the usual rounded one ($85 a square foot from Putnam Granite; 845-628-3900).

Pantry

California Closets put relatively shallow shelves into the pantry—10 inches deep on the side walls and 18 inches in the back—so cans and bottles don't get lost. The bottom shelf is extra deep and tall for oversize items, like paper towels, while the baskets hold onions and potatoes (888-336-9709).

Ceiling and Floors

Instead of the standard Sheetrock ceiling, CMS installed poplar planks the same width as those used for the white-oak floors. The floors were limed, then coated with durable StreetShoe Satin Finish, which is nearly odorless when applied ($72 a gallon; 800-441-1934 or www.basiccoatings.com).

Cabinet Interiors

Inspired by the colorful lining of a Dolce & Gabbana shoe, Baldwin painted the drawer and cabinet interiors a bright green, "so you get a bit of the unexpected in your everyday tasks." (Also, the color matches the paint used for the glass backsplash.) Since the drawers are so large, the wooden dividers are generously spaced. Custom drawer organizers are available through the Container Store; the shop's free book, The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen and Pantry Organization, is a useful resource (800-733-3532).

Cabinet Fronts

CMS designed the stainless steel cabinets as well as the custom inserts of layered maple veneer that are hand-gouged 1/8 inch deep to add texture and highlight the grain. The pulls from Jado are simple, so they don't compete with the distinctive gouging (from $10; 800-227-2734).

Published April 2003
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