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Kitchen Ideas: The Modern Farmhouse

"The kitchen is a socially dynamic place, where you cook food and prepare for parties. Minimalism doesn't work."

Designed by Mike Meiré

Mike Meiré created the Dornbracht Edges’ Farm Project, a conceptual kitchen installation that debuted in Milan’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile last year, as the antithesis of the minimalist kit­chen. "Minimalism is nice to look at, but it doesn’t work in a functional kitchen," says Meiré, the creative director of Dornbracht, the German kitchen and bath fittings company. Meiré’s idealized kitchen shows the entire spectrum of getting food to the table, from growing and raising ingredients to cooking and eventually eating them. To create the barn-shaped building, he used peg board and scavenged materials. "A good chef improvises with the ingredients he or she has. I wanted to take this ritual of improvisation and extend it to design," Meiré says. On display is an extreme version of farm-to-table: A lamb looks out from its pen in a corner. "Food is becoming too abstract," Meiré says. "People don’t know where it’s coming from. I wanted to show the life cycle."

Features

Shelving

Instead of traditional cabinets with doors, Meiré installed open industrial metal shelving to display produce and pantry items. "If you have fruit lying around, it’s easy to grab, but if it’s hidden away, you wouldn’t want to," Meiré says.

Pot Rack

Inspired by metal hooks his wife, Michelle Elie, found at a flea market, Meiré fashioned a pot rack that resembles a hanging butcher shop display. He suspends a mixture of the practical (pans) and symbolic (a stuffed rabbit).

Sink and Faucet

Meiré constructed a moveable sink station with a wooden cutting board and swing-arm lamp on wheels so guests can help with prep. A garden hose supplies water to the Tara Classic faucet from Dornbracht; another hose connects to the drain of the ceramic bowl. Faucet, $857; 800-774-1181 or dornbracht.com.

Aquarium

On a shelf opposite the cooktop, Meiré placed an aquarium full of carp. "Replace goldfish with a fish you can eat. You don’t have to actually do so, but it changes your mind-set," he says.

Published December 2007
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