Material Girl | A Feel-Good Kitchen - Tina Ujlaki

When planning her kitchen, F&W's Tina Ujlaki picked materials that would look—and feel—great.

"There's so much about working with food that's tactilely pleasant, and I wanted all the surfaces in the kitchen itself to be pleasing to the touch," says Tina Ujlaki, F&W's executive food editor, explaining why she used only natural materials in her new Manhattan kitchen. For example, the burnt-cork floor feels good under her feet, is easy to wipe down and has a subtle smoky smell—"like a campfire," Tina says. She also wanted every knob and pull to feel comfortable in her hand: She chose the KitchenAid refrigerator and dishwasher in part because of their round, curved handles.


Tina wanted to paint the kitchen red, but friends cautioned her against using such a strong color. The leather "Cliff" chairs from Bizhan Home were the perfect compromise. DETAILS $750 each; 212-982-6969.


Her apartment doesn't have a gas line, so Tina chose a Bosch flattop, which is easy to clean and has manual controls ("I'm a Luddite," she says). DETAILS $1,149; 800-944-2904.


"I have the Jaguar of sinks," Tina says of her Franke PSX-110-30-9, which she thinks is an ergonomic marvel. Because her husband is 6-foot-6, she bought a shallow, 9-inch-deep model so he wouldn't have to stoop when he washes the dishes. DETAILS $1,435; 800-626-5771 or

Faucet sprayer

Franke's ATO-480 satin-nickel gooseneck faucet includes a sprayer, which Tina uses both to clean the sink and to wash produce. DETAILS $900; 800-626-5771 or

Backsplash and countertop

For the backsplash, Tina picked "China Multicolor" slate tiles with a natural cleft finish, which has a rough-hewn look and feel; she also chose gray grout that would blend in with the stone. The polished Absolute Black granite countertop complements the backsplash. DETAILS Available to the trade at Stone Source;


The cherry "Locarno" cabinets from Allmilmö include a lazy Susan with a metal rim to keep things from falling out. Tina stores cereal, crackers and chips above the oven; the dry heat keeps them crisp. DETAILS 800-276-1239.


Tina chose drawers of different depths so things are easily accessible. All of them have magnets in the back that prevent them from slamming.

PUBLISHED November 2004