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Restaurant Designers' Kitchen

Olvia Demetriou and Theo Adamstein design restaurants by day—and cook in their chef-inspired kitchen by night. Charlotte Druckman takes a look.

"In a professional kitchen, the clean-up area is entirely separate from the cooking area," says Olvia Demetriou, who, with her husband, Theo Adamstein, has designed 40 restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area, including Zaytinya and the forthcoming Zengo. When the couple recently renovated their 1923 Sears Arts and Crafts bungalow, they followed the same concept. Their open kitchen has two stations: a clean-up area in the old part of the house (with a new tile floor) and a prep area with oak floors in the new wing. That means dirty dishes get tucked away in a back corner, leaving the kitchen island clear. A good thing, since "my kids come home and unload their homework all over the island," Demetriou says.

Flooring

The clean-up area is striped in dark brown and ivory Viva porcelain tile, which is easier to mop than a wood floor ($18 per 4-by-24-inch tile from Hastings Tile & Bath; 212-674-9700).

Entryway

Adamstein and Demetriou like to place vertical elements, like the column with the GE microwave, at a room's entrance. It's a visual trick to make the rest of the space seem bigger.

Prep area

Adamstein and Demetriou can easily pull produce from the 42-inch side-by-side stainless Sub-Zero fridge ($7,000; 800-222-7820), walk two steps to the island to wash it in the 33-inch Kohler Undertone trough sink ($780; 800-4-KOHLER) and turn to cook it on the six-burner Viking gas cooktop (from $1,700; 888-VIKING1) with a Miele island hood ($3,300; 888-346-4353).

Double duty

As in restaurants, this kitchen has multiple prep stations, one for each cook. A knife block and cutting board sit next to the cooktop; another pair is on the island. Because the kitchen is so big, there are two trash drawers: one in the island, one by the clean-up sink.

Clean-up area

Since they entertain frequently, the couple installed two Bosch dishwashers ($930 each; 800-921-9622) on either side of the 28-inch-wide Elkay sink ($810; 630-572-3192). This space doubles as an area for making breakfast. Near the coffee maker and bread box is a U-line undercounter fridge ($1,700; 800-779-2547), which holds butter and jam.

Floating cabinets

Custom steel ceiling brackets suspend the maple Artcraft cabinets, so they appear to float (905-354-5657 or artcraftkitchens.com). The stainless steel rails that hold spices and utensils next to the cooktop were custom-made by Metal Specialties to match the cabinet brackets (703-550-9501).

Horizontal design

To complement the expansive, elongated windows near the kitchen, Adamstein and Demetriou used almost no vertical cabinet doors. The wide doors on the upper cabinets lift up to open; under the counters are mostly drawers.

Glass partition

Just as translucent glass walls in restaurant kitchens allow guests in the dining room to see the chef's movements, the custom etched-glass wall behind the stove lets Adamstein and Demetriou sense what's going on in the children's playroom on the other side (from Herson Glass Co.; 202-635-1100).

Countertops

The cream color and smooth finish of the concrete countertops soften the industrial look. Adamstein and Demetriou also chose concrete because it's not as porous as limestone and has a less grainy pattern than granite (from $80 a sq ft from Concrete Jungle; 877-874-0909).

Published July 2005
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