Kitchen of the Week: A Plain English Kitchen in a Brooklyn Brownstone, Space-Gaining Bay Window Included

After seven years of living in their Brooklyn brownstone, architect Anat Soudry’s friends were ready to replace the Ikea shoebox kitchen that came with their otherwise well-preserved 1889 townhouse.

The owners, John and Danielle—he’s a magazine journalist and she’s an early education teacher and former fashion designer—are aesthetes who love to cook and have three young kids. They had outsized hopes and dreams (and a realistic budget) for their new design.

Knowing that they loved the Italianate plasterwork, moldings, and other original details in their landmarked home, Soudry, their former neighbor who runs her own New York and New Jersey firm, immediately suggested they work with Plain English Design to make the cabinets.

But how to fit all that the couple hoped into the existing space? The plan was to flip the kitchen/dining area: the new kitchen would fill the former dining room and the table would replace the adjacent former galley kitchen. It was a tidy approach but not quite big enough to house the desired range, island, and mega-storage. Because of zoning and cost constraints, a ground-up addition was not an option. Read on to see the solutions Soudry pulled out of her architectural bag of tricks.

Photographs by Kyle Norton, courtesy of Plain English and Anat Soudry Architect.

to fit all of the kitchen’s desired elements, soudry introduced a c 9
Above: To fit all of the kitchen’s desired elements, Soudry introduced a cantilevered bay window, also known as an oriel window, to the back of the space overlooking the garden. And she inserted the large range into the room’s existing fireplace, a tough sell that she remedied by giving the setup the look of a hearth.

Plain English provided the millwork, including the fridge surround and the island. A longstanding Remodelista favorite based in the UK—with a showroom in NYC’s East Village and a kitchen shop at Nickey Kehoe in LA—the company specializes in bespoke kitchen cabinetry and are proud traditionalists. As they say: “We’ve spent 30 years studying with fascination the Georgian sensibility of form and proportion and this runs through all of our designs in any number of architectural settings.” As for the wallpapered door: for extra storage, Soudry converted a closet into a second pantry and wallpapered it, at Danielle’s request, in Brunschwig & Fils’s Bird and Thistle pattern.