There is nothing pleasant about a standard office kitchen. The cabinets are some basic design—white—with uninspiring, IKEA-grade chrome handles. At best, the fridge is some oversize stainless steel behemoth that is a cesspool of dubious contents. Fluorescent lights, ugly tile flooring, a sad crumb-crusted microwave, and the true workhorse of the office: the sputtering coffee machine that has commandeered all but five inches of counter space. Corporate life in all its glory.
Interior designer Jeremiah Brent sought to change that for his office situation. His newly renovated New York studio in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village features an elegant kitchen that is just the coffee-in-the-morning hug you need to get through the workday. “Nobody wants to work in an office anymore,” Brent tells ELLE DECOR. “People want a soft place to land, and for me, the kitchen is the renewal of a space that has real intimacy.”
With a flourishing store in Culver City, California, a new 4,000-square-foot Greenwich Village headquarters, and a fleet of several dozen designers, Brent wanted a work space that felt more inviting for clients. He rented what he describes as “grotesquely model” office space just four floors above the office and transformed it into a hybrid client meetup space, cocktail party backdrop, photo studio, and soon-to-be pottery studio. “Initially, there was no architecture here,” Brent says. “There was no soul to the space. And for me, that’s where it starts and ends. So building a beautiful, dynamic kitchen, and making it feel like it’s been here for a long time, that was a challenge.”
Upon entering a door on the 17th floor of the deceptively mundane commercial building, visitors enter a cozy lounge that leads to the kitchen. Moody paneled gray walls swaddle you in a commodious warmth, punctuated by two slabs of bordeaux Calacatta Vagli Rosatto marble. Traditional elements like vintage 1940s Italian glass lanterns and an under-the-sink linen skirt are juxtaposed with the sleek, contemporary JennAir appliances. “I’m obsessed with that conflict of when things shouldn’t go together,” Brent explains. “That’s when I think the most beautiful, original ideas come from. So here I took the contemporary lines of these appliances and paired them with more traditional architectural details, showing that you can have this really contemporary, smart, technologically advanced kitchen that still possesses warmth, history, and layering.”
Brent worked closely with the appliance company on the design. A JennAir coffee machine seems as if it has been carved out of its full-height cabinetry, and a matching RISE range ties everything together with both brass and stainless detailing. Behind two paneled cabinets one can pull the custom ripple pulls of the built-in JennAir refrigerator to reveal an obsidian black interior with lighting that frames the food inside like artwork. “Even inside it’s beautiful,” Brent adds.
When asked what piques his interest these days, Brent says it’s all about personalization. “It used to be that you could just personalize your pillows, but now you can do it with appliances,” he remarks. “That’s what everybody wants right now, and the possibilities are limitless.”
Assistant Digital Editor
Rachel Silva, the Assistant Digital Editor at ELLE DECOR, covers design, architecture, trends, and anything to do with haute couture. She has previously written for Time, The Wall Street Journal, and Citywire.