The soul of a house

When designing his home kitchen, architect Maximo Buschfrers wanted a space where his family of five could “cook, clean and enjoy a meal without stepping on each other’s toes.” The result is a spacious kitchen that can easily accommodate full-family meal prep — though that’s unusual in a house with three teenagers.

“My wife does most of the cooking. I do most of the cleaning. The children mostly watch and refuse to help, but occasionally they will make pancakes or pasta,” jokes the Argentina-born Buschfrers, who moved to the U.S. to study architecture at City College of New York. He now resides about an hour outside the city in Sea Cliff, N.Y., just a couple blocks from the Long Island Sound.

The family’s kitchen features a wall of dark wood-paneled cabinets, yet the space is bright and airy thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows in the adjoining living room. Spanish-inspired tile behind the stove adds a pop of color to an otherwise sleek and simple space. A long quartzite island is where most meals are shared, while the open dining area is reserved for holidays, the occasional formal dinner or — more regularly — board games.

“When designing an open kitchen, I imagine a family cooking and entertaining at the same time,” he says. “One side of the kitchen is a stage, the opposite side is for the audience.”

Though this kitchen “stage” has a minimalist aesthetic, it’s very much cook-friendly: Everyday items are close at hand inside drawers and cabinets, and small appliances and bulk items that are not needed daily are neatly tucked away in the adjacent butler’s pantry.

“One of my favorite things about this kitchen is that while very functional, there is very little clutter,” says Buschfrers. This clean look is especially important in open kitchens, which he suggests should “look like a piece of built-in furniture.”

The same can be said about appliances.

“If a kitchen is the soul of a house, the appliances are the heart of the kitchen,” Buschfrers says. “You rely on your appliances for proper food storage and preparation, but you cannot compromise on the looks.”

The architect went on to compare high-end appliances to a top-of-the-line automobile — something that combines luxury and reliability. “Form and function go hand-in-hand,” he says.

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