Two dogs, three cats, and one very persuasive couple. Designer Sarah Robertson, the Westchester County, NY–based principal of Studio Dearborn was hesitant to take on a new client in Nashville. That was until she heard the brief. The client “asked for salvaged Silver Fox brick from her hometown de ella in Wisconsin, a super-organized kitchen to make it easy to cook and entertain, and, most important, plenty of room for the ‘Furry Five,’ as the family calls their pets, to move around,” Robertson says. The job was hard to resist.
First came the request for orderliness. Cabinet doors and drawers now open to reveal built-in knife blocks, space for coffee pods, slots for cookware lids, vertical cutting board storage, and, of course, pet food bins (Robertson is TikTok-famous for her custom tidying solutions). Three undercounter trash and recycling cans on the sink wall, with one strategically placed under Robertson’s signature pullout paper towel holder, make cleanup an easy task.
As for that requested brick? The designer used it only on kitchen walls that face the outside of the house, a move that tricks the eye into seeing it as an exterior wall at first glance. Given carte blanche to choose colors and materials, she complemented the brick: soapstone on the counters and behind the range, marble on the island, and painted and oak Shaker doors. Rather than a hulking island, Robertson added one with a smaller footprint that leaves extra-wide aisles for the Furry Five to position themselves for scraps.
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The primary prep area at the end of the island houses all the homeowners’ cutting boards and knives and sits just opposite the main sink and waste bins for easy chopping and tossing.
Realizing that a wall of fridge-and-freezer space would eliminate room for a coffee bar, Robertson proposed a freezer drawer instead. Contents: a lot of coffee and Jeni’s ice cream.
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I am the Market Director for House Beautiful. At any given point I’m searching for my next foodie and design-related travel adventure, drinking a nice pour of bourbon or a perfectly poured martini, or searching for my dream home in Mexico/North Carolina. My personal design style: lots of pattern, color and art on every surface.