The kitchen is the heart of this Moreland Hills home, where devoted home cooks Ari Levine and Ursula Freundlich spend much of their time with their two children. The center of the space, the cherry-red gas range, is a bright contrast to the room’s high-gloss white and stainless steel scheme.
The bold use of color is indicative of the couple’s playfulness when it comes to design — something they were eager to showcase when they renovated their 4,000-square-foot house with a modern yet warm aesthetic after teaming up with Payne & Payne Renovations & Design. “We’re not afraid of color,” Freundlich says. “Even though much of the home is white, we have an orange couch and a geometric, crazy-colored piece of wallpaper art. A colored stove was something I’d always wanted.”
Before the updates, the kitchen was dark, secluded and “not tremendously functional,” Levine says, noting a larger workspace and room to entertain were top priorities. The new layout checked off both of those boxes with the addition of two islands and an adjacent four-top kitchen table in lieu of a formal dining room. “It seems like people always end up congregating in the kitchen, so we wanted a place where people would feel comfortable,” he says. “It’s now the focal point of our house.”
The space is outfitted with two islands. The first, opposite the sink, has quartz waterfall countertops flanking both ends. One side is packed with cabinetry; the other features Amish-made black walnut planks. The second, opposite the range, has a stainless-steel undermount sink and room for food prep. “I really like how open it is and that we have a small area where we can eat attached to one of the islands,” Freundlich says.
Adding to the kitchen’s ambiance is an original brick fireplace. They selected black granite for the hearth and mantel and went with white for the exterior, creating a modern look. “It’s a cozy spot where we can all be together,” Levine says.
The couple knew they wanted fun artwork on the wall dividing the kitchen and stairway. They found a company online that allowed them to design and print custom wallpaper with a pattern of colorful triangles. “It’s just another point of interest you see when you walk in the front door,” Levine says.
The homeowners also designed their own light fixture. They ordered five pendant lights with cloth-covered electrical cords in an array of colors and wrapped them around a steel pipe. “We chose a bunch of bright colors, and I wired it together,” Levine says. “It turned out really cool.”