Modern Matter Blog
The Gloucestershire: A Cook’s Kitchen & Scullery at the Kips Bay Dallas Show House
Designed by MORE+’s Kurt Bielawski
Old-world meets modern elegance in this kitchen reimagined by MORE+'s co-founder Kurt Bielawski at this year's Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas. The designer took inspiration from his passion for cooking and European travel to create a space that exuded timelessness and elegant ease. From the 11-foot island instead of a formal dining space to the apothecary-style scullery, Bielawski creates a true heaven for those who love entertaining.
All photography by Stephen Karlisch.
Q: MORE+ has been part of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas since its second edition in 2021, but this was the first time you participated as a designer. How was this experience different from previous years?
A: MORE+ is a design and build company based here in Dallas. I've acted as general contractor for several talented designers over the past three years, but when the kitchen opportunity came up this year, I knew I wanted to step forward as the designer and show my perspective and what I can do. While the construction process is obviously similar whether you are designer or builder, the process of getting there is very different. I created it instead of working off plans and someone else’s design. From the floor tile pattern and palette to the cabinet design and, finally the furniture selection and accessory placement, these were all my decisions. It was a joy wearing that hat and getting to be that creative. Of course, you end up sweating every decision!
Q: Tell us about this kitchen space. Any challenges?
A: I flipped locations for the kitchen and built an entirely new kitchen and scullery. Originally, it was in the space where my scullery and Sarah Hillery’s breakfast room is now. I moved the new kitchen to what had been a sunken family room, so I raised the floor and gutted the space to the studs—a complete transformation. The two biggest challenges probably were the fact that the ceiling slopes from about 17 feet on the low side to 37 feet on the high so a LOT of the project had to be done on scaffolding…which meant getting work done below was difficult. We were also at a main door into the home, so we had a LOT of traffic through our space. In both cases a lot to work around. And time was a challenge.
Q: What was the inspiration for this space?
A: My brief is "I am renovating an old country house kitchen in the Cotswolds". I am “keeping” key elements—particularly the floor and select cabinetry. Of course, these are new, but both are based on images I found in old books.
I design and build a lot of kitchens for clients, and I would say about 80 percent of them include a second kitchen. My clients love a working space where they can keep all the small appliances like toasters and blenders on counters, and also use them for cleanup. These spaces are also great for catering, and of course, "curated" storage.
Q: What are your favorite aspects of this project?
A: I moved the kitchen in this home from a room with 8-feet ceilings and limited windows to a vaulted space with tons of windows and skylights. I especially appreciated the light and happiness of this new space. I wanted it to feel contemporary to some extent but always comfortable. I love to cook so I based this on what really works…cooking facing out on an island, quad wall ovens, zoned coffee, a working pantry…and, importantly, a seating area. I am calling it my “greatest hits” kitchen.
Q: Why did you select the Marcelle Knobs and Pulls, and Pixie Bin Pulls?
A: I love Modern Matter and I knew these collections would look fantastic on my cabinets. They completely finish the look and give each unit a look that is at the same time vintage yet modern. The response from visitors to the space has been fantastic.
I used the Marcelle 6" Pulls for drawers (in many cases, double sets on drawers for more of a furniture effect) and even used them on all appliances as appliance pulls. This keeps things looking more like furniture and less like blocky appliances. My refrigeration wall kept being confused as a pantry—the hardware really worked!
I love the screw detail on the Marcelle Knob. It gives it a crafted look and sets off my dry goods (and root vegetable) pantry. I used Pixie Bin Pulls on some doors to mix things up and give areas a more vintage feel.
Q: How do you go about selecting the hardware for this project?
A: I specifically wanted to use the Marcelle Collection because I liked that it felt both vintage and modern. The burnished brass finish was perfect for what I was doing…and the fact that the finish was available in different collections (i.e. the Pixie Bin Pulls and Latches to match the Marcelle Knobs and Pulls) was perfect. From there, it was a simple matter of just deciding what worked best for each cabinet. I think the combination of hardware in my scullery is really impactful and helps create the feeling that you really might be in the Cotswolds.