A Modern Hearth

Designer Fu-Tung Cheng’s blend of sleek lines and handcrafted detail turned this condo kitchen from dim and claustrophobic to a warm and inviting place to cook and spend time.

The cooktop area anchors the room, serving as a modern-day hearth. The vent, designed by Cheng, is a quarter of an ellipse; its graceful shape keeps the hood from overpowering the room.

Kitchen storage is a combination of bamboo cabinets for stashing cookware and appliances, plus open shelving for favorite objects collected by the homeowner during her travels. Cheng appreciates the clean lines of modernism, but he also likes the friendly appeal of open storage.

Recessed mosaic tile insets on the backsplash were crafted with bits of snipped glass. They interrupt the strict tile grid while defining it and lending a hand-hewn feel.

Perpendicular to the cooktop area are the sink and drainboard. The red surface is made of Geocrete, one of the trademarked concrete blends that Cheng is known for. The concrete slopes gently to meet the walnut shelf, preventing water from pooling or from seeping into the joints.

Cheng often embeds bits of ephemera in his concrete countertops; they’re like present-day fossils. Here, a tiny geode seems to float across the counter like a sea creature or a bit of jetsam. The wake appears to be made of inlay, but that’s actually a piece of valve body cover from an automatic car transmission, a bit of modern-day jetsam.

Open shelving that extends from the kitchen to the dining area houses favorite tea sets.

A china cabinet with eco-resin doors and LED lighting inside does triple duty as storage, decoration, and ambient lighting.

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