and disjointed. The constraints of the space made it difficult to cook and interact
with his guests. “I’m an adventurous chef,” says Nissinen. “I love to cook for peo-
ple. I wanted to be able to have a dinner party and be part of the process.”
To design a more functional and contemporary kitchen, Nissinen brought
in Joseph Kennard of Joseph Kennard Architects Inc. in Boston. “While it was
already an open space, it wasn’t open experientially,” says Kennard. The solution,
he says, was to create a traffic pattern that would allow access into and around the
kitchen from both the dining and living areas while maintaining proprietary space
for the cook.
To establish an easy flow and make the space more welcoming to guests, Kennard persuaded Nissinen to take out the powder room off the entry. The entrance
to the condominium was also moved a few feet, which allowed the addition of a coat
closet and china cabinet and better access to the stairs leading to the lower level.
“Now you can see the full width of the space,” says Kennard.
A substantial 10-foot-long island — inspired by a Japanese sushi bar —
anchors the new kitchen and gives Nissinen ample surface to prep some serious
slabs of raw tuna. Fabricated by Metropolitan Cabinets in Norwood, Massachusetts, the hefty piece is made of Italian laminate coated in a bold red hue. It is
topped with durable Caesarstone and fitted with multiple drawers and cabinets on
the service side, while on the “company” side, guests can sit at a raised bar made
of reclaimed white oak. “Everyone wants to watch and talk to Mikko while he’s
cooking, so the idea was to create a pattern that would facilitate a bar for people
to hang out at,” says Kennard.
while the new kitchen is highly functional, its location in the center of the condo, open to
both the living room and the dining area (left), led architect Joseph Kennard to design it so it
feels less utilitarian, camouflaging appliances like the refrigerator with cabinet panels. The
range has an induction cooktop on which a once-reluctant Nissinen now loves to cook.