Pamela Shamshiri’s 7 Kitchen Design Essentials

Great barstools

When it comes to kitchen stools, it’s important to get it right. Shamshiri swears by the popular BassamFellows Tractor bar stools. The Square Guest stool by BDDW is another favorite. “This has become our new go-to stool because the legs don’t splay out,” she says. “Kids have an easier time with this one. It’s very indestructible and it’s more comfortable than it looks.”

Statement tile

Throughout Studio Shamshiri’s kitchens, you’ll see tile being used over and over again, in numerous forms, colors, and applications. In a Manhattan loft, BDDW tiles add a handcrafted touch. Shamshiri is also a big fan of zellige tile—“it’s one of the oldest processes as far as making tiles,” she explains. “There’s something appetizing and yummy about that.” 

Floors are another opportunity to create a striking tile moment. One project shows a black terra-cotta tile floor, while another features reclaimed cement tile in a white-and-yellow checkerboard pattern. Both materials were purchased from Exquisite Surfaces.

The appliances here are concealed behind walnut surfaces.

Photo: Stephen Kent Johnson

Hardworking, integrated appliances

When it comes to appliances, Shamshiri has a handful of go-to tricks. One is integrating appliances to match the look of the surrounding cabinets. “If we want an industrial element, we embrace the stainless,” she says. “But normally we like things warm—most of the time we’re integrating.” When the firm does so, it tends to use Miele appliances, “because of the way they do their ventilation—it’s at the back and not at the top or bottom, so you can really achieve the seamless look,” she explains.

Another appliance feature she sees coming up more and more: steam ovens, or combination convection and steam ovens. Her favorite sources are Miele for the former and Thermador for the latter. “That is a welcome introduction to our kitchens, and I think it’s great—anything cooking with water seems to be healthier and a great advancement,” she says. Finally, Shamshiri explains that fridges designed specially for growing herbs and keeping them fresh are something that many clients are requesting these days.

Painted cabinets

A colorful cabinet look is Shamshiri’s signature. “The trend right now is painted kitchens,” she says. “We get a lot of people asking for Plain English kitchens.” Whether painted in a dusty yellow, a matte black, or a pale blue hue, the cabinets pop up over and over again in Shamshiri’s portfolio.

Skirts

Last but not least, Shamshiri loves a good skirt. The feature is not just decorative; it has the added benefit of hiding unsightly items under a sink. “That skirt hides a lot of things going on back there,” she says of the one installed in her studio’s kitchen, which was cut from a piece of textile lying around the office. Luckily, skirts are very on-trend too.

BDDW bar stools appear in a midcentury-modern residence.

Photo: Yoshihiro Makino

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