Out in the Open in SoHo

Wood framed art and a few cutting boards arranged on a thin ledge, ingredients ready for use on open shelves, a poem draped over the door of an old hutch with antique flowered plates stacked behind the glass: the details tell the story of a couple, an artist-in-residence/ art professor and her dashing husband.  There's nothing hidden or stashed away in their SoHo loft kitchen.  Loft living and cooking is a life in plain view that offers the senses an intimate connection to those in the space.   

The art here goes beyond the large oil paintings hung high on the walls and the sculptures tucked about; the art is in the habits and fine details that weave the fabric of each day.  Cooking in the loft is a daily affair.  Yes, the allure of the ever so quaint cafe Aroma calls from across the street, just twenty steps away.  But Aroma is reserved for select occasions like freshly baked whole grain croissants for loft guests on a Saturday morning.  

For a greater allure than SoHo's Aroma is that of this loft kitchen, its focal point being the striking long white counter underneath of which is a bank of extra wide honey colored cabinets, the only cabinets in the loft.   In the far corner appliances cluster together with the sink, suspended pot rack, open shelves; everything within reach for cooking.  How quickly an Italian dinner comes together - tender spring asparagus, fresh ravioli made by an elderly neighborhood woman and green salad - all effortlessly served at the island on neat black and white dishes from New York's Fishs Eddy on soft woven mats  in a cluster of flickering votives.  Beautiful.  

This everything out in plain view style is like a still life come to life.  Taking it all in, I wonder why  most of us are compelled to hide our kitchenware behind cabinet doors and are compulsive about putting ingredients "away."  What's more, here in the loft, what's out in the kitchen is seen from all corners of the living space.  Yet,  no dirty dishes hang about nor clutter amasses.  Everything has its place and when that place is efficient and clever, the put-away job is more like creating art than an act of the mundane.  Whipping things back in order becomes a moment to refresh the art schematic.   And with such attitude and flair, everyday cooking becomes itself an art.