The design team expanded the kitchen by removing the wall to the dining room. This created a large eat-in space and a place for Art to train his chef's assistants. A nine-foot counter now stands where the wall once did. "This is the big, gorgeous kitchen I've always wanted," Art says. Among the changes:
- The room was expanded from 600 to 1,400 square feet, to add a dining area.
- Teak cabinets, marble countertops, and limestone floors provide a clean, modern look.
Art and his partner, Jesús Salgueiro, a Venezuelan-born artist, made their own island by placing a large slab of marble atop two tables they had bought years earlier in a Chicago antiques store. "I loved finding a new use for something we already owned," Art says. "Marble ages beautifully, and it's so easy to clean."