When homeowners have a kitchen renovation under their belts, they bring valuable insight to their next project. For the Maybaums, who are experienced renovators, the basic builder’s kitchen in the Scarsdale house they bought six years ago presented an opportunity. “You realize there are little mistakes you made the last time [you renovated], and you want the chance to do it right,” Lauren Maybaum says.
Though their home was only 10 years old, the kitchen showed signs of wear and tear and wasn’t as functional as it could have been. “What I really wanted was a pantry,” says Maybaum, who loves to cook and entertain. “I didn’t have good food storage.”
To get the kitchen exactly right, Maybaum trusted her instincts—“when you know what you want, you know what you want”—and called in Deane Inc. designer Mollie Rhodes and Susan Saltzman of Susan Gail Interiors. Rhodes reimagined the space for Maybaum; her husband, Richard; and their three children, ages 20, 18, and 13, with the transitional, more contemporary design they were craving. Saltzman, who worked on other rooms in the house, assisted with paint color, accessories, and lighting.
Key upgrades included all-new cabinetry and a custom waterfall island topped with 2-inch-thick Quartzite that’s the hub of the kitchen and where the kids often sit for dinner. “It’s incredibly functional and really elevates the space,” Maybaum says of the island with its roomy drawers and built-in Dacor microwave drawer. A Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Viking six-burner cooktop were incorporated into the new design.
The materials selected create a sophisticated feel. For the backsplash, sleek Glassos slab extends up the wall to meet the moldings. Walnut and painted cabinets live together as well as coffee and cream. “The combination of the two finishes made it more contemporary but still maintained the warmth,” Rhodes says. Drawers throughout the kitchen—a current trend—are practical because they offer easier access than cabinets and maximize space. The dishwasher and pull-out garbage are finished in stainless steel, as is the toe kick below the lower cabinets—a clever way to protect that area from the scratches and marks that tend to mar it over time.
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Per Maybaum’s wish list, the new pantry has ample food storage as well as a wine fridge and second sink. The area has a distinctive design, with granite counters, oil-rubbed bronze fixtures, and dark wood cabinetry with mirrored glass that picks up the light from the kitchen. That lighting includes daylight from the windows as well as
under-cabinet LED task lighting and drum-shade pendants customized to match the wall color (Benjamin Moore Cloud Cover 855).
All the changes combine to form a chic but comfortable living space. “The flow is fantastic,” Maybaum says. “We are definitely the go-to house for my kids.”
Mary Kate Hogan was recently the editor-in-chief of athome magazine. Her work has appeared in Good Housekeeping and InStyle, among others. Though she remodeled her own kitchen three years go, this story gave her plenty of ideas for the next project.