We're Head Over Heels for This Modern and Colorful Kitchen Makeover

An outdated kitchen sees the renovation it deserves.


Design Team

General Contractor: Stonykill Enterprises

Designer: Clean Design Partners

Architect: Elizabeth Jahn Architecture

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When general contractor Mike Herzog and his wife, Bonnie, a Wall Street exec, set out to gut and modernize their 1970s Cape in Rye, they intended to handle much of the design on their own. Architect Elizabeth Jahn worked with the couple to draw up plans to turn a warren of disjointed rooms into an open living space to suit the family of four. The couple longed for a bright, clean-lined kitchen that would connect to an eating area and family room, a hub for spending time with their two teen daughters. Their project was moving right along when Bonnie visited a plumbing supply place to choose fixtures. Even the most decisive person can get overwhelmed by the details of a remodeling project, and after selecting materials, Bonnie had cold feet, says designer Claire Paquin of Clean Design Partners. “She called to ask, Would you look at these plumbing fittings and let me know what you think?” Paquin recalls.

What Bonnie had picked was a more traditional Victorian look that didn’t mesh with the clean-contemporary concept. “So we went back to the drawing board and re-spec’d everything,” says Paquin, who was then hired to design not only the kitchen, but also the living room, dining room, family room, and six bathrooms. “We’re very happy with the results,” says Bonnie. New selections for the kitchen included a substantial Waterstone faucet with pull-down spray and a subtle backsplash of horizontal marble strips that complement the white quartz counters and custom cabinetry.

Another turning point in the project was when Bonnie decided that the kitchen window needed to be enlarged to let in more natural light. On the plans, the window had been scaled down to allow for more cabinetry, but ultimately the Herzogs pushed for a change. “I’m glad I insisted on the larger window,” says Bonnie. “It makes things so light and bright, and it’s become a focal point with a great view while you’re at the sink.” A walk-in pantry around the corner offers plenty of storage, so there’s less need for additional cabinets.

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Color was high on the Herzogs’ wish list, and that desire led to sourcing the hand-blown glass globes hanging above the island. The teal hue picks up on a color from the patterned Christian Lacroix drapes in the family room, and it inspired the paint shade for the island. “The large island is our favorite feature in the kitchen,” says Bonnie. “It’s where everyone gravitates when they come to our house. Every Friday or Saturday night, there are about 20 teenagers in my kitchen,” she says with a laugh. Her teens and their friends love to hang out at the island stools, but for sit-down meals, the family gathers at the live-edge oak table in the adjacent eating area.

Careful thought went into the workflow of the kitchen and behind-the-scenes details that make it function well, including task lighting and outlets under the cabinets plus plenty of charging stations for all those teens to power up their devices. From a cook’s standpoint, pull-out spice racks on either side of the stove and pop-up drawers for the juicer and mixer allow for easy food prep. Says Bonnie, “Everything’s hidden to keep that sleek look.”

Get the Look

Shop this list to get a similar look in your own kitchen.


Heavy Rain Marble Strips by AKDO

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Price Available Upon Request

Marble America


Waterstone Contemporary Pull-Down Faucet


Klaffs, Scarsdale



Linnea Pulls, 144


Klaffs, Scarsdale


Table Pendant Light

Heracleum II Pendant Light by Moooi



Pendant Lights Above Island

Stamen Modern Light in Condesa




Island Stools

Lewis Polished Adjustable Stool in Polished White Leather

Price Available Upon Request



Christian Lacroix Eclats de Roses – Nacre Fabric by Designers Guild

Price Available Upon Request

LR Home Decor, Amityville


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