Cooking With Color

Set inside a turn-of-the-century Victorian in Larchmont, this colorful, light-filled kitchen blends old and new with style, thanks to a smart renovation. The family tapped Keller/Eaton Architects to turn a closed-off kitchen into an open eating-and-living space while preserving the charm of what was originally a summer cottage with views of the Long Island Sound. 

“The house was a series of small, awkward rooms,” says Robert Keller, AIA, who achieved the family’s goals without adding square footage. “Part of the architectural solution was to have one simple, wide-open corridor that connects the family room, dining room, kitchen, and foyer. A meandering, windowless space became a connector.” Post-renovation, you can see from the front foyer straight to the back of the house, where the large kitchen, eating area, and sitting area form a hub. 

The new layout maximizes space and views. On one side of the room, there’s the cooking and prep area with an island; in the center there’s a seating area with vintage swivel chairs, sofa, TV, and fireplace; and the opposite side houses the eating area under a wall of windows. The homeowners enjoy casual entertaining, so a kitchen table that seats eight was on their must-have list. This zinc-topped table perched next to banquette seating creates the ideal spot for the couple and their elementary-school-age kids to host a group of friends for an evening in. The adults can linger at the table while the kids play or watch TV.  

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Punches of vibrant color add spice and modernize what could have been just another white kitchen. “The clients are definitely very visual and had a sense of wanting a classic kitchen with white cabinetry but doing it in a way that was up to date,” Keller says. “We created a neutral background of cabinets and walls and installed these pops of color to bring more interest and happiness to the room.” 

Green leather stools that surround the walnut island were left behind by the previous owner and destined for the dumpster, but Keller persuaded the family to keep them. Their olive hue complements the yellow pendant light, the banquette cushions covered in a bold orange Knoll fabric, and the contemporary art. An antique steamer trunk, a counterpoint to the contemporary fixtures and furnishings, provides a home for a large plant. All that color stands out against the Calacatta marble tile backsplash and darker gray marble countertops. Custom glass-front cabinets mimic the grid of the French-style casement windows and showcase artfully arranged tableware. 

Thanks to clever storage solutions, a new layout, and keeping family and entertaining in mind, this kitchen strikes the right balance between practicality and family fun. 

Jielde Augustin Pendant; Available at www.shophoren.com; $396-$1,086

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Bassat 15-2 Mosaic Tiles in Blue; Available at www.mosaichouse.com; price upon request

Butler Dining Table; Available at www.wudfurniture.com; without extensions, $15,000; with extensions, $21,000

Vintage Green Leather Stools; Available at www.wayfair.com; $399 each

Steamer Trunk; Available at www.overstock.com; $146

Bantam 73-Inch Sofa in Gray Cotton Twill With Walnut Legs; Available at www.designwithinreach.com; $2,300-$3,900

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