Even with the help of a good designer, there are plenty of decisions involved in a kitchen makeover. But for the owners of this Westchester postwar Colonial, the potentially tough question of which material to use for the stove backsplash was taken out of the equation. Tasked with bringing in lots of light and making better use of a spacious but dated kitchen, designer Sarah Robertson of Studio Dearborn opted to place the 48-inch professional range below a bank of three windows, the hood tucked under a soffit. Now the homeowners enjoy the view while they’re cooking, and the southern exposure lets in plenty of sunlight. It was one of many smart solutions Robertson employed to improve the way the kitchen functions while creating a clean, modern vibe.
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“From a design perspective, that was the first major change that we made to the layout, then everything flowed from there,” she says. The project was part of an overhaul to the first floor of the house, to create better flow between rooms without adding square footage. “Our goal was to drive us into the spaces we had never used before,” says the homeowner, who notes that their old dining room and living room went unused.
She loves to cook and also needed better storage for her kitchen gear. To open up the space, almost all of the upper cabinets were removed and replaced with a few glass-front uppers and handsome walnut shelving, so the lower custom cabinets needed to be extra efficient. These include a 12-inch-wide pullout pantry next to the Sub-Zero fridge (there’s also a walk-in pantry), a pullout by the range for cooking oils, a knife drawer, a spice drawer, and an island with extra-deep drawers for storing place mats and platters.
Anything but just another white kitchen, this one gets its distinctive style from the walnut used throughout: on the legs on the farmhouse island, the desktop, and even the inside of the drawers and cabinetry—a luxe finishing touch. Shiplap paneling on the sloped ceiling continues around to the bar area and into the family room by the fireplace, pulling together the spaces visually. “It’s a bit of a beachy aesthetic,” Robertson says. More interest and contrast come from the contemporary black pulls on the drawers and cabinets, as well as the dark and stain-forgiving Pietra Cardosa limestone counters and backsplash.
The chic new kitchen has become a hub for the couple and their two teenagers. The kids often do their homework at the island (which seats six to accommodate friends) while their mom cooks and their dad logs time at the kitchen desk. Clever features keep clutter to a minimum: a printer drawer at the desk, a charging drawer for tablets and phones, and a paper-towel holder built into the garbage drawer. “My clients love that. Everyone wants to get the paper towels off of the counter,” says Robertson, who credits her client with having an amazing eye and contributing to the design process. “It’s fun when I work with people who are so knowledgeable and decisive. She had great ideas but was also very receptive to new ideas. It made for a great collaboration.”
The interior designer on this project was Tami Wassong.
Get the Look
Shop these materials to get a similar look in your own kitchen.
Dining Room Light Linear – 3 Modern Chandelier
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Cherner Walnut Bar Stools in Walnut
Faucet Talis C Faucet
Island Pendant Lighting Caravaggio Opal White Pendants by Cecilie Manz
Price Varies by Size
Custom Cabinets, Walnut Counters, and Shiplap Paneling
Price Available Upon Requet
Fat Black Cabinet and Drawer Pulls Modern Metro Collection
Starting at $6.75