Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Style Guide: Country Kitchens (Part V)

Center of Attention

Natural materials, an efficient center island, and a bay window with harbor views distinguish a welcoming refuge for an active family.

When the owners of an 1850s shingled house in Rye, New York, decided to move their cramped kitchen to a more spacious, west-facing room overlooking the Long Island Sound, the results were dramatic.

Combining abundant cabinet storage and counter space--including a center island--with a generous window bay dining alcove, the room was designed for efficiency and family mealtime solutions. Limestone countertops, oak flooring, wicker barstools, and other monochromatic finishes and furnishings were selected to play up the room's sunny interior. Plaid table linens and hand-woven kilims were added for color.

Brimming with Taste

A pot of soup simmers on the center island's gas cooktop, which includes a range and grill. Other modern appliances, built into cabinetry, include convection, microwave, and conventional ovens.

The island itself -- angled to maximize floor space and provide easy access to an adjoining family room -- is topped in a buffed Spanish limestone. The raised panels on the refrigerator doors are custom-made to match the room's oyster-colored maple cabinetry.

Side Bar Convenience

To enhance the functional kitchen layout, a display cabinet and a wet bar with sink and built-in icemaker are featured in an adjacent space. The same limestone countertop and cabinetry is repeated. The backsplash, however, is made of tumbled marble--a stone that is pulverized for an aged appearance.

The wall-mounted cabinets with glass-paneled doors provide practical and decorative storage for the homeowner's antique Waterford crystal. A French door provides easy access to the back patio and waterfront beyond.

Appetizing Style

The wrought iron table with its light pine top takes full advantage of the sunny window bay and views of the Sound. To complement the room's neutral color scheme, the homeowner selected Queen Anne-style chairs in natural finish with muslin-covered seat cushions.

On the table a bouquet of red dahlias, a chilled bottle of wine, creamware china, and a three-tiered fruit basket create the perfect setting for an autumn luncheon. Twig placemats and red plaid linens have been included for additional decoration and color.

No comments: