Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Style Guide: Country Kitchens (Part VII)

A renovation opens up the kitchen of a 1912 home while bringing it Victorian charm

Bright Ideas

When a married couple bought their 1912 home on Long Island, New York, five years ago, they found it hadn't been altered much in the 80 years since its construction. "We considered that an advantage," says the wife. "Most of the houses in the area had been done over and over again." But that also meant the house was lacking modern comforts, such as a washer, dryer, and dishwasher. "We didn't want to change the place too much," she says, explaining why renovations were focused on the back of the house, opening the kitchen to the surrounding rooms and adding new conveniences.

To add Victorian detail, designer Greg Jordan replicated cabinets in the adjoining pantry, using handblown restoration glass to give an authentic appearance. Tongue-and-groove panels distinguish the lower cabinet doors and the wainscoting; beaded board sheathes the ceiling. Hand-glazed tiles form a backsplash and top the central food-prep island.

Smart Planning

Although the renovated kitchen retains its original dimensions, the addition of the island makes more efficient use of the large space. Beyond the island stands the range where an old coal stove once sat. On either side, the old walls and doors have been removed, affording views of the bright, open rooms beyond. The house's original French doors supply the room with abundant sunlight as the dining table stands ready for entertaining guests.

A Sunny Nook

The dining area, originally a series of smaller, closed-off rooms, was the site of several radical changes. The wall separating it from the kitchen was knocked out, and the entire room was extended 10 feet into the backyard. The result is a more open, airy space, filled with sunlight streaming through the house's original French doors. Rug, pillows: Shyam Ahuja. Shades: B-B Shades.

A Radiant Start

Yellow has long been a favorite color for kitchens due to its cheerful, eye-opening quality. Blue and white offer a crisp contrast to yellow. Here, the table is set for an inviting breakfast. An embroidered tablecloth and English plates repeat the yellow wainscoting and blue-and-white wallpaper in the kitchen and dining area.

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