Photography: Rana Faure
Getting it right is no easy task! Function must dictate design within the particular physical limitations, but style is critical. The room must be laid out to accommodate a simple work pattern and an easy traffic flow, and to include the specific appliances, cabinetry, and conveniences each family requires. Subtle variations in color, stone, tile, hardware, and even lighting, and minor nuances in design and construction, can substantially impact the use and experience of the room.
The family of six that called on Abigail Braden to redesign the kitchen in their South Salem Colonial had the familiar tall order: Make an average size room feel expansive; Keep costs reasonable but make it look expensive; Pick a style, colors and finishes that are fashionable, yet timeless; Use materials that are both pretty and practical; Plenty of storage, but all hidden away; Best-in-class appliances, but still often clad in cabinetry; And, of course, design something that suits the particular tastes of that family and works within the particular architecture of that house.
“In designing this kitchen, we started with main features that would set the mood,” Abigail explains. “We designed a huge island with a waterfall edge and placed it in the center of the room – as a focal point and a vessel for plenty of storage. We chose quartz for the countertops, backsplashes and paneled wall. We used a sleek electric cooktop, with a striking rectangular hood covered in a dark gray quartz and trimmed in organic tan wood, that stands in contrast to the white quartz wall behind it. The relatively flat wooden custom cabinetry is finished above the countertops in a rich and sophisticated deep blue, and is used to face all the cabinets and major appliances other than the oven. The overall color scheme involves the white quartz, the blonde hues of the cabinetry below the countertops and the floor, the blue and gray of the major cabinetry and other touches, and a combination of brass and black hardware accents.”
The kitchen is modern, but still warm and inviting, with a hint of a Scandinavian feel. The clean horizontal and vertical planes make the room seem spacious. The colors and textures are bold, but the overall feeling is calm. There’s a real WOW factor – but not so much that it feels too fancy to start chopping a salad.
Abigail says proudly, “We’re pleased to show this kitchen as an example of our work. While we’ve done plenty of projects in grand and spectacular spaces, and kitchens that involve redundant appliances, multiple islands, dining areas and catering capabilities, this kitchen shows how we can make an ordinary space into an extraordinary room.”