“It was,” Anne agrees. “It was awful.”
The floorplan of the existing kitchen, long and narrow and divided by a stairwell to the basement, was not going to work for this active family who was used to doing life around a big kitchen island. So they moved the stairwell, took out the dated cherry laminate cabinets and bumped up the ceiling by taking advantage of unused attic space above.
Anne knew she wanted a bright, white country kitchen. She covered the cabinets in a clean white paint and extended the subway tile up the wall around the range, pairing it with a charcoal grout so each tile would pop. Since the family spends a lot of time gathering around their kitchen island, Anne wanted to rim it with comfortable seating. She picked a great bench and slip covered it in a Sunbrella fabric so spills were not a problem. If she ever gets tired of it, she can just replace the slip cover.
Anne’s contractor discovered some reclaimed wood that they turned into display shelves in the kitchen. Anne really likes warm metals, so she perched the rugged wood on gold brackets. You can see her design talents come to life in the display she created on the shelves, which will change with each season.
In addition to cabinets and cupboards, Anne likes to use free-standing furniture as storage in her kitchen. This large-scale buffet is the perfect place to store her china. Check out how Anne used baskets to collect small pieces like cups and saucers, and to weave in some texture. Anne says that it wasn’t until she added her accents, layer by layer, that the new house began to feel like home.
A CASUAL, INVITING DINING ROOM
This is what Anne was faced with when imagining what the dining room could be. A small, awkwardly situated fireplace. Low ceilings. A floor that had seen better days.
To open up the room and give it more light and life, they bumped up the ceiling into unused attic space above, covered the wall in shiplap, accentuated the fireplace with hand-painted tiles and used a piece of reclaimed wood as the mantel. Anne is a master at making any space feel warm and inviting. I love the centerpiece on her dining room table, touches of blue that echo the tile in the fireplace. My next question for Anne is, “When can I move in?”
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com