Grace and balance

refined kitchen with modern touches

The coffered ceiling with rustic beadboard panels and cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, flooring, interior design, kitchen, room, wood flooring, gray
The coffered ceiling with rustic beadboard panels and an oak floor with a more contemporary walnut stain both contribute to the aesthetics of this kitchen by Patrick Ahearn. Pilaster legs give the island a furniture appeal and these are echoed in the two half-legs that flank the large cooktop. Most appliances are integrated, but stainless steel cooktop and ovens add a modern touch.

Designing a kitchen as part of a new addition to a period home is an opportunity to extend the grandeur of the existing architectural detailing and at the same time, introduce touches of modern refinement into the new space.

Such was the case for this mainly traditional kitchen by architect Patrick Ahearn. The modest brick 1930s home has been extended to the rear and several rooms added, including a carriage house, mudroom and this kitchen, says Ahearn.

"For the sake of harmony, the detailed crown mouldings and exposed beams of the rest of the house have been drawn into this kitchen design, giving it a dramatic character," says Ahearn. "Elsewhere, the coffered ceilings are paneled; here we elected to use beadboard between the moulded beams for a more rustic effect."

A backsplash panel in diagonally set raised pillow cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, floor, home, interior design, kitchen, room, window, gray
A backsplash panel in diagonally set raised pillow tiles creates a point of focus in this traditional kitchen by architect Patrick Ahearn. In a room where everything subtly connects, the upholstery fabric for the chairs was chosen to match the Carrara marble countertop on the island. The contrasting perimeter countertops are in mahogany, in a dark stain.

The island has a furniture-like appeal with its wood base, pilaster legs and a Carrara countertop. Light fittings and the fabric for the chairs were chosen in tones to match the marble.

"The large commercial cooktop is another focal point of the space," says Ahearn. "Pilaster legs to either side define this area and echo those on the island. Raised pillow tiles make up the backsplash, which is set in a frame proud of the wall, giving it the appearance of a work of art. To avoid reducing the impact, we chose classic subway tiles to fill the areas from the cabinetry to the countertop."

The traditional cabinetry has a custom finish created by the architect. During the day, the paint looks mid-white, but seems to have a patina by night. The white contrasts the black perimeter countertops, which are in mahogany.

With ample storage a priority for the owners, cabinetry, countertop, cuisine classique, interior design, kitchen, room, gray
With ample storage a priority for the owners, the architect introduced maximum-depth drawers on all cabinetry elements. The floral blinds bring a splash of color to the scheme. A pot-filler on the backsplash provides handy functionality and adds to the traditional feel of the kitchen. The prepping station overlooks the entry so the chef can keep one eye out for the arrival of guests.

Builder Mark Kaplan, who undertook the whole extension and the kitchen, says the bespoke cabinetry reflects the level of detailing and finish required by designer and owner.

"Despite the overall traditional ambiance, this kitchen has contrasting modern touches," says Ahearn. "The tapering on the pilaster legs gives them a contemporary edge, for example, as do the long nickel pulls on the cabinetry. While some appliances are integrated, the cooktop and wall ovens add the sleek look of stainless steel. And the island pendants contribute another, subtly modern note."

Multiple work surfaces include the prep area beside the window, and there are dishwashers on both sides of the kitchen. Wide drawers throughout optimize storage space.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Patrick Ahearn AIA, BSA, Patrick Ahearn Architect
Cabinet company
Custom millwork by Triple Crown Cabinet & Millwork Corporation
Dark-stained mahogany, Carrara marble
General contractor
Mark Kaplan, Sanford Custom Builders
Wood, painted in Benjamin Moore Linen and China White
Antique oak

Story by: Charles Moxham

05 Mar, 2014

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