Century-Old Showhouse Displays Three Times the Style

BUFFALO, NY — With its three separate, yet identical levels, the Century House was a natural choice for Decorators’ Show House 2005 by the Junior League of Buffalo and The Buffalo News – a collaboration that has raised $2.4 million for various projects and charities in the Buffalo area.

Originally created in 1904 by renowned Buffalo architectural firm Esenwein and Johnson, the Neo-Classical-style home – located here on Lincoln Parkway – has three separate floors that measure nearly 4,000 sq. ft. each and are identical in layout.

This unique, three-in-one residence truly gave the local designers, decorators and craftspeople who worked on it a unique opportunity – the chance to incorporate three different and distinct styles within one home.

The three-times-the-style theme of the Decorators’ Show House – now in its 13th year – was chosen by the Junior League and the homeowner. Each floor received a different design approach. The first floor was traditional, while the third floor reflected a Tuscan/Urban look. The second floor – where Mary Hogle, co-owner, Eden Interiors in Buffalo, NY, worked – had a contemporary feel.

The space Hogle re-imagined on the second floor was the original kitchen and pantry. Regarding the space’s overall design, Hogle shares that she wanted to do a layout that would result in a well functioning kitchen, “as opposed to just being attractive. I wanted it to be very nice for entertaining, as well as functional for a small family or for cooking.”

Stainless Style

The large, almost galley-style kitchen features a cooking area on one side and a prep area on the other.

“It was sort of an L-shape on one wall, and then an inverted L-shape on the other,” explains Hogle.

The cooking side features an undercounter, black glass microwave and combination stainless steel/black glass Jenn-Air range and a pot filler. A stainless steel Broan hood tops the range.

A stainless steel counter from SpecialtyStainless.com wraps around the cooking space to create a bar area at the curve in the L shape. And a floating raised bar above the counter, made from rusted-plate steel with a baked-on clearcoat, gives the section a warm copper-toned accent. Stools are located on the other side of the bar for casual seating.

The opposite wall features an integrated stainless steel sink and countertop, also from SpecialtyStainless.com, as well as a black glass dishwasher. A black glass Jenn-Air refrigerator stands in the L curve of the prep area.

“I chose black glass appliances for the room partly because the other designers in the showhouse were using stainless,” comments Hogle. “I decided to do something different, and it fit beautifully.”

Clean-lined cabinets from Kemper Cabinetry in a Cabernet finish give the room a contemporary, yet warm feeling. Several feature glass fronts.

“The cabinets were very well equipped for a showhouse,” she says. “They were outfitted beautifully, with divisions and spice racks and many other extras.”

Stainless steel countertops also give the room a contemporary edge, she adds.

The backsplash and opposite wall are done in 6"x6", matte ceramic tiles “to give an industrial feeling to the space,” remarks Hogle. The tiles feature a combination of gray and the warm cabinet color that ties together the room’s overall look. The 16"x16" floor tiles from Studio Ceramica have a concrete look.

Behind the bar area is a wall of windows that overlooks the yard. They provide a tremendous amount of natural light, which is enhanced by recessed and undercabinet lighting, as well as two pendants over the bar.

Pantry Plus

The tile from the kitchen continues in the pantry area, acting as a backdrop for a large piece of art.

“The pantry featured counter to ceiling tile, with this phenomenal piece of artwork placed over the small prep sink that was integrated into the stainless countertop,” reports Hogle.

Across from the sink area is a long counter that can be used to hold party platters.

More Cabernet-finished cabinets provided additional storage. All of these were staggered, “which provided quite a bit of visual interest,” Hogle explains.

Glass doors, open shelves and pull-outs added style and functionality to the pantry.

Finishing the pantry’s overall look is a wine bar and a U-Line wine refrigerator.

“Overall, the new kitchen was a really useful space,” Hogle concludes.