Kitchen Offers Farmhouse Charm With Modern Twist

Kitchen Offers Farmhouse Charm With Modern Twist

By Barbara Capella Loehr

She notes, "At the start, the home was a 1940s colonial with a nondescript, flat façade and low-pitched roofline." The owners a young family wanted Kurth to transform the kitchen into something more in keeping with the tone of the quaint surrounding neighborhood. Additionally, they wanted her to add an adjacent family room and give the home's exterior some architectural pizzazz.

However, she was not alone in this large undertaking. She collaborated with John Rapetti, also with Kurth's architectural firm, as well as contractor Joe Riccardi of RCM Construction and consultant Alice Hayes of Kitchens by Deane.

"The existing house was, again, nondescript, and in need of an update. The homeowners wanted to remedy that, and since the home overlooks one of the last remaining farms in the area, they wanted the overall look of the addition we were creating to 'communicate' with the look of that farm," explains Kurth. "The resulting project is a classic design that fits into the neighborhood context, and is distinctive on its own merit."

GOLDEN ARCHES
As a result of this directive and many subsequent discussions with the homeowners about how to achieve their goals for the expanded space, Kurth decided to combine the remodeled kitchen and the new family living area into one large space.

However, there were two problems with this idea. The first, says Kurth, was that the owners "did not want to change the position of the existing, adjacent dining room" so as to keep the existing position of the desk area they originally had in the kitchen.

The second, and very large, obstacle was the fact that the back wall of the home, the one which Kurth and her team were planning to blow out to create the new kitchen and family room, was a supporting wall with large steel beams and a variety of chases for the home's plumbing.

While some might have been daunted by this, Kurth merely went back to her the drawing board literally and devised a new one to make the idea work.

"We had to be efficient in the space we had and in the space we were creating, since the homeowners still wanted a desk area in the kitchen and wanted a 'big oven combination' as a focal point in the kitchen," she notes.

Kurth continues: "I thought about this some more, and believed that if we could install a thicker wall in place of the existing one, we could give it an 'arcaded' effect. That way, we could create several arches that offered focus-featured views through each one."

She was right on the money, and with the clients' approval, Kurth and her team set forth to make it a reality. The wall was thickened and several arches were carved in, with the center arch framing a second sink area on the kitchen side and a breakfast center/seating area on the family room side.

The thicker wall with the new arches allowed Kurth and her team to add the new family room and create a new outdoor deck. Her plan also kept the dining room in the same place, but she was able to reclaim some of the dining room space for the renovated kitchen. She then incorporated a new mudroom between the modified dining room and kitchen.

To create the mudroom, plus a small laundry area tucked in between the kitchen and garage, she reclaimed some space from the two-car garage. Additional changes made to the home included creating a new foyer area and moving the existing powder room over to make room for the now larger kitchen.

FARMHOUSE CHARM
Once the overall plan for modifying and expanding the home were set in place, Kurth and her team moved forward with the design portion of the program. Her intent was to make the kitchen, as well as the rest of the interior space and exterior space, resonate with the kind of farmhouse charm the owners wanted.

To achieve this style in the kitchen, Kurth and her team applied a furniture look to the storage-packed cabinetry from Kitchens by Deane, tying the kitchen design into the family room by installing two tones of natural wood cabinetry and adding some painted and distressed cabinetry in both rooms.

Additionally, crown molding and panel details that appear in the kitchen and family room help warm up the spaces, says Kurth. Shapes, such as the arches, were also echoed throughout the kitchen, including those over
the large Viking oven/range, and in the niche above the restyled desk area, which features a cork backsplash.

Plus, while the house has somewhat of a country feel, and the owners wanted to capture that in the new kitchen design, Kurth says the clients wanted it to also feel "modern" instead of so completely country. As a result, a more transitional kitchen design evolved.

"They're young, and they wanted to add a freshness to the design," she notes. "Thus, it has historical references to traditional things found years ago in a home such as this, but it has all of the amenities of a contemporary kitchen of today. It definitely has a modern twist and a clean look."

For example, Kurth points to the Absolute Granite, medium-honed countertops in black used on the aforementioned breakfast center, perimeter surfaces and the main work island. Likewise, stainless steel appliances add a modern vibe. The updated kitchen includes a Viking oven/range, Sub-Zero refrigerator, Best hood, Miele dishwasher, and the warming drawer and GE Stainless microwave, installed at one end of the island "to make it less obvious."

Another example that lent to the transitional, crisp feel of the kitchen design is Kurth's choice to install high hat lights over the island instead of pendant lights.

Finally, new wood floors installed throughout the house help tie the kitchen and family room together with the rest of
the home.

The newly renovated and expanded kitchen/family room allows the homeowners to entertain more comfortably, according to Kurth.

"It's a day and night improvement We updated the exterior and other spaces in the home, but upgrading and expanding the kitchen was the main thrust of the design," notes Kurth. "Family and guests can congregate in the new space, and the homeowners can have friends over, and all of them can gather around the island They can entertain a lot more."

Project Highlights

  • The existing house was "nondescript" and in need of an update, says Carol J.W. Kurth, AIA, of The Office of Carol J.W. Kurth, AIA Architects, p.c., in Bedford, NY. The homeowners wanted to remedy that, and since the home overlooks one of the last remaining farms in the area, "the clients wanted the overall look of the addition we were creating to 'communicate' with the look of that farm," explains Kurth. "The resulting project is a classic design that fits into the neighborhood context, and is distinctive on its own merit."
     
  • To accomplish the clients' design objectives, Kurth had to overcome two obstacles: the fact the owners did not want to move the position of the existing dining room, and the fact that the back wall of the home, the one which Kurth and her team were planning to blow out to create the new kitchen and family room, was a supporting wall with large steel beams and a variety of chases for the home's plumbing.
     
  • Kurth and her team overcame the first obstacle by keeping the dining room in place, only reclaiming some of that space, along with moving the powder room, to accommodate the redesigned kitchen and new family area. The second was overcome by thickening the back load-bearing wall of the home and carving arches into it to both hide the chases and provide some interesting architectural detail.
     
  • To achieve the farmhouse charm the owners desired in the kitchen, Kurth and her team applied a furniture look to the storage-packed cabinetry from Kitchens by Deane.
     
  • While the house has somewhat of a country feel, and the owners wanted to capture that in the new kitchen design, Kurth says the clients wanted it to also feel "modern" instead of so completely country. As a result, a more transitional kitchen design evolved.
     
  • To achieve the transitional feel, Kurth chose Absolute Granite, medium-honed countertops in black used on the breakfast center, perimeter surfaces and the main work island, and stainless steel appliances, which include the large Viking oven/range the owners desired, plus a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Best hood, Miele dishwasher and GE Stainless microwave.
     
  • New wood floors installed throughout the house help tie the kitchen and family room together with the rest of the home.
     
  • Products include: cabinetry by Kitchens by Deane; Sub-Zero refrigerator; Viking oven/range; Best hood; Miele dishwasher; GE Stainless microwave; Franke sink; Absolute Granite, medium-honed countertops in black, and wood flooring.

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