The backstory: The homeowners enlisted interior designer Anne Dempsey to renovate their kitchen, using the footprint of the original kitchen plus an adjacent office. The homeowners wanted two islands: one for everyday use plus a second dedicated to baking.
Scope of work: Except for a few retained features from the original spaces, this project was a total remodel.
Layout: Combining the original kitchen and office created a long, skinny space — 12½feet wide and 25 feet long. Dempsey was determined to break up the kitchen visually so that it wouldn’t feel excessively narrow. Adding two islands certainly helped distract attention from the shape of the room, as did varying the materials.
Cabinetry: The owners didn’t want traditional-looking cabinet doors, so Dempsey and her team designed a custom slab door with a 1-inch bevel applied to the outer edge. “Because the edge detail is applied to the door — versus being routed into the wood — it is a unique look and really special,” Dempsey says.
The cabinets on the hutch and to the left of the refrigerator feature antiqued mirrored glass. This subtle but important detail helps keep the design in line with the rest of this older home, balancing out the look since the other cabinetry veers more modern.
Main island: The island with the sink is in the space that used to be the office. The owners originally wanted larger islands, but the space wasn’t wide enough, so Dempsey included conveniences like drop-in areas within the sink for cutting boards, as well as a teak draining board.
Countertops: The two islands feature different quartz countertop materials. The main island and perimeter countertop feature a subtly variegated off-white material, while the countertop on the baking island is whiter and has some veining, which adds visual texture without being distracting. “I felt like we needed to use multiple finishes to break up the monotony of a lot of cabinets in a long room,” the designer says. Since the baking island was already getting a furniture look (you’ll see its feet and open shelves in the last photo in this story), she chose that island for the alternate counter material.
Range hood: The homeowners already had a 54-inch range hood that was like new, not to mention quite expensive, so they chose not to replace this element. Instead, Dempsey and her team clad the original hood in walnut so that it harmonized with the rest of the cabinetry.
Savings: The existing refrigerator, oven, range and hood were in good condition, so the owners decided to keep them. They did replace the dishwasher. As they did with the range hood, the owners covered two 30-inch pullout refrigerator drawers in walnut to allow them to blend in.
Backsplash: Aqua tile in a star and cross pattern brings a hit of color to the backsplash.
Main island and perimeter countertops: Akoya, Vicostone; baking island countertop: Aurea Stone; refrigerator and pullout refrigerator drawers: Sub-Zero; oven, range and range hood: Viking; backsplash tile: Star & Cross in Jade, Fireclay Tile; 45-inch sink: Multiere, Kallista; browse stainless steel sinks
Chandeliers: The owner spotted a version of this fixture in a magazine and asked Dempsey if she could incorporate it. Because different configurations are available, Dempsey was able to choose a size and formation that would fit best over each island. The fixtures’ brushed gold hardware lends warmth to the room.
Sink: The sole sink in the space is in the main island and has pedals to allow the faucet to be turned on and off hands-free. The baking island has a continuous countertop with no sink.
Just past the end of the countertop, you can see a source of natural light. This area was previously the office, where the couple had recently installed French doors. Dempsey was able to leave them in place, bringing natural light into the kitchen space, as well as providing easy access to outside.
Open shelves and cubbies help create a furniture look for the baking island while providing useful storage.