A Stylistic Fit
Broberg's second major challenge was to create a state-of-the-art kitchen whose look was in keeping with the rest of the house. Staying within the existing footprint, she gutted and completely refurbished the space with simple milk-painted maple cabinets and beadboard wainscoting. She chose honed black granite for the countertops. "It has the look of soapstone—which would have been truer to the period of the house—but with far less maintenance," says Broberg.

Providing something of a template for the new cabinets, Hollis and Jim decided to keep and refinish an existing painted pine, glass-front hutch from the old kitchen. It was separated into upper and lower cabinets, which were stripped of layer upon layer of paint, stained a warm chestnut, and reinstalled across from the sink. "We don't know if they were original to the house, but they were certainly old," says Broberg. "It was another way to preserve the history of the house through various eras."

Rather than take the kitchen's upper cabinets to the ceiling, Broberg filled the space with a soffit and double crown molding appropriate to the period of the house. "While your first impulse might be to extend the cabinets all the way up, we shortened them and used the decorative molding to draw the eye upward," she says. "This actually makes the room look taller."

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