modernized old-style kitchen from 1880s farmhouse remodel
Photo: Helen Norman
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As time went by, the constraints of the 19th-century house became clear. Its "T" was formed by a broad facade with a central gable and a narrow stem just one room wide and three rooms long. The kitchen, last updated in the 1980s, was stuck at the bottom of the stem with no buffer between its back door and the yard. When the couple entertained, as they often do, guests piled up in the kitchen, neglecting the pine-paneled parlor and living room flanking the front entry. More to the point, says Alden, "Amy’s hobby, cooking, was the center point of our family life. And for all those years, she had three feet of counter space."

Still, they put their dreams of 21st-century amenities on hold—until the day Alden offered to buy Amy a new stove.

As it happened, she knew exactly the one she wanted: a French import with two ovens and a customized-to-order array of high- and low-BTU burners, able to dispatch dinner for 12 in no-time flat.

The Details
The floor in the grand new kitchen, made from reclaimed heart pine, weds it to the rest of the first floor. The kitchen’s four doorways and its landing for the new back stairs also evoke the past.

a ) The creamy yellow of the Quality Custom Cabinetry's cabinets' "aged" patina is the result of a caramel-tinted glaze. The plate rack's contrasting green paint makes the space look as if it evolved over time.

b ) The Calacatta-gold marble counter is set lower at the baking station.

c ) The Lacanche stove has a custom assembly of burners.

d) The Pratt & Larson ceramic-tile back­splash ties together the earth tones and brass accents used throughout. The faucets are from Franke.

e) The reclaimed heart-pine floor makes the new kitchen blend seamlessly with the older parts of the house.
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