In an old house, the projects can seem endless. For Rick and Liz O'Leary, redoing their 1840s farmhouse room by room meant that pouring all their resources into the ramshackle cook space was out of the question. So the couple, architectural designers based in Croton Falls, New York, tackled the project themselves with the help of friends and family. Together they tore out the low ceiling, revealing original timber beams that they highlighted with white-painted pine planks in between, and brightened the space with openings for two new windows and a French door.
Shown: Exposed beams give the room history—and a higher ceiling. New windows let in more light. A painted floor adds a hit of sunny color and a vintage look.
Architectural designers: Liz and Rick O'Leary, Two Tall Trees Design; 914-669-0014