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Mixing Furniture Styles in the Kitchen

An architect and his cookbook-editor wife build a kitchen with an eclectic, added-onto-over-time look.

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Old house in need of new kitchen — sound familiar? Sure — and as problematic as it is familiar, especially if you're like homeowner/architect Bill Martin and you want to preserve the aesthetic of a late-19th-century house while building a state-of-the-art cooking space. His solution: Mix it up, which is what he and his wife, Jackie, did when they enlarged the kitchen in their 1895 Westwood, New Jersey, home. "We wanted a look and style that would be compatible with the soul of the house," says Bill of the side-hall Colonial Revival they keep period with a blend of antiques.

When the couple decided to bump out the existing dark, cramped kitchen, they considered placement. "Putting an addition on the side limited square footage but was more in keeping with the house than building out to the rear with a great room/deck plan," says Bill.

Inside, the Martins wanted an eclectic look that suggested that the kitchen had evolved with the house: a blend of furniture pieces and built-ins with different paint and stain finishes. The plan nodded to technology with a Wolf range for Jackie, a serious cook and former cookbook editor. To integrate all of this without disaster, they gave their idea file to local kitchen designer Alan Asarnow.

"They didn't want it to scream 'new,'" says Asarnow, who hired custom cabinetmakers and suggested stone and copper countertops, ebonized oak floors, and a subway-tiled backsplash that covered the whole wall, as it would have in a house of this era."Now," says Bill, "when people come to visit, they ask, 'Where's the addition?'"
Old house in need of new kitchen — sound familiar? Sure — and as problematic as it is familiar, especially if you're like homeowner/architect Bill Martin and you want to preserve the aesthetic of a late-19th-century house while building a state-of-the-art cooking space. His solution: Mix it up, which is what he and his wife, Jackie, did when they enlarged the kitchen in their 1895 Westwood, New Jersey, home. "We wanted a look and style that would be compatible with the soul of the house," says Bill of the side-hall Colonial Revival they keep period with a blend of antiques.

When the couple decided to bump out the existing dark, cramped kitchen, they considered placement. "Putting an addition on the side limited square footage but was more in keeping with the house than building out to the rear with a great room/deck plan," says Bill.

Inside, the Martins wanted an eclectic look that suggested that the kitchen had evolved with the house: a blend of furniture pieces and built-ins with different paint and stain finishes. The plan nodded to technology with a Wolf range for Jackie, a serious cook and former cookbook editor. To integrate all of this without disaster, they gave their idea file to local kitchen designer Alan Asarnow.

"They didn't want it to scream 'new,'" says Asarnow, who hired custom cabinetmakers and suggested stone and copper countertops, ebonized oak floors, and a subway-tiled backsplash that covered the whole wall, as it would have in a house of this era."Now," says Bill, "when people come to visit, they ask, 'Where's the addition?'"
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The Plan

 

The Plan

eclectically furnished kitchen
Photo by David Prince
Old Kitchen Plan
Old Kitchen
The kitchen was cramped and out of date.

New Kitchen

New Kitchen Plan

What They Did

1. ENLARGED THE FOOTPRINT
Out came the old sink wall to make way for a 10-by-22-foot addition. The shared kitchen/dining room wall was also moved in by 4½ feet to make space for a new powder room. The net result: double the space at 390 square feet.

2. RELOCATED THE APPLIANCES
The addition forms a galley workspace. Centered on the wall, the range forms a triangle with the prep sink and fridge.

3. CREATED AN EATING AREA
The now smaller area where the old kitchen had been holds a large table and chairs.

4. REASSIGNED AUXILIARY SPACES
Since the kitchen's back door is the family's main entrance, the architect/homeowner created a mini mudroom in the vestibule. The powder room was relocated and the existing space converted to a pantry.

5. MADE DEEP SILLS FOR DISPLAY
The architect/homeowner bumped out the windows 16 inches, enlarging the narrow room visually and creating spaces to hold plants and an alcove for a window seat.
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The Details

 

The Details

the plan
Photo by David Prince
1. THE CUSTOM PREP-SINK CABINET
from RangeCraft has a copper countertop with an integral basin, copper-plated faucets, and pullout produce baskets below. The color of the piece — and the entire kitchen — was inspired by a vintage tackle box (to the right of the sink) used as a bread box.





2. PIERCED-TIN CABINET DOORS
designed by Draper-DBS, are reminiscent of a pie safe and add textural interest. More pierced tin conceals the paneled Sub-Zero vent.





3. ETCHED FROSTED GLASS
marks the entry to the pantry. The nearby tackboard, magnetic chalkboard, and mini desk were framed by the cabinetmaker to match surrounding built-ins.





4. THE EATING AREA
occupies the old kitchen's work zone. The homeowners liked the exposed brick from the boiler chimney and filled in the adjacent wall with a cherry filing cabinet and bookcase.





5. A WINDOW SEAT
occupies an alcove next to the bookcase with Jackie Martin's cookbook collection. The cherry top is bowed out for comfort. Painted paneling on the base echoes that above the range hood
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Where to Find It

 

Where to Find It

cramped kitchen before
Photo by David Prince
Architect:
William J. Martin, AIA, WJM
Architect, Westwood, NJ 201-666-5576
www. wjmarchitect.com

Kitchen designer:
Alan Asarnow, CMKBD, CR,
Ulrich Inc., Ridgewood, NJ, 201-445-1260.

Contractor/builder: Jim Burke, Burke Built Construction Inc.
Washington Township, NJ, 201-666-2122;
www. burkebuilt.com

Cabinetmaker:
Draper-DBS, Perkasie, PA, 215-453-7661;
www. draperdbs.com

Range:
Wolf Range Co., Long Beach, CA, 800-366-9653;
www. wolfrange.com

Refrigerator:
Sub-Zero Freezer Co. Madison, WI 800-222-7820;
www. subzero.com

Dishwasher:
Miele Inc., Princeton, NJ, 609-419-9898;
www. miele.com

Stone countertops:
Stone Surfaces Inc., East Rutherford, NJ, 201-935-8803.


Kitchen area rug:
Woodard Weave "Concord Street,"
Woodard & Greenstein Antiques Corporation, New York, NY, 800-332-7847;
www. woodardweave.com

Dining area rug:
Woodard Weave "Brunswick,"
Woodard & Greenstein, 800-332-7847;
www. woodardweave.com
 
 

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