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Kitchen + Office + Reading Nook

For their 1920 Tudor in Newton, Massachusetts, the homeowners gave Nashville-based designer Stephanie Sabbe a sentimental directive for this 230-square-foot kitchen. “They’re a big Irish family with four kids, and wanted a bench in the kitchen where the children could sit and look out the window while waiting for their dad to come home,” Sabbe says. That simple idea kicked off this workhorse room. How she makes it function seamlessly:

SECRET STASH To allow the family to use every inch of counter space, the microwave is set into the island. The fridge is concealed with cabinet panels. “Cladding the fridge was important to give cohesiveness to the multifunctional space, so there wasn’t a fridge next to a desk and bench,” Sabbe says. Stools slide out of the way under the prep/storage/dining island.

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Photo by Michael J. Lee

SIT PRETTY Sabbe designed the reading nook’s window bench—upholstered in wipe-clean vinyl—with two drawers, ideal for keeping a collection of children’s books and toys at the ready. A heater fan in the toekick pushes warm air forward into the room, upping the cozy factor on winter days.

DESK SET The computer desk is tucked between a tall snack pantry and the fridge, under a window that offers air and natural light—and allows this busy mom an occasional moment to gaze outside and muse.

Paint (cabinetry): Benjamin Moore’s Platinum Gray

Pendant lights: Restoration Hardware

Wall sconces: Schoolhouse Electric

Pulls: The Home Depot

Stools: Target

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