October 13, 2014
The warmth an owner would want from a home up in Lincoln, Mass., failed to translate in a formerly galley-like kitchen. Arranged haphazardly with the kitchen in the center of the home, blocking off the rest of the house and cut off from the outside, the home and its mismanaged additions worked against each other.
Designer Peter Sugar is working to redesign the entire home with a floor plan that makes more sense. “The previous owners never looked at the whole house,” he said. “Once you add things to a house you have to look at the whole arrangement because it becomes something different.”
Dating back to the late 1960s, the long home resembles a deckhouse with a cedar-stained interior. “We used the color of the wood as an element, which then echoes in the materials,” explained Sugar. A new terracotta tile floor was installed, which boasts an earthy tone without a uniform color. “We then worked on how to best unify everything,” he added.
The homeowners entertain and cook frequently and hoped for a larger kitchen, which the current galley space did not live up to. Although it had skylights, the room also lacked windows looking outside. To solve these problems, the plan was changed so that the dining room moved into the former living room and also took advantage of the space’s fireplace. The new kitchen is now housed in a room toward the front of the house and looks out on the garden.
The cherry wood cabinets have a modern design with no embellishments or visible hinges. Along with the stainless steel handles, a granite countertop pairs with a travertine marble backsplash. A six-ft.-wide, double range oven; two sinks; and a large island with seating for three provides for the family’s love of cooking and entertaining.
“Basically the idea was to have nothing left hanging around,” said Sugar. “It had to fit together into a general aesthetic and needed to look neat and tidy.”
The disadvantage of the kitchen’s plethora of natural wood was installing the lighting.
“We had issues with the lights because the house has an exposed wood ceiling,” he explained. “It was very hard to take the wiring around.”
A suspended tracking light on a rail provides the ideal solution, as it can be erected to illuminate the owner’s art pieces. A wood valence containing a track of wiring for recessed cans and three pendants looks like it is part of the ceiling.
“The lighting works very much in harmony with all we have done with the pieces of equipment and all of the counters,” said Sugar. One light points directly to the sink, while two lights illuminate the prep area. Three skylights and the large windows give the kitchen its natural warmth.
“The great thing about this kitchen is the ability move around and not be constricted,” Sugar said. “We had to rework the whole floor plan to make it more interesting, but this was the rational for how the design came to be.”
Walls: Existing cedar with travertine marble backsplashes
Floor: Italian 12″x 12″ tile