April 5, 2019
Set along the New Jersey coast, one home had the setting to offer but lacked a design that suited the homeowner. With golden cherry cabinetry, cream-colored granite countertops and a wallpapered backsplash, the kitchen looked and felt dated.
“The previous space was too conservative for the client,” said designer Rene Costabile of Sea Girt, N.J.-based Design Line Kitchens. “It consisted of a color palette that was popular 15 years ago.”
Introducing a Modern Layout
Along with its palette, the island was not large enough for the homeowner, and there was not sufficient storage. The pantry was also disorganized and not as functional as it needed to be.
“My goals were to provide more seating, add concealed storage for small appliances, introduce function and beauty to the walk-in pantry and overall create a transitional style in the space,” said Costabile.
Using AutoCAD for the floor plans and 2020 Design for the 3D renderings, the designer first changed the layout by eliminating the peninsula. This would make room for extra square footage in the future island. To create space for more cabinetry and larger appliances, she closed off an extra doorway into the laundry room from the kitchen. Lastly, a half wall where the original sink overlooked the dining room was taken down.
For the pantry, Costabile removed the existing swing door and instead installed a custom, cherry wood, sliding barn door. Since the former door swung into the walkway, this also helped open up the kitchen.
Storage that Suits the Space
With more room for wall cabinetry and appliances, as well as space for an expanded island, Costabile had the opportunity to create much more storage for her client. However, it was still difficult to fulfill some of the homeowner’s wishes.
“Given the space constraints, it was challenging to make the island as large as the client wanted,” said Costabile, explaining that even with the layout changes, the kitchen still erred on the side of narrow.
The final island, which takes up the majority of the central space with wide walkways still available. serves several functions. Refrigerator drawers in arm’s reach of the sink allow for easy prepping, washing and preparing fresh ingredients for each meal. There is also a dishwasher and seating for four on the opposite side of the prep area.
While the island features a dark-stained cherry cabinetry, the doors around the perimeter of the kitchen are classic white-painted cabinets with streamlined, stainless-steel hardware for a modern appeal. Both the refrigerator and freezer have complementary white integrated panels to blend with the clean space, and the pantry was refitted with deep, modern white cabinetry that matches the kitchen storage.
All in the Details
While the kitchen now boasted an updated layout, palette and storage, it needed the right combination of texture and lighting to complete the look. This started with the tray ceiling above the island, which Costabile lined with white shiplap.
“Rather than doing the traditional horizontal installation on a wall, the shiplap was installed in a V-shape in a tray ceiling with cove lighting,” she said. “The shiplap was a labor of love! The installer had a great time upside down getting the pieces cut and seams aligned.”
Along with adding lighting into the shiplap-lined ceiling cove, she also included simple white pendants above the island. Undercabinet lighting and back-lit transom glass cabinets also complement the natural lighting in the newly opened space.
“The glass cabinets on the upper portions around the kitchen are another layer of ambient lighting that looks great day or night,” said the designer. “Just add a simple textured vase in the upper cabinets for the light to catch on, and the picture is complete.”
Designer: Rene Costabile, Design Line Kitchens, www.DesignLineKitchens.com
Photography Credit: Nettie Einhorn
Barn Door: Atlantic Millwork
Beverage Refrigerator: Marvel
Cabinet Pulls: Atlas Hardware
Cabinets: Design Line Kitchen Cabinets
Countertops: Aurea Quartz Pattern Epitome
Flooring: Porcelain Tile