If you’re a family with 3 active small boys living in a turn-of-the-century house in Rowayton, kitchen space and a mud-room are going to be high on your list of priorities! And that was exactly the case with one of our recent clients, who live on Oysterman’s Row, down by 5 Mile River.
For this family of five, they needed a space designed for very active people as well as much storage as DEANE could fit. Their primary goal was to be able to feed the boys and get them on the road as efficiently as possible. The house is a block from the beach- so the parents and boys both spend a lot of time outside, which meant adding a mudroom was a necessity.
The house was a late 1800s, early 1900s fishing village house, so given their more modern sensibilities, clients were also interested in a much lighter, airier space than they had, as well as maximizing the existing kitchen space and carving a breakfast area out of part of what was formerly a family room.
Given those parameters, our DEANE design team really wanted to make the new space as modern and uncluttered as we could, both to make the most of the space and also help the rooms feel larger. An important part of achieving that result would be the ability to keep everything off the counters. The existing kitchen didn’t have a place to eat-in, so we made sure to create an island for seating, in addition to the breakfast area.
Given that this is a historic house, we needed to maximize the relatively small space, while creating as much storage as we could fit. Bringing in as much natural light as possible also meant big windows, which reduced the amount of wall storage possible, so we needed to find a balance. There were also two short walls in the space- we turned one into pantries, and managed to use the other for the stove!
Since the house is so close to the beach, and on Oysterman’s Row, we wanted to preserve the nautical character and historic feel while creating an open, light and modern space.
The full pantry wall we installed on one of the short walls goes up the full height of the room to the ceiling, and has two fridge drawers below. Another innovation is the special utensils drawer that gets those canisters off the counters, and uses a drawer space that would too narrow for the utensils to even lie down in. There are spice racks on the inside of the cabinet doors throughout the kitchen, as well as not one but two appliance garages to keep the appliances off the counters and out of the way of both the boys and adults. Our microwave is embedded into our island, allowing us to save even more counter space, while maximizing what we get out of the island. We also used the other side of the island for foot-deep overflow cabinets for more seldom used items.
Since this is a transitional kitchen, we at DEANE wanted to incorporate a few more traditional elements and finishes to bring the house’s history and aesthetic nicely into our new modern space. We included a farmhouse sink for the more traditional feel, with a Rohl faucet to play against the selected more modern cabinetry, which has cleaner edges and less molding. For nautical touches, we used ship lap for the walls as well as the soffits over the cabinets. Our lighting details use rope, and the stain chosen for the floor as well as the paint for the cabinet are a soft gray, bringing to mind weathering, and playing well off the beams overhead.
We put in a 6 burner Wolf stove, a Subzero fridge, and two fridge drawers underneath the cabinets on the pantry wall. The counters are Vermont white quartzite. In the mudroom there are individual lockers for each child (3), then one for the parents, along with floor-level shoe drawers, & many bins for everything else. The clients also added a laundry and powder room off the mudroom.