Blue and White Kitchen in a Greek Revival

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The warmth of the old floor anchors the crisp blue-and-white kitchen. The owner painted her antique English Windsor chairs blue.

The warmth of the old floor anchors the crisp blue-and-white kitchen. The owner painted her antique English Windsor chairs blue.

This kitchen is in a gable-front Greek Revival house, the iconic style of 19th-century Nantucket. Like other houses on the Massachusetts island, this one has a double staircase to the raised entry portico; islanders call them “friendship stairs.” Often referred to as The Gray Lady, Nantucket has been a vacation haven for a long time. This particular house was built in 1868 to be the summer residence of a Mr. William Bennett.

The historic façade is intact, but the house has seen many renovations and updates, including this new kitchen, a neoclassical interpretation that fits beautifully.

By keeping the original windows and flooring, the owner created a seamless transition from the rest of the house to a kitchen with a practical layout, modern appliances, and contemporary lighting. Traditional elements include restrained cabinets, beadboard and turned legs on the center island, and Windsor chairs. Then there’s the historic and still-coveted blue-and-white scheme, cued by a collection of Canton porcelain.

The antique porcelain platter in the corner inspired the kitchen design.

The antique porcelain platter in the corner inspired the kitchen design.

The owner says that blue and white has been favored since the 18th century in New England kitchens. “I have always loved Canton, which came to Nantucket during the 18th and early 19th centuries on merchant ships,” she explains. Most of her collection is in the family’s year-round home in Pennsylvania. But “the cut-corner platter was the inspiration for the blue granite and the printed window fabric, and for my Windsor chairs, which used to be black.”