Designing a Functional & Beautiful Kitchen

Jewett Farm’s + Co. and interior designer Holly Gagne design a traditional yet on-trend space using the latest color palette.

There is even space for mail and notebooks. The design is a curated balance of classic New England style and contemporary design.

Photographs by Eric Roth.

Most kitchen renovation projects involve careful—even painstaking—planning around cabinet placement and design. But rarely does the attention to detail extend to every corner of every drawer, both inside and out.

When a family of five came to Jewett Farms + Co. and project interior designer Holly Gagne for a complete kitchen renovation project in their Hopkinton, Massachusetts, home, it was clear that that is exactly what they wanted. With three kids and an active life, the homeowners needed a way of preventing life’s clutter from taking over.

Jewett Farms + Co.’s to creates an updated farmhouse kitchen in an array of gray hues.

“They had a very good sense as far as what a functional kitchen was for them; what that meant,” says Gagne. “They cared as much about what was going on inside the cabinet as the outside look. They went through each space and design. They’d say, ‘this is where the dogfood is going, so we need this much space for the dogfood container and the treats that go behind it.’”

Customized Kitchen

Working with Jewett Farms + Co., craftspeople in cabinetry, soapstone, and flooring, Gagne set to task executing an exacting custom plan that would provide the kitchen a “place for everything and everything in its place” order. Each drawer’s and cupboard’s purpose was defined, with spaces partitioned or given particular elements to make it
most useful. If a drawer was large, it would have a smaller one inside, such as a spacious drawer for pots and pans with a hidden, shallow drawer inside it to organize the tops.

“We had to draw the interiors of a lot of the cabinets, which we don’t usually do,” notes Gagne. “It was a lot of customizing, which translated into a lot of detailed thinking, and drawing, and planning.”

The intense planning for each inch of space resulted in some creative solutions to storage problems. A cabinet dedicated to coffee service has a slide-out shelf for the coffeemaker. Another below-counter cupboard holds the stand mixer on a retractable platform. One large, floor-to-ceiling cabinet unit is fitted top to bottom with pantry roll-outs on one side and on the other hides a standing desk with interior lighting where a cook can consult a recipe or pay bills.

To take advantage of the room’s high ceilings, the large pantry unit features a rolling ladder that reaches the uppermost cabinets. On the side of this unit is a clever, slim closet that holds a set of angled slots to organize each family member’s mail and other papers, each one engraved with the person’s initials.

Adding Kitchen Character

Like the ladder and the engraved mail slots, everything put into the room “had to have a little bit of character to it,” says Gagne.

For example, the base of the central island and the large pantry unit are stained with a Rubio Monocoat finish that combines two colors (“Monsoon Gray” and “Charcoal”), producing a distinctive rich gray-brown accented with the wood’s natural grain. The backsplash is created with hexagonal marble tiles, adding some unusual visual interest. And the custom copper range hood is hand-distressed to a rustic patina. The warm reclaimed pine floors display their distinctive knotholes and express the farmhouse sensibility of the home.

As such details illustrate, the design had to strike a balance between what Gagne calls the house’s “classic quintessential New England style” and the more contemporary feel desired by the family. The cabinetry created by Jewett Farms is a good example: Its classic Shaker style is enhanced with a bead. “Everything we did was clean but with a little bit of detail and classic elements,” says Gagne.

The overall effect is pristine but homey, its brisk simplicity accented with varied elements of warm visual interest. The attention given to cabinet design has paid off in uncluttered spaces and user-friendliness, important for this family that uses its kitchen heavily.

“One of my favorite things is when I go there is there’s hardly anything out anymore,” says Gagne. “Everything has got its place, it’s all organized, and it’s all there for them.”

Jewett Farms + Co. and Gagne delivered on a kitchen jammed packed with thoughtful details.

Tags: New Old House Winter 2018 Issue

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