When Jayme and Barbara Kuhn inherited the rambling house called Dunix, the kitchen hadn’t been touched for years. Cabinets and walls were made from cheap 1960s plywood, and the entire substructure was rotten.
Jayme is partners with his twin brother, Andrew, in Twin Restoration & Millwork, a company that restores vintage houses in the area. Kitchens are a specialty, especially those that make use of salvage alongside such period sheathing materials as beadboard. With the help of Jayme’s son, Logan, they took the space down to the studs, and began putting back a version of what might have been.
A set of architectural plans turned up, serendipitously. They indicated locations for cabinets and a cast-iron sink of a specific size and depth, which Barbara matched after an extensive eBay search. The Kuhns discovered the cabinets, now painted a soft blue, tucked away elsewhere in the house: “We put them back where we thought they’d been.”
Jayme designed and built the narrow island, but the massive hood was Barbara’s pet project. “It was encased in Sheetrock,” she says. Stripped and sanded, it now anchors the back wall. Andrew Kuhn built the windows, matching diamond-paned details found in windows throughout the house. Rather than carve out space for a full-size refrigerator, the couple installed two counter-height refrigerators on a side wall.
The unifying concept behind the unfitted kitchen is beadboard, cladding walls and ceilings. It was commonly used in utility rooms, those used by servants in the 1890s, when the last renovation was completed at Dunix. Beadboard appears elsewhere in the house, and all of the old back buildings—icehouse, casino, and servants’ quarters—are finished in shellacked beadboard.
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The room transitions easily to the outdoors. The Kuhns created a walkout stone patio, enclosed by stone retaining walls. Every stone came from the property.
builder/carpentry Twin Restoration & Millwork, East Durham, NY
kitchen hardware (similar) Eastlake ebonized wood teardrop pull House of Antique Hardware
paint kitchen cabinets Buxton Blue HC-149 • dining room Concord Ivory HC-12 benjaminmoore.com
Amsterdam tile Dutch tile kitchen backsplashes & fireplace surrounds custom made in Holland dutch tile