For the young family who purchased a 1905 Georgian Colonial in Madison, New Jersey, modernizing the peach-hued French-country kitchen (a '90s addition) meant traveling to the past. "We wanted the kitchen to be truer to the home's original history, but in a current way," says designer Jim Dove. "It's all about practicality when you have four children under age seven."
With the room's original windows as the jumping-off point, Dove created a luxe, streamlined cooking space with a charming, vintage-feeling canopy hood. Glossy ebony cabinets add drama, while farmhouse sinks and a 10½-foot long island — it seats six! — easily handle meal prep when there's a crowd to feed.
Since windows flood the space with light, Ralph Lauren Paint's Bone Black "doesn't feel somber," Dove says when speaking about the kitchens cabinets and island. He adds that the lacquer finish "helps bounce light around."
Seeded-glass Katie pendants by Thomas O'Brien for Visual Comfort "bring in subtle texture," Dove says. The brass finish also offers a contrast to the stainless steel of the Sub-Zero refrigerator and Wolf range. A posh take on subway tiles, Pratt & Larson crackled ceramic tiles are glazed a pale blue to echo the Benjamin Moore Nelson Blue on the walls.
Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo counters mimic the look of marble but are tough-wearing and low-maintenance. At a chunky 2½ inches thick, "they hold their own with the size of the island," Dove says.
On the counter, gold-flecked porcelain by Bernardaud sets a festive scene with vases by Oscar de la Renta Home and checkerboard cake from William Greenberg Desserts.
While the butler's pantry appears to date to the 1900s, the cabinetry — in Ralph Lauren Paint's Duke Red — is new. Designer Michael Maher, who worked on the rest of the home's interiors, introduced visual oomph with a custom bronze paint on the ceiling and Elizabeth Dow's Chanel Indigo wallpaper. Coated with Teflon, the geometric-print linen wipes clean.
Optimized for entertaining, the pantry offers quick access to frequently used party essentials like platters and stemware and includes two refrigerator drawers for chilling extra beverages. The unlacquered-brass Hamilton Sinkler drawer pulls, polished before holiday get-togethers, "play off the metallic ceiling," Dove says.
Staining the richly grained walnut counters in a dark finish "warmed up the pantry," says Dove. On New Year's Eve, the space morphs into a self-serve cocktail station.
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This article originally appeared in the December/January 2017 issue of CQ.