This kitchen and dining renovation took place in a lovely old stone home in Swarthmore, PA for my equally lovely clients who moved from the city with their two children, purchasing the home with the intention of making this their forever home. The bones of this home are very traditional, and while my clients wanted to respect that history, they sought to freshen it up and make it more inviting for their modern lives.
The existing kitchen was too small for my clients’ needs, and the formal dining room didn’t really fit their lifestyle. So, we took down the wall between those two spaces to make room for a beautiful, functional space which allowed for a much larger kitchen and an adjoining dining area that could still accommodate a nice size dinner party.
A major key to the layout’s success was altering two of the existing kitchen windows - which by the way, is no small feat when working with a stone exterior, so it was vital that we have excellent craftsmen! I successfully encouraged my clients to remove a small window in the kitchen, which really opened up the space planning potential. People are always wary of covering up windows, but this particular window was both architecturally smaller and a different style then the rest of the house. The window also looked on to a covered patio that didn’t allow in a lot of light. I knew once we took down the wall between the kitchen and the dining room we’d have light coming in to the entire space from the dining room windows, so I was confident we wouldn’t miss the light from that small kitchen window.
The second big window change was raising the height of the second (back) window. It was previously very low to the ground - essentially making that wall nonfunctional in terms of cabinetry placement. We raised the window up, and now this wall houses both a run of cabinetry and the main sink – effectively doubling the amount of available storage and prep space. So. Much. Better.
This modern-day luxury kitchen now features amenities so many of us dream of, including a 36” Thermador professional range, an integrated fully-paneled Thermador refrigerator, and two sinks - a main sink on the perimeter and a prep apron-front sink in the island. An extra bank of cabinets now run behind the island and play host to a beverage center (complete with a wine fridge and hidden wine storage), a second oven, and a pantry – all conveniently located out of the way of the main prep zone. With this new configuration, two people can happily work in the kitchen without getting in each other’s way.
Having addressed the major functional issues, we sought to create a few star style moments for this vibrant family to enjoy. We began with color on the island, painting it a gorgeous blue (Benjamin Moore Hale Navy), and topping it with a Mont Blanc honed marble. We then kept the perimeter light and bright with a marble mosaic fish scale backsplash and counters in white honed quartz. We finished by mixing antique brass accents throughout the space to add polish and warmth.
With the exception of the beautiful blue island, the kitchen and dining areas were relatively neutral. My clients wanted to be sure that the space felt colorful and happy, so we brought in punches of color via window treatments and upholstery. We installed matching roman shades in Pindler's Alyssa on both the kitchen and dining room windows (how delightful is that pink trim?!) and covered the dining room host chairs in C.R. Laine's bold Robshaw Indigo.
We ended up with a traditional, yet vibrant and highly functional space that’s ideal for entertaining. I know the clients have already put the space to great use with friends and family, and hope they continue to build happy memories in their new forever home.