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North Jersey Farmhouse

This kitchen was part of a renovation for a North Jersey farmhouse built in 1890.

The addition added the kitchen, a single car garage, a mudroom, and a small family room adjacent to the kitchen. The challenge was to make the addition feel like it was originally part of the house, while adhering to the building codes and modern construction standards.

We spoke with the homeowner for feedback on her experience:

What was your reason for renovating your kitchen?
The existing kitchen was the size of a closet (58 SF). It could not fit a dishwasher, had limited storage, and could only fit a small refrigerator.
What was on your wishlist?
First I wanted it to capture the style of the home. And of course to take care of the storage problem, be functional, and light-filled. I wanted high ceilings with beams. I also wanted the island to look like a piece of furniture or work table. I chose a subtle color palette regarding cabinetry, tile, and walls. The colors are very Zen and welcoming.

I didn’t want wall-to-wall cabinets because I felt that would suffocate the space. I wanted to separate appliances and work space from the dining area.

How did you decide on the cabinet style and color?
I chose shaker on beaded inset with simple lines to maintain the integrity of the home. I opted for an English creme color scheme, rather than white, for fear of it looking too stark.
How did you decide on your countertop material?
I liked the quartz for the perimeters because it doesn’t have a shiny surface and it’s impervious to staining and scratching. On the island, I changed it up with soapstone, which looks organic.

Materials, options and accessories include in this kitchen design project:

Perimeter cabinets:
Beaded inset with shaker doors – painted maple, color matched.

Island cabinets:
Flush inset with shaker doors – Quarter sawn oak, stained standard manufacturer finish.

Perimeter countertops:
Ceasarstone Frosty Carina

Island countertop:

What design hurdles did you encounter and how were they solved?
Originally I wanted a completely open farm table as the island, however, this was not feasible if I wanted to stick with my goal for less cabinetry around the perimeter. The designers came up with a compromise. They made the side of the island that is open to the dining area look like a piece of furniture and housed the other side with appliances (microwave, warming drawer, storage drawers for bowls and platters). This is directly across from the Refrigerator, oven, and cooktop. I love how this set-up is similar to a galley style performance with prep and cooking.

The “working” side of island holds a Wolf microwave drawer, a paneled (hidden) warming drawer, and storage drawers. This is opposite the refrigerator, stove, and oven.

A view of the paneled warming drawer in open position.

The other side of the island, open to the dining area, is designed to look like a farm table. This end of the island features open shelving, shaker-style posts, and space for two stools.

The opposite end of the island is open with a slatted cabinet floor and shaker posts.

The Wolf cooktop, with its signature red knobs, is installed conveniently above cabinet drawers that store pots and pans. The Wolf oven is installed underneath the counter, directly right of the cooktop.

The built in Sub-Zero refrigerator is concealed with matching cabinetry panels.

The Wolf steam oven is built-in, flush, and installed at eye level

Cedar-wood beams are spaced out evenly throughout the ceiling. The doorway to the right of the steam oven was added.
How did you choose your appliances?
The Wolf cooktop and oven are on-point with temperature control. For example, the broiler can be set to high-low levels, and the cooktop has a regulated simmer on every burner. Both are very easy to clean. The steam oven is a great alternative to the microwave – it’s a better way to heat up the food without overcooking it. It’s healthier than frying and is great for baking. It’s like having a second oven.

The dining area bump-out with high windows was designed to add architectural detail and bring in natural light.
What architectural elements were incorporated into the design?
We bumped out the area for the kitchen table for two reasons:

  1. For architectural balance when looking from the outside of the house;
  2. For adequate dining space.

The dining area wall has six high windows that bring in natural light. We added hand-crafted, cedar-wood beams that were stained to match the engineered wide-plank flooring. A second entry into the existing dining room was created to further open up the space.

What are you most happy about with your finished kitchen?
Everything. I love my kitchen. It’s very welcoming and comfortable. I think it’s timeless and highly functional. I love how the island becomes a buffet on holidays and that several people can work at it at the same time. The natural light inspires you to relax.