My friends, I have a sunny gem of a kitchen to share with you today! The Blakely team recently completed this kitchen renovation and design for a historic waterfront property, and it’s safe to say we still smile every time we think about it.
Picture vibrant yellows, blues, and greens. Double islands and a built-in bar. Stunning Carrara marble and dreamy ocean views. Wait, what am I saying, you don’t need to use your imagination — I’ll just show you!
Kitchen Renovation & Design Goals
Every project starts with goals, and this Cranston, Rhode Island family had several for their new kitchen. They asked us to…
- Create a more efficient layout for cooking and entertaining
- Add more storage for the family
- Honor the historic, coastal roots of the home with vintage touches
- Make the space feel fresh, updated, and lively
We’re in! Next up, planning the layout of the space.
Strategic Space Planning
One of the biggest drawbacks of the initial kitchen floor plan was a view-blocking wall. It separated the kitchen and living room, hiding the beautiful blue water, twinkling in the sun just beyond the windows. We consulted our structural engineer, got the green light, and knocked that wall down!
Now the kitchen is wide open, and our clients can see the water while doing dishes or preparing meals. (Success!) In addition to removing the wall, we proposed…
- Updating the functionality of the kitchen island and peninsula
- The installation of a built-in bar for entertaining
- Refreshing the breakfast nook and banquette
But more on that to come soon…
The Kitchen: Double Islands & Built-In Bar
Once we had nailed down the space plan, we started working on our clients’ design concept. To honor the historic, coastal nature of the house, while invoking all the freshness our clients craved, we conceptualized these beauties…
This concept is fresh, open, vibrant, and inviting, with natural materials (caning, woven fibers) for a coastal feel and brass for a touch of vintage charm.
We ultimately revised this original concept to feature blue as the primary color for the kitchen, accented with pops of crisp green, to honor the home’s waterfront location. Here’s how it turned out…
Before & After: Kitchen Renovation
Bronze pulls and slightly distressed cerused blue cabinetry add a touch of vintage, while clean lines keep the design fresh.
The globe pendants we chose for over the island are also in a burnished antique brass to tie in the vintage feel. The faucet and other fixtures have a polished bronze finish.
Above the second peninsula, instead of a view-blocking hood over the stove, we installed a sleek, recessed ventilation system on the ceiling to help keep the space open. The peninsula is wide enough to accommodate the stove top and stools on the opposite side.
Here, we stacked the ovens to save space, and “hid” the refrigerator behind fresh, custom cabinetry. By moving the fridge to this wall, we maintained the kitchen triangle (a functional flow between the fridge, sink and stove) and allowed for a more open feel.
The globe pendants we chose for over the island are also in a burnished antique brass to tie in the vintage feel. The faucet and other fixtures have a polished bronze finish. We also custom designed this mosaic scalloped backsplash in various shades of blue to tie in the color of the island and other accents throughout the space. You’ll see it again in the built-in bar…
Before & After: Built-In Bar
In place of the old stove, we designed a built-in unit that can be used as a bar or buffet. There’s an ice maker and wine fridge(!!) in the bar area. The builder installed custom mullions to match the original window design in the breakfast nook. It’s all in the details!
The blue scalloped tile that I mentioned earlier was the perfect backsplash against the crisp white cabinet doors and countertop of the built-in. We also fell in love with this fabric Citrus Garden by Schumacher, which inspired the name, The Lemon Tree Project. We used it for the roman shade next to the bar and for the pillows on the nook’s banquette.
And speaking of the breakfast nook…
The Breakfast Nook: Banquette & Stunning Coffered Ceilings
For the nook and its water views, we wanted to incorporate even more natural elements with grasscloth wallpaper and caning, accented with our well-loved lemon tree fabric. The updated built-in banquette was destined to become the house favorite.
Before & After: Breakfast Nook
GOSH, isn’t this space stunning?! Before, the coffered ceiling was painted dark green, which made the space feel a bit smaller than our clients wanted. We decided to brighten it up and give it a coastal feel with textured, natural grasscloth wallpaper. The grasscloth also helps unite the other natural elements in the space, such as the caning in the chairs and stools.
We designed this custom banquette cushion and pillows using durable, sun-safe performance fabric. This helps reduce sun fading and allows for easier cleanup of any spills. (Kids, am I right?)
We specified this gorgeous, 72” oval table in Carrara marble because it’s durable, offers easy clean-up for the family, and adds a punch of freshness and luxury. Between the chairs and bench, it can comfortably sit 6+ people, so it’s perfect for entertaining a crowd. (It was also extremely heavy for the 4 flights of stairs it took to reach this hillside home!)
And last but not least, there was no existing light fixture over the nook, so we installed this gorgeous gold and glass lantern. Glass panels keep the view to the water clear, and the light fixture adds an element of intimacy and elegance. I could look at this scene all day — and I think our clients agree!
And that, my friend, is a wrap.
In the end, we created a kitchen where our clients can live vibrantly and entertain in ease, comfort and elegance. Lively colors support their daily lightheartedness and joy. And durability, from the cushions to the countertops, is sure to last them many years to come. We call that a mission accomplished!
So, how about YOU? Do you have a space in your home that you wish would do more for you? How could design change the way you live every day?
If you’re ready for a new space — and what is likely to become a new and exciting chapter of your life — let’s take that first step and get to know each other. I can’t wait!