New, modern appliances often accompany kitchen renovations. However, the latest in cooking accoutrement need not preclude a farmhouse style more suited for period homes, as demonstrated by the Knickerbocker Group of Boothbay, Maine. In our next two posts, architectural designers James Halferty AIA and Keith Warren, and Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer Elaine Murdoch reveal how you can get the farmhouse look in your next kitchen renovation.
Open up the floorplan: The Bayberry home, renovated by architectural designer James Halferty AIA, Studiohayes for the Knickerbocker Group, is a charming three-story structure located in Southport, Maine. Its features include whitewashed wood walls, exposed beams, “good bones,” a classic gambrel form, and a unique beach stone fireplace. However, prior to renovation, its kitchen was isolated in the middle of the home, tucked behind an old porch, with only limited views of the water. The owners wanted to open up the first floor in order to capture a sense of the water. This was accomplished first by using tall windows to let in light. In addition, an increased sense of space was achieved by keeping sightlines open. Consequently the space now has an airy feel.
As part of the renovation, the designers integrated the new home kitchen into the main living space. At the same time they maintained a sense of farmhouse authenticity. Murdoch explains, “Throughout the home, the original whitewashed style remains, but with added warm wood accents that highlight the custom millwork and unique detailing.” She adds, “Opening up the floor plan required structural ingenuity to support the upper floors. So when new Douglas fir wood beams became exposed, those structural elements were left natural to add some contrast. The same wood tone was carried lightly throughout the home through the use of Douglas fir doors, accent trims, columns, etc.” In order to match the existing flooring, the designers chose wide pine with a natural finish for the kitchen. In keeping with the newly created light/dark contrasts, they chose black, honed granite countertops and white cabinets with dark knobs. While the appliances are stainless steel, they selected a fireclay apron-front sink because of its cottage look.
A farmhouse kitchen conveys a regional American style. The effect is both warm and functional, perfect for a summer house or a recreational get-away, but also appropriate for an every-day home, especially for someone wishing to “go green.” It also creates a nostalgic atmosphere. According to Elaine Murdoch, Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer, “Local natural materials are always best for creating an authentic regional style.” For more advice from Murdoch about how to get the farmhouse kitchen look in your home, visit our blog.
by Rebecca Luella Miller