The stain provided the modern color palette the homeowners wanted, but Legere says it also presented the biggest aesthetic challenge of the project. He didn’t want the cabinets to weigh down the space, so he threw a lighter cabinet color into the mix. “The white island is very close to the color of the floors, so it almost dissolves into the space despite its large size,” Legere says.
A metallic backsplash and glass uppers next to the range also help keep the kitchen from feeling too heavy. The two materials offset the dark charcoal stain by adding reflective elements to the design.
Range: 60-inch with double oven, Wolf; backsplash: mirror frosted glass mosaic tile, Susan Jablon; perimeter countertop: Torquay, Cambria; island countertop: New Quay, Cambria; flooring: porcelain tile, Fiandre Yuki
BEFORE: The kitchen’s old configuration included a refrigerator adjacent to the range. The cabinets along the sink wall extended about 36 inches to the left of the sink, ending at the kitchen’s bay window.
AFTER: While finding materials to contrast the dark perimeter cabinets proved challenging, Legere had yet to tackle the project’s biggest obstacle: finding space to accommodate the new island. He decided the powder room off the kitchen had to go (there’s still a full bath on the first floor) along with the small pantry. He housed the refrigerator in the excess space and created a narrow walk-in pantry behind the refrigerator wall. He then pushed the refrigerator and wall ovens back to open up additional space around the island. “There is about 48 inches of clearance around the island now,” Legere says. The new island now does triple duty as a serving station, food prep zone and seating area.
BEFORE: Legere says the homeowners had grown tired of the kitchen’s traditional cherrywood cabinets and carved corbels. They sought a modern, up-to-date look with a focus on clean lines.
AFTER: To further open up the design, Legere eliminated the half wall separating the dining space and family room, which allowed him to increase the kitchen’s length by about 5 feet toward the family room and give the homeowners extra counter space. The kitchen is now entirely open to the family room and solarium. There was enough space left to fit a 60-inch round table for additional seating during mealtimes and holiday parties.
BEFORE: The kitchen had traditional hardwood flooring throughout. A small half wall divided the dining space from the family room and solarium, which closed the kitchen off from the rest of the home’s entertainment space. There was a small nook with three bay windows tucked to the right of the dining table pictured here.
The homeowners cook, socialize and host every family holiday in their kitchen. “It’s the center of their lives,” says Legere. But the space wasn’t functional for entertaining, and it felt cramped and isolated. The bat-wing island enclosed the area and didn’t provide enough counter and serving space for the homeowners. Opposite from the island were a square pantry and small powder room.
AFTER: A key feature of the new layout is good flow. The kitchen transitions seamlessly into the dining space and family room, which maximizes the space for entertaining. Legere ditched the kitchen nook and bay windows and extended the cabinets along the sink wall. He also relocated the refrigerator to free up space around the island and expanded the stove area.
All of the extra room paved the way for a large rectangle-shaped island that measures 11 feet wide by 4 feet deep, equipping the kitchen with more centralized counter space and an easy-to-navigate design.