Old Home, New Kitchen

PROFILE-The Interior Design Issue, February 2012

DESIGNER: Jeanne Handy | Jeanne Handy Designs

Photography Trent Bell

This Space, This Way:

Interior designer Jeanne Handy’s new, highly functional kitchen needed to flow seamlessly into her family’s charming 1908 home. With this in mind, architect Kevin Moquin and Handy set out to design a kitchen that would allow her family to enjoy their entire home rather than just the back portion, where kitchens in historic homes like this were typically placed.

“We decided to make the original kitchen space into a mudroom, computer center, and half bath, and bring the new kitchen into what had been a library that was adjacent to the original dining room,” explains Handy. “We did this by opening up the wall between the dining room and the old library while leaving the library’s original opening into the living room intact. The result: we now have a beautiful and fantastically functional kitchen, whose slightly angled peninsula (to match the pattern of the original hardwood floor), feels like it is hugging us as we work, and whose central location insists that we live in the entire house. Fortunate enough to have an old home with woodwork that has never been painted, my husband and I chose rich walnut cabinets.”

Lighting such a dark space from a beamed ceiling could have proved challenging, but on the advice of lighting designer Greg Day, Handy opted for black track lighting that blends into the ceiling and allows for both directed and overall light. She chose black appliances and aged copper fixtures to complement the wood.

Signature Style:

“When planning the design and styling of a space, there are three important considerations: the presentation of the space itself (including the site), the desired function, and the likes and dislikes of the client. If these three things are kept in mind during the entire process, the result will be successful on every level.”

Trick of the Trade:

“Wood loves color. I don’t mean paint your wood cabinets. I mean, the more natural wood a space has, the more intense color it can take on other surfaces—like walnut with orange!”

The Goods:

Original woodcut & tempera: Blue Butterfield, bluebutterfield.com
Original tortoise sculpture: John Morrill Read at Ember Grove, embergrove.com/artists/john_morrill.html
Architect: Kevin Moquin, kevinmoquin.blogspot.com
Walnut cabinets: Nicholas Heller, Heller Custom Woodworking, nicholasheller.net
Custom sink: Sheldon Slate Products, sheldonslate.com
Granite countertop installation: The Maine Soapstone Company, mainesoapstone.com
Lighting design: Greg Day Lighting, gregdaylighting.com
Appliances: Agren Appliance, agrenappliance.com
Amber glass: Phoenix Studio, phoenixstudio.com
Paint: Paint Design Unlimited, 207-761-1857

For More: jeannehandydesigns.com

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