This is the tale of a family of five who found their dream home in Providence – a beautiful brick house with Spanish Colonial details – and that rare and coveted East Side feature: a yard. Inside, the 1929 property boasts a grand tiled center hall with a curved staircase, arched French doors, and a back living room with a fireplace leading to the sunroom. Everything was perfect – except for one room.
“It was all wrong,” says Craig Couture, design manager at Cypress Design Co., a boutique interior design firm based in East Providence that focuses on kitchens and bathrooms. He’s referring to the conundrum that was the existing kitchen. “It was a large space with a layout that did not function well for this home’s new family. The original kitchen was long and had everything stuck in a small rectangle. To get a larger kitchen, we needed to change the focus to a larger rectangle.”
With shape-shifting plans confirmed, renovations followed and soon the odd kitchen layout was revised. To conceal a drain pipe, coffered ceilings were prescribed, adding to the architectural interest which includes molding, charming multi-paned windows, and arched doorways.
Knowing that his clients favor a minimalist approach while also being considerate of the character of the home, Couture selected a calming palette of custom white with gray-on-gray. “The cabinets are white, the island is gray, and the walls are a shade lighter than the island. It’s timeless and modern at once and very soothing.” A luminous Daltile glass backsplash was installed along with Bianco Calacatta Silestone Quartz countertops, white with a thick gray vein, which contributes to the classic-meets-contemporary aesthetic.
Making great use of the narrow footprint, at one end of the kitchen, a custom bench with storage serves as the basis for a breakfast nook. Outfitted with pillows and a mix of chairs, it adds to the casual atmosphere that has descended upon the stately home. Brass hardware and wood accents visually connect to the hardwood flooring and other
rooms within view.
“Clients should love their spaces,” says Couture. “Our goal is to bring elevated designs to homeowners and guide them through the renovation or new-build process.” And when it comes to adding your own imprint: “Introduce personality through artwork, furniture, paint, window treatments, and accessories. These items can easily be changed over time, and if you keep the fixed architectural elements of the home consistent, you cannot go wrong.”
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