The Bright Side

A Blackstone neighborhood dream kitchen is rebuilt in the wake of water damage


If you’re a homeowner in New England, chances are you’re no stranger to some property damage. However, for Bob and Sharon, their East Side home received such extensive water damage that it required reconstruction to the first floor, which led to some rethinking: why not use this as an opportunity to redesign, refurbish, and create their dream kitchen?

“We looked at a lot of home decorating magazines,” Sharon begins. “Bob and I both agreed we wanted a bright kitchen – white and light – with the kitchen island a dark color.” The couple called Rhode Island Kitchen & Bath Design + Build, a resource for design build projects, and were introduced to designer Billie Senzek.

First came the rebuild: walls were removed to enlarge the existing space, which enabled the inclusion of wish list items like an island, dry bar, and under window seating. They also wanted appliances to disappear so the dishwasher, refrigerator, and a beverage fridge were all outfitted with custom appliance panels. Bob and Sharon love the color green and selected a custom shade for the island from the cabinet company which was then incorporated as an accent in the dining room via both furniture and window treatments to create a sense of flow.

In designing the new space, Billie started with a neutral wall color so that the countertop and island would be a combined focal point. Says Billie, “The countertop also had a bit of bling with soft green veining, which really solidified the color we selected for the island.” She adds, “I love the fun style in their home – a lot of clients shy away from doing a true color, but it was one of the defining elements of the kitchen.”

Fifteen years since taking ownership, Sharon still recalls falling for the house at first sight. “I loved the banister and curved archways. There was a lot of warmth and charm.” With everything brand-new, it was important to Sharon to keep the classic aesthetic of the 1920s Colonial. Fixtures like chandeliers and the traditional dining room set balance perky items like the scalloped wall clock, resulting in a cheerful and elegant mix. “Sharon has a very transitional style of decorating,” Billie explains. “There’s a lot of traditional elements that tie in with the true charm of the home, but she loves to have pops of fun colors, shapes, and a touch of bling.”


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