European Style Updates 19th Century Home

by Anita Shaw


The kitchen in this 1890s Queen Anne Victorian home had been updated in the 1960s, but lacked proper insulation, easily accessible storage and a design that worked with the home’s overall aesthetic. The plan was to create a cozy multipurpose space where the homeowners could cook together, share family time and gather with friends.


Christine Deragon of Bright Ideas by Martinec in Big Flats, NY was tasked with improving the lighting, comfort and efficiency of the dated, drafty kitchen and breakfast nook, and transforming the butler’s pantry into a home office and entertaining space. Inspiration for the overall design came from the homeowners’ places of origin in Normandy and Southern France, as well as their love of cooking and sharing their culinary experiences. Proper insulation was added and energy-efficient windows were placed strategically to allow for substantial natural light and a view of the terraced gardens. Mouser Cabinetry’s Stratford door style in white with pewter glaze and Pewter Antique Bit pull and Barclay knobs from Top Knobs – along with Spa Tuscany Super White glass tile backsplash and Via Lactea granite countertops – give the room a classic vibe. Tall pantry cabinets with pull-out storage units provide easily accessed storage, and shallow cabinetry under the large windows adds storage and a display area for plants. A hidden, non-functioning chimney that was discovered upon demolition was refaced with brick, taking a cue from the style of homes in Normandy. Stainless appliances in the main kitchen include a Bosch 800 Series Wall Oven with microwave, a coordinating cooktop on the island topped with the Zephyr Milano hood, LG French Door refrigerator and paneled Miele Futura Series dishwasher. The walk-through butler’s pantry was converted into a multi-use space, with a china cabinet for display and cozy home office at one end. Opposite is a casual entertaining spot with Marvel Beer Dispenser and 15″ Wine Cellar, along with a serving counter featuring Dekton’s Borea Wild surface. The brick of the chimney is repeated in this area, with floating rustic wood shelves added for attractive storage.

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