In Providence, Rhode Island, you’ll find tons of saltbox-style homes characteristic of the New England landscape. But over the years, many of the classics have fallen into one of two camps, says designer Blair Moore of Moore House Design.
Typically, you’ll see that builders have come in and sheetrocked over all of the cool, historic features. Or, the homes have remained largely untouched, allowing their history to shine, but lacking function.
This house fell square into both camps, says Moore. It was “renovated unintentionally,” so it lacked true architectural interest characteristic of this style of home, plus had 80s-style finishes that left something to be desired in both form and function, she explains.
“My goal was to rejigger the floorplan in a way that made the space look like it had always existed that way,” says Moore. “I wanted it to look old, but new—like it had aged to perfection.”
But because her client didn’t have the budget for a completely custom kitchen, the designer had to get creative. “We punched the wall out about three feet, so what was once a galley-style kitchen became a bit larger and overall more functional,” says the designer. “We recreated all the casework details, so it looked like that’s where the wall had always been, but achieved a little more space and cabinetry.”
Moore and her team also add three casement windows with the same muntin detail, as seen on the rest of the house, onto the backside of the kitchen to let in more natural light and highlight the backyard.
Inside the space, Moore was able to achieve what she calls the perfect “broody”—bright and moody—kitchen by blending IKEA cabinets with Semihandmade DIY Slab fronts painted in Sherwin-Williams Iron Ore. Custom details like the refinished, custom-stained wood floors, one-of-a-kind freestanding island, sleek brass shelf that runs the perimeter of the kitchen, Rejuvenation hardware, and the lime-washed brick backsplash add subtle drama.
The result is a quintessential New England room that will age true to the home’s historic roots. “I don’t like the pristine design we see so much of today. Your house absolutely should age gracefully,” says Moore, who notes that the way to do that is to maintain character, while ensuring everything has a place and functions the way a modern space should.
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