According to architect Peter Block, this kitchen called for Belgian sensibility: simple in design but rich in details. The shiplap boards, for instance, rise three-quarters up the walls, and rich patina on the boards harkens back to the look of old farmhouse wood suited to the home's English country style.
Italian plaster walls contribute soft texture, and the tall windows bathe the walls in light most of the day, bringing out the plaster's natural coloring. The pigment in the plaster is colorfast, so it will harden with age, adding a level of authenticity. Custom cabinetry gives a built-in fridge and freezer a discreet presence, while stainless-steel surfaces downplay other appliances.
Plaster is not the only material that improves over time -- the homeowner loves her Paonazzo marble backsplash and countertops, and the way the marble ages so it's not so shiny and perfect. Its distinctive veining in aubergine and green brings lavish color to an otherwise neutral scheme. The range is topped with a clean-lined plaster hood that suits the room's neutral but elegant style.
In keeping with the kitchen's clean lines, cabinet doors and drawers are inset and flush with the face frames. Dimpled square are easy to grab.
Rather than selecting a bunch of cabinets and tables and then organizing them, try designing a room where you want to spend time, and then outfit it with the cabinets and caseworks that support both comfort and function, Block says. Here, a wood side table with casters, a plank shelf, and hammered nailhead trim provides an extra serving surface where needed.
A deep apron-front sink continues the farmhouse theme of this kitchen, while the silver faucets add elegance to the space. Three hanging fixtures ensure proper lighting for the length of the island.
A custom Welsh cupboard displays favorite items, enhancing the room's comfortable appeal. An arched pass-through makes it easy to serve food in the adjacent family room/dining area.
Stain, glaze, and distressing give the Welsh cupboard an aged feel, as does dark metal hardware with ring pulls.
The kitchen's neutral palette spills into the window-wrapped family room. Try layering the woods, colors, and textures of the kitchen throughout the family room to seamlessly integrate the two spaces.