Fresh Ingredients

Posted by Erdem Gorgun at


Question:What were the must-haves for the kitchen?
BARBARA PURDY: The homeowner, Renata Roti, has three preteen boys plus a large extended family and she loves to cook and entertain. She wanted to feel like she was part of the party, so the kitchen had to have views to the adjoining great room and have plenty of space. We also needed to accommodate her large collection of cookware and serving pieces.

Q: Did it take work for everyone to get on the same page, design-wise?
BP: Not at all! Renata had seen a home I designed in House & Home and loved it. We were speaking the same language right from the beginning. I love the collaboration between designer and client. Some aspects of the design, such as finding a good solution to finishing the end framing for the shiplap wood siding throughout, took some work with the tradespeople, but we were all really happy with the result.

Q:How do you design a space that’s good for everyday living and also for entertaining?
BP: The open white oak shelves on either side of the range are for everyday dishes, so they’re easily accessible on busy school mornings, and the quartz-topped dining table is a breeze to clean. In the adjoining butler’s pantry, closed cabinets hold serving pieces, with open shelving displaying more commonly used items. Special occasion pieces are behind glass doors — Renata wanted to see everything to make setting the table easy.

Q: How do you balance the rustic and modern elements?
BP: There’s no formula; it’s just a feel. Too much white can feel clinical, and too much wood is too rustic. Striking the right balance makes the roomseem more soulful and curated. I love using a mix of materials, from the shiny Caesarstone on the countertops to the rougher wood shelving and the stained white oak f looring. The vent hood is made of cold-rolled steel with a buffed finish that makes it resemble zinc.

Q:What was your approach to lighting?
BP: It’s that mix of materials again! The glass pendants over the kitchen island don’t block the view into the great room, and the woven pendant over the dining table is a nice juxtaposition to the shiny tabletop. Also, the view fromthe dining area windows looks out over the family’s wooded property, and the pendant looks great against all that green — it’s like sitting in a treehouse. 

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