Timeless Trends

by Marimar McNaughton
April 2019

Coastal Farmhouse Kitchen

This new house with old house sensibilities defines open and inviting with bespoke cabinet designs and a palette of natural woods and painted finishes.

Huntington, Long Islanders, Steven and Beverly Weitzner took the plunge and moved their farmhouse aesthetic into North Carolina. Their coastal farmhouse cottage style unifies the North and the South with historic clues -- like oyster shell tabby, board-and-batten siding, shiplap paneling -- all of which are some of the finish materials used outside and in.

Beverly Weitzner wanted her new home to feel familiar to her -- and mindful of the place she reared her kids. Nowhere is this feeling more evident than in the kitchen designed to appear as if the home had been added onto over time with an eclectic blending of simple, white 18th century Shaker style cabinets with painted bungalow style built-ins that resemble the ubiquitous kitchen hutch popular in the 1920s.

The most fun, the Weitzners say, was creating a refrigerator made to resemble an old timey icebox. Paired with, and nestled into the array adjacent to the icebox, is a replica of a 20th century Hoosier style cabinet that would have stored gadgets, like the flour sifter, with built-in niches for spices and all of the other hand-held appliances a baker might use that now houses a cookbook collection.

One of the methods devised to age the cabinet was the use of German manufactured Bendheim glass. For the Weitzner kitchen, builder Mark Batson of Tongue & Groove appropriated chicken wire glazing to mimic 100-year-old glass, adding yet another layer of farmhouse vertias.

Steve Weitzner, whose home office adjoins the kitchen, is a consultant for tech publications. Ironically, while the kitchen is a thoroughly modern high performer, the throwback to an earlier time has great appeal to him and his wife who with Batson and interior designer Bridgett Mazer, spent hours upon hours searching for just the right hardware to appoint the cabinets.

From the casual seating at the open bar that links the kitchen to the living room, or from the breakfast table, it's possible to gaze across Landfall Lake. While they're not exactly at the beach, one's eyes are drawn to the horizon line anchored by Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville and a ribbon of sand. At night, around the fire pit, family and friends can watch the stars, see the moonrise over the lake, and listen to the sound of water trickling over the edge of the pool.


Back Door Kitchen Tour

Black is the new white in trending kitchens nationwide and this Wilmington couple were not afraid to invest in the Bertazzoni gas range, the centerpiece of their high- contrast kitchen.

One hundred years after their 1915 house was built, new owners Andrew and Nicole

Horton began the process of renovation, room by room. Fronting a bustling Market Street in the heart of Wilmington's Historic District, the ruminating started in the kitchen, because frankly the back door accessed by the alleyway had become the primary entrance and well, as they say, the kitchen was a hot mess.

The interior had been cobbled from remnants from cosmetic upgrades to other rooms in the house. Bathroom counters for example were repurposed, leftover vinyl flooring was on top of what the Hortons hoped were hardwoods, and plywood beaded board fronted cabinet doors.

It looked good, Andrew Horton says, but all the doors were falling off. His mother, a professional kitchen designer, was their first consultant. The couple took her plans to Nick Balding of Balding Brothers to price the cost of the work, then tabled the project.

Balding was called in about six months later and took an active role in the design process then led the renovation project taking it down to the studs.

One of the biggest challenges was establishing the flow bisected by an oversized peninsula. Three of the room's four corners led to dead ends. To improve the functionality of the space, the peninsula was removed and replaced with an island that doubles as an informal dining area and a work surface for Nicole Horton.

On the north wall, a window was sealed to prepare for the installation of the Bertazzoni gas range that she wanted for her baking. On the west wall, a second entry door off the back porch was removed and in its place a fabricated window was hung replicating the pair of original windows that were sanded, cleaned and repainted. The windows unify the kitchen and the porch tying together beaded board ceilings. Supporting corbels were left intact and the wooden baseboard trim was restored. They chose a fired clay farm sink and classic subway tile behind man-made quartz counters.

The goal was to reflect the age of the house, but redesign the space simply so that 10 years from now it will not appear to be outdated.

By far the biggest expense was the hex-tiled floor. The original plan was to try to salvage the floors, Balding says. But once his team began to pull up the vinyl, it found cardboard signs that had been used to level the surface, a layer of asbestos and in the joists, termite damage. Every layer had to be excavated and remediated, then rebuilt. The new tile arrived in white sheets, and the intricate trim and intermittent black dot patterns were meticulously recreated. Grounded with that dash of panache, the combined elements exude a bistro feeling adding to the vintage quality of the space.


Catch of the Day

On a rare unbuilt lot on Canal Drive in Carolina Beach, one Raleigh family built its getaway home 100 paces from the Atlantic oceanfront. Now they enjoy the best of both worlds -- from the capital to the coast.

Dana Mann and her husband spend the summer at her family's beach house with their two young sons and a pair of dogs in tow.

Yes, the Mann menfolk fish the Cape Fear River in a 36-foot Silverton, or the 21-foot Key West docked behind their home. But more often than not they like to troll offshore for mahi, wahoo and tuna. Dana enjoys the beach as much as she likes to cook what they catch.

Grilled fish is often on the menu, also steamed shellfish or roasted chicken prepared in the steam oven. She wanted a simple kitchen -- one that reflects her approach to cooking with the best recipes featuring only five ingredients or less, she says. And a simple kitchen to echo the industrial farmhouse aesthetic she was looking for.

One jumping off point was an old family barn that had been taken down. With barnwood sliders placed throughout the house to add character, depth was also grounded in the selection of three- four- and five-inch dented and dinged-up floorboards. Rising from the floors, backless barstools were chosen to enhance the views of the canal from the third-story kitchen.

Residential designer John Croom of Design House referred Dana Mann to interior designer Amy Tyndall of Amy Tyndall Designs. Once she teamed up with Tyndall, the interiors fell into place.

Her client, Tyndall says, knew what she wanted -- the timeless patina of a lived-in kitchen that would age gracefully.

Beneath high ceilings finished in painted tongue-in-groove, against shiplap paneling and a classic white subway tile backsplash, the kitchen, appointed with a farmhouse sink and bistro style pendant lights and accent sconces, exudes an upscale, down-home flavor enhanced with subtle touches, like the Old World pot-filler above the range top, and the old-timey chalkboard insert in the pantry door.

Because the kitchen is a gathering place for the family and their friends, Dana Mann frequently uses the second dishwasher, a deep drawer that accommodates stemmed wine glasses and oversized serving dishes, pots and pans.

She says her family loves Carolina Beach because it's very laid back. Whether it's fresh produce and shellfish provisioned from the local Veggie Wagon or what their Jack Russell terrier has been trained to fetch from his dockside crab pot, her kitchen is equipped to cook up the catch of the day.


Talking to the Coast

Treasuring traditional furnishings and decorative accessories from their formal Virginia home, David and Margaret Meadows wanted their new home to talk to the coast. That little bit brighter, more coastal vibe seeped into the design of their kitchen that overlooks the Intracoastal Waterway on Bald Eagle Lane.

When they bought the property, there was a house on site in which the Meadows vacationed on weekends and summers, allowing them to assess how they wanted their new house to feel, until it was time to rebuild.

On an elevated lot, the new home was designed to take advantage of the view, Margaret Meadows says. From the front entrance, the eye is drawn to the waterway, overlooking Rich's Inlet, and the marsh, all the way to Figure Eight Island. The great room opens to the kitchen and the blended space forms the hub of the house.

What furnishings and accessories Margaret Meadows did not bring from her permanent home in Williamsburg she shopped for in Virginia Beach and Richmond. Sourcing light fixtures and fabrics, she shared her selections with interior designer Leslie Stachowicz of Peridot Interiors, who weighed in on the final choices.

Margaret Meadows is not afraid of color, Stachowicz says but her client sought professional help and guidance when it came to making final choices.

Minted in the Typhoon Green granite counter tops, paired with classic gray and white accents, the understated palette is a subtle backdrop for the sweeping view.

Painted a pale gray, the central island, designed and fabricated by Jeff Fuchs of FFT Cabinetry, is mirrored in gray subway tile, a muted contrast to the brightness of white perimeter cupboards. Fuchs also created the recessed pantry nestled between Thermador refrigerator and freezer columns.

The palette is spiced with pops of pimento red -- in splashy displays of Emma Bridgewater's decorative serving platters -- and in the coral, green and aqua tones found in upholstered bar stools. Both fabric and paint tints are reprised in the breakfast nook where the dining chairs and the breakfast table were repurposed from the Meadows' original vacation home. The supple lines of a horizontal pendent reminded David Meadows of the casting nets thrown from the dock to fetch fish. Traditionally classic values are echoed in a woven wool oriental carpet runner over the wide plank oak floors.

"It was really important that the kitchen be beautiful," Stachowicz says, "because it flows into the living room."

The kitchen functions as small space in many ways, Margaret Meadows says, but at the same time supports her style of hosting large gatherings of family, and friends during dinner parties.


Before & After

The Wow Factor

After the makeover of a vintage Figure Eight Island cottage, daylight pours into the spacious fanny kitchen that shimmers with jewel-toned finishes.

With so many married to the now ubiquitous all-white kitchen, Liz Carroll of Liz Carroll Interiors, and her clients spun the color wheel landing on a bold combination of vibrant green backsplash tiles paired with classic navy cabinets.

The handmade Cle tile, Carroll says, is actually very thick. She and Jerry Sellers' team, from Sellers Tile Company, examined each piece to match color variations and crackling before installing the rectangles into an arresting herringbone grid. The biggest challenge was cutting the turns and mitering the tiles around the oversized window box above the sink. Sellers worked closely with master cabinetmaker Mike Powell of Coastal Cabinets, while Dustin Broadhurst of Bluewater Surfaces supplied the natural quartzite counters -- white and gray with hints of blue-green veining to echo the high contrast green and navy palette.

Quartzite delivers a marble look, but its very dense composition, Carroll says, is ideal for surfaces that see a lot of traffic because it's more resilient, more forgiving.

Enjoyed as a second home, the beach house hosts weekend guests; and with three children -- ranging in age from middle to high school -- the family is always entertaining friends. The renovation of the 20- by 7-foot galley kitchen was central to the plan.

The existing peninsula island remained intact with a few modest changes. Fronting board and batten paneling to match the adjacent wall, the original pickled finish was painted white.

New gold, or brass, hardware and lighting fixtures, paired with open shelves dish up a timeless quality harkening back to classic Hamptons beach homes. Collectible pieces are displayed while most of the day-to-day items are stored in the lower cabinets, beneath the peninsula, and inside the pantry.

Appointed with swiveling Maguire barstools with footrests, the cushions resist wet bathing suits, and the oak floors sandy feet. An oriental runner adds a twist of global tradition carried throughout the home sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.

 


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