No detail was overlooked in the stunning transformation of a 1950’s colonial into an English Tudor-style home where comfort and elegance live side by side.
Interior Design, Laura Archibald
Architecture, Ruard Veltman
Interview, Alice Welsh Doyle
Photography, Ashley Sellner
Artful Architecture While architect Ruard Veltman was contemplating substantial changes throughout the home, including an addition, one thing was certain – the old colonial style kitchen simply would not do. Instead, Veltman created a new kitchen and family room with a clever design: the two spaces are connected by a coffered x-pattern design ceiling but have their own identities through the use of stairs and a built-in server behind the sofa. This way, when sitting in the nestled family room, the normal kitchen “stuff” typical in open floor plans is hidden.
“The best aspect of the open kitchen is the camaraderie that comes with cooking, but when that is finished, you are typically visually interrupted by the microwave, coffee maker, toaster oven, etc.,” says Veltman. “We pushed all that clutter off to the side with the small appliances housed in a true working pantry that includes a sink. The refrigerator is also located in a separate space.” The dishwasher and warming drawer, which needed to be accessible in the space, are paneled and hidden, adding to the clean, streamlined feel.
It’s not just the design that makes the kitchen so remarkable; it’s all the colors, textures, finishes, and details that Veltman and designer Julia Palen Wood selected: large slabs of Calcutta gold marble on all three counter surfaces; a beautiful Lacanche range which feels more like a piece of furniture than an appliance with its custom plaster hood and diamond scored plaster wall; the custom, built-in server behind the sofa, fluted with a floating marble slab; and open shelving shows off the pretty parts of the kitchen – the china, glasses, and pottery.
Artful Interiors While her clients wanted a very neutral palette, interior designer Laura Archibald made certain that this did not translate into bland or cold through her signature use of fabrics in varying textures and her blend of furniture finishes. “One approach to neutrals is to mix values of the same color, so you have layers of the same shade. In this house, we used shades of gray and taupe,” says Archibald. In the living room, the French chairs are upholstered in two velvets, an Oushak rug warms the concrete paver floors, and touches of gray are found in the sofa pillows, the stunning mirror, and painted metal coffee table. The selection of each piece was key because this room “has so many windows and is at the front of the house, so you can see it from the street,” says Archibald. “I chose the lamp because of its architectural details that make it prominent when glimpsed from outside.”
That attention to detail continues in the family room and kitchen eating space where in addition to gray and taupe, coral and turquoise toil in the pillows and chair fabrics. These living spaces show off both comfort and style, in the velvet club chairs, the cream wool rug, and especially in the mink pillow recycled from an old coat. In the kitchen, practicality and beauty join forces on the custom banquette upholstered in gray vinyl for easy cleaning. “I like mixing different finishes to add interest, so in the eating area, we have a wood table, upholstered banquette, and painted French chairs covered in two different fabrics, a cut velvet on the back showing the room’s color palette and a pearl-colored vinyl with an iridescent quality on the front,” says Archibald. And that’s just one more brilliant detail in a house bursting with them.