Contemporary Feel, Classic Style on the NH Seacoast.

Ralph W. Sockman once said – “The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder”.

We’re pretty sure this also applies to kitchen islands, in particular the 16 foot island at one of our favorite kitchens in Rye New Hampshire. This home was part of the 2014 Portsmouth NH Kitchen Tour and was the talk of the tour – primarily due to the vast kitchen island.

While the exterior of this Seacoast home has the classic look of an historic New England home, the interior has an open and contemporary feel that was achieved with a fresh design and some serious demolition! Home owners Al and Cynthia wanted to keep things stylish and classic, with cabinetry and furniture pieces that were not dwarfed by the space. JF Designer Matthew Lord worked closely with the pair to design cabinetry, furniture and built-in millwork pieces that maintained the open feel of the home.

Upon arrival, one of the homes most striking features is the gorgeous antique hickory hardwood flooring that runs through the entire first floor. It was Al’s search for this specific flooring that lead him to Jewett Farms in the first place. After a tour of the cabinetshop and a chat with Matt and Mike, Al decided there was a larger role for JF to play in his renovation.

Horiz 1 Borghi

Maple perimeter cabinetry painted a classic white is topped with Barroca soapstone, which is oiled to a matte black with thin white veining that complements the white cabinets perfectly. The fittingly large slant front farm sink is also made from Barroca soapstone.

Vert 2 Borghisquare 3 Borghisqaure 1 Borghi

The kitchen island is truly the focal point of the space. It provides both work area and seating in addition to a ton of storage. The Island has two countertops, 12 feet of Barroca soapstone meets 4 feet of custom made maple butcher block for the last 1/4 of the counter. This breaks the island visually creating a separate feel in the large space.

Matthew designed the hutch as a furniture piece. It is made from antique Pine and provides a lovely space to display dishes while bringing a touch of history to the design. It also looks great with the Hickory flooring. Matthew Lord designed a simple and stylish eating space for the breakfast area. It included built in banquettes with under-seat storage that are paneled to mimic the cabinetry and also painted white. The antique Oak breakfast table is reminiscent of a picnic table, especially with the large window looking out to the yard.

square 2 BorghiVert 1 Borghi

The open nature of the space gave Matthew at JF huge scope to work with, he included built in bookshelves on the half walls that divide the kitchen and living area. The pantry was also incorporated into the design with glass door cabinets and a pass through area to make every day cooking a little easier.

This New Hampshire home feels wide and open yet maintains its New England roots, the perfect mix of classic and contemporary.