Layers of color and texture achieve a homey Italian farmhouse feel


Layers of color and texture achieve a homey Italian farmhouse feel
Country Grandeur
Layers of color and texture achieve
a homey Italian farmhouse feel in
this New Jersey kitchen.
writer and field editor jorge s. arango | photos john bessler
A limestone floor sets
the Italian country tone.
Identical millwork on
both sides of the range
conceals a full refrigerator
on the left and a pantry
and two freezer drawers
on the right.
beautiful kitchens & baths | summer 2013 61
Staying at an Italian countryside estate inspired
Amy and Shaun Wildt to rejuvenate the cramped
galley kitchen in their 1929 New Jersey home.
An addition gave them much more space to apply
the old-world vibe. “We started the remodel from
the floor up,” Shaun says. Limestone, a dominant
feature of the couple’s vacation house, covers the
new floor in irregularly sized tiles. “The floor gives
the kitchen a cozy farmhouse feel,” Shaun says.
To create contrast with the light, rough-hewn
stone, kitchen designer Heidi Piron suggested
various color palettes for the perimeter cabinetry.
To her happy surprise, the couple gravitated toward
a bold selection—a deep blue finish, glazed and
crackled to convey a timeworn charm.
Piron worked with architect Arturo Palombo to
address the Wildts’ request for a practical design.
Shaun, an avid cook who often prepares food for a
crowd, wanted a six-burner stove that could handle
food prep for a large group and an industrial-style
spray faucet for easy cleanup after gatherings. He
also needed enough space to prepare meals without
getting in the way of his guests—and without his
guests getting in the way of his cooking.
The designer and architect answered with an
11-foot-long distressed cherrywood island packed
with storage and perfect for gathering, prepping,
and entertaining. Topping the island with warm
wood enhanced the Tuscan ambience and provided
a seamless work space.
To complete the look they used a mix of
antiqued-pewter and weathered-bronze hardware,
a leather-finish granite perimeter countertop, and
a white backsplash punctuated with hand-painted
blue tiles. The layering of patterns, textures, and
colors creates a rustic but sophisticated look.
“It’s laid out so well,” Amy says. “Everything is
where it should be.” Yet no one element attracts
undue attention; they all work together as a
harmonious whole, almost matching the tranquillity
and warmth of the couple’s inspirational Italian
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62 beautiful kitchens
& baths | summer 2013
Below: Hand-painted tiles are scattered throughout
the backsplash to impart a rustic, handcrafted look.
Opposite: Two rows of windows let in plenty of natural
light. A series of Roman shades adds a soft touch. The
industrial-style spray faucet makes cleanup a breeze.
“We started the
remodel from
the floor up. The
floor gives the
kitchen a cozy
farmhouse feel.”
Shaun Wildt
Choosing Colored
“Color can lift your mood, add design
interest, and convey personality,”
kitchen designer Heidi Piron says.
Here are some things to consider when
making your choice:
• Use what you love. Pick a color you’re
naturally drawn to, keeping in mind
livability over time. If your favorite color
is bright, consider a muted shade—for
example, butter instead of sunflower or
celery instead of neon green.
• Find a finish for any style. Modern
kitchens are served well by solid-color,
high-gloss lacquer cabinetry finishes.
Traditional kitchens benefit from finishes
with depth and texture: antiqued,
distressed, or glazed.
Opposite: Now used for casual dining,
the long, narrow table once functioned
as a trading table in homeowner Shaun
Wildt’s oil brokerage firm. Built-in seating
and nooks have a distinct old-world
appeal. Above: The island sink boasts
a mosaic pattern that lends an artisanal
air. Weathered-bronze fixtures appear
comfortably aged. Top right: The large
lanterns over the island were chosen for
their proportion and country aesthetic. Top,
far right: A leathered finish on the granite
countertop adds timeworn warmth and
hides spills and fingerprints. Above right:
Layered glazes, which include shades of
red, blue, and black, enhance the cabinetry’s
architectural details. Right: The island’s
cherry cabinetry is distressed to give it a
hand-built, antique look.
• Select a suitable material. Choose a
material that suits your style. Painted wood
looks warm in a traditional kitchen. For a
contemporary kitchen, explore adding color
in other materials such as glass, beautifully
figured woods, or metal accents.
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