A Coastal Home in Connecticut Undergoes a Magnificent Kitchen Makeover



A Coastal Home In Connecticut Undergoes A Magnificent Kitchen MakeoverLooking to renovate their home for a post-retirement lifestyle plus meet stringent FEMA requirements, the owners of this coastal home turned to architect and kitchen designer Peggy Rubens-Duhl of Fresh Architect Architecture + Interiors and interior designer Havilande Whitcomb of Havilande Whitcomb Designs. Proximity and views to the water drove the overall design. “Custom sliding-glass window walls and doors create a constant dialogue between architecture and the landscape,” says Rubens-Duhl. The kitchen design focused on creating a multipurpose gathering spot, cooking area and entertaining spaces; while pocket doors hide a pantry/laundry area and a bathroom. The kitchen and main dining room open onto a stone terrace with steps leading to the pool and dock beyond.

“There are almost no doors downstairs, so we developed a palette of color and materials to unify the spaces,” says Whitcomb. “The couple loves wood as she grew up in California and he spent a lot of time in Japan, where both cultures often use natural wood as part of interior environments. We didn’t want the kitchen and other millwork to be that dark, so the rift oak with a white glaze was a very comfortable combination. Horizontal white oak boards on the elevator connect this central element up through the core of the home.” 

A Coastal Home in Connecticut Undergoes A Magnificent Kitchen Makeover

Aging-in-place details include wood flooring with a textured and grainy surface, lower counter heights, door and cabinet hardware that’s easy to grasp and generous spaces for maneuvering. Additionally, blinds, lighting and systems can be controlled remotely. “The Philippe Starck crystal vase pendant fixture perched over the Danby marble waterfall island creates an unexpected and beautiful finale to the kitchen design,” says Rubens-Duhl.

A version of this article appeared in the January 2018 issue of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) with the headline: Grand Central.

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Haver & Skolnick Architects
Haver & Skolnick Architects creates award-winning homes of timeless design, providing personal service & impeccable attention to detail. For 22 years, Charles Haver, AIA and Stewart Skolnick, AIA have offered a single source for architecture, interior design and landscape architecture, creating seamless environments which are a reflection of their clients’ personalities. The firm has been nationally recognized for comfortable, classic country homes and elegant apartments which reflect history while responding to a contemporary lifestyle.


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Consiglio Builders
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James Merrell Architects 
From our perspective in the 21st century, all styles are historical. Even Modernism is now a century old. So, we are free to interpret, and interweave the minimal with the decorative to find new expressions for our own era. Our house celebrates this new design freedom. It brings a contemporary sensibility to the architectural covenants of this otherwise traditional neighborhood. Floor to ceiling glass on the ground floor, for instance, yields modern interior spaces. While above, divided windows sit comfortably in second floor dormers. And the style that results is both unique and timeless.


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Bates Masi + Architects
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