Inside the Governor's Mansion: Carey Karlan's Guest Cottage Dining and Kitchen Redesign
photographs by Keith Scott Morton
lighting by Eric Richards
DINING | KITCHEN
Last Detail Interior Design
Darien resident Carey Karlan knew she’d feel right at home in the guest cottage. “I like cozy little spaces, but not Seven Dwarf-ish,” she says. Though charming, the kitchen and dining room were a bit too snug for ample flow.
For starters, a damaged linoleum floor, inefficient appliances and bulky cabinetry proved “a cosmetic facelift wouldn’t have been enough for the kitchen,” says Karlan. So
she had to start from scratch.
Partnering with NuKitchens, she removed an unnecessary closet and the door to the dining room. Open shelving replaced her original plan for upper cabinets, to “make the kitchen seem larger and more convivial,” Karlan notes. A seamless cooktop, stainless steel range hood, refrigerator drawers and textured-vinyl wallpaper are contemporary touches.
While the dining room acted as the cottage’s main conduit (it has a window, a door, a hallway opening and a second-floor staircase), it had no real connection to the rest of the rooms. “The floor plan was almost predetermined. It was more about relating to the kitchen, changing colors and adding timeless elements,” says the designer. Case in point: Shaker-style dining chairs and the interior of the preexisting hutch-cum-practical buffet are pear-green to echo the kitchen’s verdant ceiling.