From the February/March 2018 Issue  

Counting on Contrast

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Patricia Burke  |  Designer Ginny Padula (Kitchen design), Sue Comfort  |  Architect Virtuoso Architecture  |  Builder Roger Mumford Homes  |  Location Little Silver, NJ
  • White, bright and efficient, the classic kitchen is anchored by a large center island in a contrasting gray tone. “The client wanted a statement piece for the refrigerator,” Ginny Padula of Town & Country Kitchen and Bath says, so she designed an old icebox style with reproduction hinges and hardware.

  • The family’s Goldendoodle strikes a pose on the warm, wide-planked wood floors. The stainless steel range hood, custom designed for the space, features metal strapping and rivets. The professional-style Lacanche French range—in the color anthracite—is another culinary delight.

  • The cabinetry in the adjacent butler’s pantry echoes the tones of the kitchen’s center island. The countertop is Fantasy Brown granite with a leathered finish. The antiqued mirrored backsplash—cut on the diagonal and detailed with rosettes—raises the bar up a notch.

Warm wood tones and a dose of steely grays energize banks of white cabinetry.

A well-designed kitchen was important to the feel and flow of this home on the banks of the Shrewsbury River in Little Silver, New Jersey.

“The clients were looking for a classic open floor plan with updated finishes to take advantage of the views and the location,’’ says kitchen designer Ginny Padula, owner of Town & Country Kitchen and Bath in Red Bank, NJ. Initially, the homeowner modeled the cabinet style and hardware after a kitchen in Padula’s showroom. But this was no copycat. “We helped pull it all together with the door style and finishes by working until we had it right, Padula says.

Shaker-style cabinets along the perimeter are painted in Benjamin Moore’s “Super White,” a finish that appears almost weightless when paired with a glossy white subway tile backsplash and a stretch of lighted glass-front upper cabinets offering opportunities for colorful displays. Contrasting finishes such as the cool gray paint on the island base and warm wood tones help ground the room.

Cabinetry in the adjacent butler’s pantry—complete with a wine and beverage refrigerator, sink and plenty of storage—picks up the rich gray tones of the center island. There an antiqued mirrored backsplash—cut in a diamond pattern with jewelry-like rosettes—adds an elegant reflective quality and space-enhancing illusion.

Interior design consultant Sue Comfort—who worked on all aspects of the home from construction to completion—also collaborated on the selection of materials and finishes in the kitchen, from the wide-plank oak floors to the countertops: Steel Gray Antique granite along the perimeter, a slab of thick Bianco Rhino marble on the island and a custom walnut butcher-block surface for cutting and food prep. “The kitchen was definitely one of the highlights of this project,” says Comfort, owner of Manahawkin, New Jersey-based Sue Comfort Designs. “There are so many elements that grab your attention.”

To give the 500-square-foot cooking zone added emphasis, Padula and team created a dropped soffit around the perimeter of the 10-foot-high ceiling. It features a V-groove panel center treatment that is further accentuated by thick crown molding and large lantern-style pendant lights.

One of the homeowner’s favorite design elements is the vintage-inspired refrigerator crafted of rift-cut white oak and finished in a custom stain. “The client wanted a statement piece for the refrigerator so we designed it in an old icebox style,” Padula says. Reproduction icebox hinges and handles in polished chrome add to its authentic feel. Above the professional-style Lacanche French range is another eye-catching feature: a custom stainless steel hood, designed and fabricated for the space with metal strapping and rivets.

Not just another pretty room, the kitchen is well equipped for entertaining and for cleaning up after a crowd. “The layout is great,” the homeowner says. “I love the large sink that hides the dirty dishes, the second sink in the island and the two dishwashers,” among other amenities. There’s also a hutch (not pictured) for storing cookbooks and accessories. “It is a fun kitchen to cook and hang out in—a true gathering place,” the homeowner adds.