From the February/March 2022 Issue  

Modern Farmhouse

Writer Meg Fox  |  Photographer Christopher Delaney  |  Designer Town & Country Design Studio  |  Location Colts Neck, NJ

Custom cabinetry imbued with rustic and refined touches brings lived-in character to a brand-new kitchen

Custom cabinetry pairs crisp white paint with richly stained alder. The multifunctional island — topped with natural quartzite — houses a multitude of storage options as well as a second farmhouse-style sink.

When building their new home — situated on a working farm on a picturesque property in Colts Neck, New Jersey — the homeowners sought design expertise from the team at Town & Country Design Studio (TCDS) in Red Bank in crafting their all-important kitchen.

With the cooking, cleaning and refrigeration activities placed too far apart, “the kitchen layout in the original architectural plans did not offer an effective workflow,” says senior designer Christine Bolton, who also has a background in architecture. “They were open to our design suggestions that resulted in not just a beautiful kitchen, but also one with a well-ordered workflow.”

“The unique location of Triple L Farm” — complete with livestock and working barns with magnificent views of the landscape from just about anywhere in the house — “made the choice of a modern farmhouse design an easy one,” Bolton says. The concept was to provide a space “that would live up to the expectations of a kitchen you’d imagine seeing on an American homestead, but with an updated feel and modern amenities.”

Rustic, hand-finished wood beams combine with other warm wood tones to enhance the kitchen’s subtly vintage feel. At left in the photo is an open pass-through to the family room, where an accessory bar peninsula doubles as a serving area for guests and conveniently houses a beverage fridge.

BOTH PHOTOS ABOVE | Custom-depth upper cabinets were designed to accommodate the clients’ favored dishware. “Selecting the right cabinet hardware was key to achieving an authentic farmhouse design,” designer Christine Bolton says. Unlacquered forged-brass pulls and knobs will naturally patina over time and add to its vintage appearance, she says.

Custom-made cabinetry from TCDS, crafted with inset construction, sets the stage for an authentic farmhouse feel. “The clients agreed that a classic velvety white paint paired with a rich, rustic stained alder was the ideal choice” for the two-tone cabinetry, Bolton adds. Classic forged brass pulls and knobs suit both style and function. “The unlacquered brass finish will naturally patina over time and add to its vintage appeal,” Bolton says.

Must-have features include a large but charming central island with seating for six, a white farmhouse-style sink in a vintage-looking base cabinet and open shelving for the display of cookbooks and decorative homeware. Professional-grade appliances also meet the need for the family who enjoys cooking together, Bolton says.

Taj Mahal quartzite — a beautiful natural stone — with a honed finish tops the island and perimeter countertops. Designer and family friend Rob Hesslein of The H Group LLC worked with Donna Martin of Tiled Interiors, both located in Red Bank, New Jersey, to select the complementary backsplash: a rustic, brick-like textured tile in a glazed white finish.

Assorted accents also got an assist from Hesslein, such as the oversized island pendant, which provides evenly dispersed light directly above the gathering and workspace. “Though quite large, the lantern design is light in feel, and its antiqued brass finish pairs well with the cabinet hardware,” Bolton says.

Other thoughtful details of the design reinforce the aesthetic. “Choosing the correct flooring for this open plan was crucial, as it literally forms the foundation of this lovely farmhouse-style home,” Bolton says. To that end, the homeowners chose premium wide-plank white oak flooring with plenty of grains, patterns and knots for texture and variation. Exposed structural beams and columns — wrapped and hand-finished in rustic white oak — also take cues from the American farmhouse style.