From the February/March 2021 Issue  

Timeless With A Twist

Writer Marirose Krall  |  Photographer Raquel Langworthy  |  Designer Laurie DiGiacomo  |  Location Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Statement pieces embellish a classic kitchen in Ho-Ho-Kus

The home has 10-foot ceilings and a new open concept. “Getting the scale right is very important when designing a home like this,” designer Laurie DiGiacomo says. “Oversized lighting, wide-plank floors and tile in medium and large scales ensure that this space feels proportional and cohesive.” The cabinet next to the refrigerator is a coffee center. “It was a thing I didn’t know I wanted,” homeowner Sara Clasen says. “We keep beans, a grinder and all the mugs there.”

The sprawling raised ranch in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, was built in 2000 and hadn’t been updated since. “We wanted to open it up,” homeowner Sara Clasen says. According to designer Laurie DiGiacomo, Clasen, who works in the beauty industry, “wanted a home that reflected her strong sense of style with some fun and unexpected touches.”

DiGiacomo, principal of Laurie DiGiacomo Interiors in Ho-Ho-Kus, helped the Clasens create “a stylish, functional and family-friendly kitchen.” The designer and her clients chose a recessed-panel door style in crisp white for the perimeter cabinets and white subway tile for the backsplash. “That keeps the look classic,” DiGiacomo says.

The Clasens wanted to add some color, and DiGiacomo responded with a new interpretation of an old favorite. “I love a classic blue-and-white kitchen,” she says, “but I wanted to put a fresh spin on this theme. I had a custom smoky blue color mixed for the island and the butler’s pantry for a modern take on the classic navy island.”

DiGiacomo says, “One of my favorite features is the smoky-gray antiqued mirror for the butler’s pantry backsplash, which adds a dose of glam while visually connecting this area to the kitchen. I wanted to make it appear to be part of the kitchen, yet dramatic enough to be a feature on its own.”

The large island was a homeowner request. “Our old kitchen had a tiny island with a cooktop,” Clasen says. “Even so, everyone always hung out there. That was the centerpiece; so we wanted to include a very big centerpiece that we could use as an entertaining space in the new kitchen.”

Other non-traditional accents include “geometric accent tile over the range, which picks up the blue in the island and butler’s pantry cabinetry,” DiGiacomo says. “And the oversized pendant lights over the island make a major style statement.”

Another statement: a piece of driftwood in a niche above the refrigerator. “It’s such a large kitchen,” DiGiacomo says, “and there’s so much white that the eye just travels all around. I wanted something that caused the eye to stop. The driftwood was that piece.”

The homeowners are thrilled with the look of their new kitchen. “There are so many things I love about the design,” Clasen says. “Laurie was awesome.”