Timeless flavor fills this brand-new kitchen.
By Heidi Duquette
Morrisonville, New York
Guests often say my kitchen feels too homey and comfortable to be “new.” That’s exactly the effect I wanted for my new kitchen when I filled it with timeless antiques, colors and textures. My husband and I really love the homey feel of early 1900s houses. But no way could I ever talk Eric into buying one to remodel—he is a contractor, and loves new construction!
In fact, Eric built all nine houses on our small street, and during our 19 years of marriage, we’ve lived in four. He outdid himself on this one, especially in the kitchen. We both put a lot of thought, heart and detail into it. I knew what features I wanted—I was trained as a chef, and, after taking several years off to raise my family, I’m about to start teaching at a nearby college. And I needed a kitchen rugged enough to stand up to the demands of an active family with pets.
Hearth of the Home
Our hearth room really is an extension of the kitchen, so I’ll start here, with the memory that warms my heart every time I look at our beautiful, custom fireplace. To pay the mason, my husband sold a 1967 Mustang he’d been restoring since age 16, without telling me what he was up to! The fireplace, he said, was an investment in family memories.
Now on chilly nights, Eric and I sit rocking before a crackling fire, our five Sheltie dogs and cat at our feet. It’s never long before somebody—maybe daughter Lindsay, 16, or son Adam, 13—suggests we make the cozy evening even better by roasting marshmallows for s’mores. We often cook over the fire in the new kitchen, because I fondly remember the tasty meals Mom and Dad made on childhood camping trips. With the custom swing arm holding a Dutch oven, I make soups, stews, roasts or even fruit cobbler.
Good Grilling, All Year
A freestanding fireplace grill unit is another great feature in the new kitchen. Friends and family never miss an invite for campfire-style steak. Still, we do plenty of regular cooking, so I chose my kitchen appliances carefully. I’d always wanted a large, six-burner stove, and this range is a delight. I’m especially fond of the pot-filler faucet, especially when I’m canning or making corn on the cob in my largest pots!
The refrigerator and dishwasher blend seamlessly with the maple cabinets we purchased. The cabinets’ finish is a rustic red that I often see while antiquing. It nicely complements the creamy yellow walls. Underfoot, easy-clean ceramic tiles are placed extra-close together, so the grout looks like part of the multicolored design. Lindsay helped pick out granite countertops to go with it.
Distinct workstations are close enough that we can chat easily, yet keep us out of each other’s way. In the prep area, for instance, Lindsay loves to make salad while I cook dinner. Fresh produce is at her fingertips in the refrigerator drawers, right next to the single-bowl sink. My walk-in pantry is tucked across the hall, with wall cabinets to maximize storage space.
A Special Spot
But my favorite spot in the new kitchen has to be the double-bowled copper sink, ordered from a company in Mexico that I found on-line. Its hand-hammered forest scene seems fitting, since we live in the Adirondacks. And its deep bowls are great when Mom and I can tomatoes—we sometimes put up 40 quarts a day—or other produce from my garden.
Light streams in through a wall of windows above the sink. Coffee cup in hand, I can check on bird-feeder activity or the antics of our two goats. The windows open to let us savor a fresh breeze—or so I can holler in from the deck while barbecuing for someone to bring me something!
I cherish the memories already made in this kitchen and dream of others for the future. Years from now, as Eric and I rock by the fire, maybe a new voice will pipe up: “Grandma, can we make s’mores?”
Click here to check out the Duquettes’ kitchen floor plan.