Home Plate: Connecticut Kitchen Design
February 17, 2014
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIC PIASECKI
Setting out to renovate the kitchen of their cottage-style home in New Canaan, Connecticut, homeowner and designer Tessa Neleman-Pimontel and her husband didn’t have to search too far for their muse. With Dutch and Belgian heritages, respectively, they instinctively harked back to the enchanting aesthetics for which their native lands are revered. “We wanted to make sure that we retained a very cozy, vintage European vibe, like that of an old bakery, for instance,” Pimontel explains. Another check off their wish list was to keep the space open (notice the pared down cabinetry; the simple ceramic subway tiling by the Bertazonni hood and stove; uninterrupted counter space), organized and flooded with light while retaining a sense of genuineness. “This kitchen adds an instant feeling of authenticity to our home,” she says. “It works out well as an open space where my husband, Hans, and I naturally gather with our kids to share time together. Every afternoon, the low-setting sun pours in, which adds to the whole mood we were aiming to capture.”
Opting for limited upper cabinetry, the Nelemans had to search for alternative answers to de rigueur storage questions. “The idea of the hutch was always in our minds, but it only came to fruition after we found the right pieces,” Tessa notes. “Nearing the final stages of the renovation, we took a trip to Mexico. We knew what we were looking for, but were very surprised when we found it in an old hardware store. We fell in love with the huge hutch and bought it right there and then.” To balance the rustic nature of the towering case, the homeowners kept it simple. “We like white as a base, but there are many touches of Delft and even Guatemalan earthenware in the mix. The key is to make sure that whatever is visible is positioned well (handles all turned the same direction, everything evenly spaced) and to edit, edit, edit. Keep only what you really need and use often.” For additional visual variety, they encircled the antique Swedish farm table with steel bistro chairs from Vagabond Vintage in Atlanta.