“I love the challenge of putting together kitchens and baths, and I really interrogate my clients about how they live in these functional rooms,” says New York-based designer Lilse McKenna, who explains that a lot of wasted space can accumulate if the needs and wants of clients are ignored. For a home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland that dates to 1750, investing in the details—everything from the materials and hardware to the finishes and fittings—allowed the renovated kitchen and bath to maintain its historic feel while still embracing a new and elevated scheme.
Where did you start? It was very important to the clients that when embarking upon this renovation, we paid homage to the heritage of the home and brought in elements that felt authentic and even patinated. Cue the tongue-and-groove walls, antique ceiling beams, butcher-block style countertop and pine flooring that we dyed instead of stained in keeping with 18th-century ethos.
The kitchen island is beautiful! We hung the custom Ann-Morris pot rack to make it feel like an older kitchen, but it really grounds the entire space and balances out the massive island. I also like the collected feel of mixing metals; here we used antique copper pots, brass lighting and fittings, and a treated stainless-steel hood. Some may have rules about finishes but I always just go with what feels right in the space.
Talk to us about this extra sink? The homeowners cook and entertain constantly and needed two sinks and dishwashers, so we added a prep area with a charming, hammered copper sink and painted cabinetry. This allows for a bit more storage, so things feel less cluttered. Everyone always ends up in the kitchen and I strive to make sure the details here are just as beautiful as in the rest of the house.
Click through the slider above for more details on the update of the home’s kitchen and bath.