When I first launched Carol Lang Interiors, one of my amazing and dearest friends said “I’d like to be your first client.” She and her family were ready to begin a large addition to the back of their house, adding a new kitchen and family room. She was feeling overwhelmed by the number of decisions involved in a project of this size and looking for help. I am so grateful her early support and really pleased about the end results of our collaboration.
The old kitchen ended just around where the new island begins. It was small and cramped and original to the 1920s house. The formal living room was the family’s only space to relax in and didn’t take advantage of the gorgeous views into the deep backyard. After looking at other homes in town, nothing felt like home as much as their house so they decided to take on a major project to make the house function perfectly for them. Working with a great local architect and builder, we came up with an ideal layout for the new family space. The addition of around 800 square feet, gave us freedom and flexibility to design the right configuration for cabinets, kitchen workspace, and furniture.
Because of the architecture and some of the existing walls that needed to stay, we decided that the kitchen should be split into three zones. The first was a bar zone along the wall adjacent to the dining room. The second was a functional storage wall on the back wall that housed coffee, the pantry, and refrigerator. The last was the cooking and island area with long stretches of countertop and seating. Each cabinet was designated for a specific use and we wanted to be sure to have lots of counter space for the kids to sit and do homework, and for when the family entertained.
Construction started in late fall and continued through a long, snowy winter. The homeowner fell in love with gray cabinets and we ran with that as the basis for our palate in the space. We worked closely with the local cabinet manufacturer to come up with a custom, soft gray for the cabinets along the walls and chose a dark wood finish for the island. The family knew themselves well and decided that a quartz countertop would suit them better than a marble which could etch or stain, so we went with a beautiful soft white with a subtle gray grain. The floors are a ceramic wood-look that will hold up to boys and dogs and work beautifully with the new radiant heating system. The kitchen looks soft and beautiful, but it’s a workhorse that supports this active family.
A deep farm-style sink and substantial pulls tie the look together and add some sparkle in the space. Soffits with recessed lighting around the perimeter provide directed task light and the pendant fixtures in the raised portion of the ceiling light the island and anchor the space.
The backsplash is a warm-toned ceramic tile with an inset mosaic above the cooktop. The kitchen feels great. It’s warm, spacious, inviting, with lots of room for friends and family. The bar area has wine storage and a beverage fridge, an additional trash pull-out and dishwasher, and a small bar sink under a window overlooking the slate patio.
Beyond the kitchen is a beautiful, sunny, bright new family room. Large windows and high beamed ceilings are the big features of the space and open it up to the spacious backyard. We chose a new leather sectional sofa for relaxing by the wood-burning fireplace and wall-mounted TV. The casual table seats 8 comfortably and a large orb chandelier above it defines this as the dining area.
The husband wanted this room to feel warm and a bit lodge-like, so we wrapped the structural beams in cedar and used a large-scale stone around the fireplace. To provide continuity, the flooring flows in from the kitchen. A low, built-in bookcase separates the kitchen and family room and provides storage.
The family dog loves the all the sunshine in the new family room, too!
A rustic table and distressed chairs from my favorite local furniture store were an elegant addition to the space. They keep the feeling casual and work with the exposed beams and gray cabinets in the adjacent kitchen. The wall color is a darker gray in the family room so that the windows and trim pop. Woven wood Roman shades provide privacy and light control.
The center of this family’s life has moved into these new rooms and they’re loving the extra space, as well as the visual connection to the yard beyond.
I’m thrilled for them and this new space. They’ll love their first Christmas tree by the fireplace in the new family room this December, and the spacious kitchen is ideal for the entertaining they love to do. It’s entirely in the character of their charming historic home but feels modern, fresh, and very much them.
Cabinets & Countertops: Red Bank Cabinets, Red Bank, NJ
Contractor: William Sustick Contracting, Fair Haven, NJ
Architect: Michael James Monroe, Red Bank, NJ
Hardware: Restoration Hardware Lugarno Pulls & Knobs
Kitchen Pendant Lighting: Rejuvenation Hood Pendant
Family Room Pendant Lighting: Restoration Hardware Foucault 41″ Orb
AV: Monmouth Stereo, Shrewsbury, NJ
Appliances: Better Housekeeping, Red Bank, NJ
Fixtures: Ferguson Plumbing, Red Bank, NJ
Window Treatments, Rugs & Sofa: The Store From River Road, Shrewsbury, NJ
Table and Chairs: British Cottage, Red Bank, NJ