Design Hints

Honor History

Learn how to include authentic details when aging a contemporary kitchen to match timeworn preferences.

Design Hints

Homeowners face many challenges when they build a modern kitchen while cultivating a country look. To strike a balance between old and new, Mary and Dale Adam worked closely with their architect in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, to construct a budget-minded hub that borrows styling cues from traditional icons. Want to create a functional kitchen with amplified charm? The Adams\' five cost-cutting measures will help with your own remodeling endeavors.

1. Renew cabinetry. Avoid discarding dated cabinets in a landfill. Mary and Dale salvaged 1970s cherry cabinets from their former kitchen to reuse in the addition. For an uptick, they added crown molding to upper cabinets, painted millwork green, and swapped worn hardware for nickel knobs and bin pulls.

2. Reclaim a backsplash. Incorporate old house materials into your backsplash design rather than buying new. During the demolition phase, Mary recalls admiring her home\'s antique lath, so she dug through debris to save enough sections to repurpose as a unique backsplash that respects her home\'s provenance.

3. Search for substitutes. Having an island custom built can be very costly. Comb antiques venues for a large furnishing that can serve as a food preparation and serving station. Mary loves the proportions and mellowed patina of her authentic general store counter that is an extraordinary conversation piece.

4. Match metals. Stainless-steel appliances are commonplace today, but their ultra-modern sheens seem counterintuitive to Colonial aesthetics. Mary\'s solution is to echo the sleek finishes by showcasing vintage aluminum coffeepots above her cabinets.

5. Look to laminates. Technological advances continue to improve the look and durability of laminate counters and flooring. Their reasonable price points will help keep your project on budget too. Mary and Dale selected laminate counters that resemble soapstone and laminate flooring that mimics classic farmhouse planks.

Written by Cheryl Hackett
Photographed by Gridley + Graves