A Personal Kitchen
Inspiration can come from anywhere, and for Mary Schroeder and Catherine Spencer of Lyme, the design of their kitchen began with a bracelet. They showed the brothers at Erik Block Design/Build an Emanuela Duca oxidized sterling and diamond bracelet and said they wanted their kitchen to look like THAT. Then they let them get to work.
The idea was to create a space that was modern and functional but would not look out of place in their circa 1789 home. After designing a straightforward layout, the Blocks enlisted Grayson Rinaldi, a local metalsmith to collaborate. But first things first. They pulled out the old kitchen, back to the original studs. Under the low ceiling, they discovered an airy cathedral that they covered in reclaimed chestnut boards. Cabinets were constructed of the same salvaged chestnut and trimmed in Grayson’s blackened steel (the couple couldn’t resist his trademark jewel-like knobs of hammered steel). Grayson crafted cladding for the refrigerator, the dishwasher drawer, and stove hood, even designing matching covers for the toe-kick heaters.
The counters are soapstone, which darkens and improves with age. Open chestnut shelves house Mary’s stoneware pottery collection, and reclaimed beams support overhead lighting from Restoration Hardware.
The overall effect is at once rustic and modern, with clean lines and ingenious details: a wheeled, pullout cabinet tucked into an otherwise unusable space houses small appliances and wine, and the TV drops down into the counter. The couple felt so in sync with the Block’s aesthetic that they gave them free rein with their next project, a master bedroom/bath renovation, no bracelet required.