Tale of Two Kitchens

Pull up a chair

Pull up a chair

The warm and roomy kitchen space comes alive with custom cabinetry by George Ritter of Knight Kitchens in Vermont (knightkitchens.com). Granite and tile, both by BZ Tile n Marble in Denville (973-998-1060), offer simple but sophisticated ambiance. The homeowner particularly appreciates the color of the granite because it’s easy to maintain. An oversized island serves as a workplace as well as a separate breakfast table, and the open kitchen layout delivers ample room to cook in one area while guests congregate in another. Appliances are from Karl’s Appliance in Fairfield (973-227-1777; karlsappliance.com).


Pull up a chair


Big and bright In Morristown


Happy vibe

The late Dr. Louis Parrish, cooking enthusiast and author, once said, ”If you can organize your kitchen, you can organize your life.”

For two Morris County families, recent kitchen renovations not only enhanced storage capacity and encouraged ”a place for everything,” but also delivered more user-friendly and enjoyable gathering spaces.

Cooking for a Crowd
This new Tuscan-inspired Morristown home, owned by a cooking instructor and caterer, required a custom work area with all the features and functionality desired by a professional chef.

Drawing upon his travels to Europe, Art Palombo of Arturo Palombo Architecture in Morristown (973-538-1881; aparchitecture.com) designed the space with a bit of Old-World charm.

”We infused the kitchen with a European feel without being too cliched,“ says Palombo.

The warmed-up space now sports handmade backsplash tiles, walls the color of fresh-churned butter and sherry-hued custom cabinets. Here, the homeowners are always ready to entertain a hungry crowd—since it’s not unusual for as many as 80 partygoers to congregate in what quickly has become ”party central.“

Managing a Mob
Not far away, in Madison, young parents respected the bones of their circa-1790 side-hall colonial residence, but needed to expand the kitchen and living areas—and add a playful vibe.

“We wanted to create something new and fresh. Not period, but not too current. It had to maintain the character of the original structure,” says Palombo, who sits on the board of the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

With three young children—that’s six busy hands—the homeowners required a spacious common work area so that all could interact while parents cooked and kids read books and concocted art projects.

Palombo delivered in spades by sourcing an enormous 10-foot-by-6-foot slab of Carrara marble from Italy. ”It’s an amazing piece of stone that makes a terrific work island because of its scale and heft,” Palombo says.

”In this instance, we abandoned the notion of the single workspace triangle in favor of multiple work triangles,“ he adds. ”Here, many people can simultaneously perform their preferred tasks.“

In the case of this Madison kitchen, as well as the Tuscan-styled Morristown kitchen, the new space is highly livable because it meets the very specific needs of the people who call it home.

Big and bright In Morristown

Big and bright In Morristown

The lady of the house, a caterer and instructor at Kings Cooking Studio in Short Hills, required a fresh design to meet her workspace needs. She especially enjoys the generously proportioned island and extra-large, six-burner Electrolux stove. The residence was recently built by Grant Homes of Mendham (973-543-2021 granthomesusa.com);

Family friendly

Family friendly

Constructed by W. P. Lloyd of Morristown (973-285-4242) with custom cabinets by Bischoff Cabinet Making of Whippany (973-428-8823), this uber-spacious kitchen boasts two sink areas and two ovens (one in the 48-inch professional range, the other in the island). Dual preparation areas encourage many family members to participate in activities and conversation. While the enhanced space includes modern amenities, it seamlessly meshes with the original structure, blurring the distinction between the original and new areas.

Happy vibe

Happy vibe

Family members of all ages are eager to congregate in this bright and open space. If the walls could talk,  they would speak of birthday parties, board games, holiday celebrations, book groups and science projects. The homeowners’ favorite elements of their new kitchen are the custom cabinetry, Carrara-marble work-island, eight-burner stove and massive overhead pot rack that offers easy access to cooking equipment. No matter what the season, this kitchen is a happening place for an energetic family of five.

Show cases

Show cases

Wherever possible, locally sourced natural and reclaimed materials were incorporated out of respect for the home’s character. New architectural details were introduced in a sensitive manner throughout the circa-1790 residence. This oversized cabinet, with interior lighting and glass shelves, is home to antique cake plates, pitchers and serving pieces. Well-mannered children are rewarded with a trip to the old-fashioned candy jars. At the bottom of the cabinet are wide and deep drawers, the perfect storage solution for china, large trays and table linens.


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  • http://Website mary lyman

    Love this article! The kitchens are gorgeous–doing a little remodeling myself–thank you for the wonderful ideas!