Kitchen & Bath
Seven terrific spaces and the people who live among them
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Kitchen Photographs by Martin Vecchio
A Pale & Pretty Palette
BY: MEGAN SWOYER
A mix of rich and layered textures and soothing grays, whites, and creams makes for an unassuming and relaxing heart of the home.
Backstory: When Armina Kasprowicz, her husband, Vic, and their son, Matthew, moved into their Rochester Hills home about 10 years ago, the kitchen was acceptable but not ideal, says Kasprowicz, an avid cook and interior designer who runs AK Designs and Accents. “It had maple cabinetry, not the highest quality, and a little too traditional for our taste; Formica countertops; and an island that was too small — we couldn’t comfortably sit at it (and there were no lights above it). But I was busy with work and my young son, so it wasn’t a priority.” Today, the opposite is true. On any given evening, you’ll find Kasprowicz and Matthew chopping fresh herbs, rolling up seaweed, and cooking rice for sushi, while Vic selects the perfect bottle of wine from a handy rack. “We updated the kitchen; we didn’t want to start from scratch,” she says. The cabinetry got a face-lift with more elongated, contemporary hardware; fresh, light paint; and a new horizontal glass-front cabinet on top. New linen window shades add texture, while a ceramic backsplash, wine rack, and open shelving provide additional style. A new sink and faucet (“we love the coiled, industrial look”) and a new range and hood make cooking more practical. “We all love the kitchen; it’s the heart of our home,” Kasprowicz says. “It’s now more contemporary, sleek, lighter, and fresher, but still warm and inviting.”
“Growing up in Poland, our kitchen was separate and closed from the other spaces and guests; now I have just the opposite,” Armina Kasprowicz, above, says with a laugh — although she still adores her family’s century-old vintage silverware. About three summers ago, her teenage son, above, started cooking with her. “It was summer, he was off from school, and we just started cooking together. It’s a great way to spend time with each other. A kitchen is so much more than the cabinets and design. When the three of us (Kasprowicz, her son, and her husband) are here, there’s that warm feeling that you only get from being together in a kitchen.”
A horizontal line of cupboards with a milky-glass front “creates softness, height, and a finished look,” says homeowner/designer Armina Kasprowicz, “rather than just another panel of wood.”
She loves mixing textures like shiny, silver hardware; a stonewashed linen Roman shade that she designed (Arabel Fabrics, with linen tape from Schumacher); linen sheers, in silver-gray (fabric from Arabel); hammered shiny silver globes (from Arteriors); a quartz countertop; and a sandy backsplash (Cercan Tile).
“There’s no back to the range, so you see all the tile, and we also installed lights under the cabinets so they shine on the textured backsplash.”
“I tend to go a little coastal,” Kasprowicz says, “but not Caribbean … more like Scandinavian, with a light, fresh, casual feel — driftwood grays, sand dune hues.”
“Matthew is so excited about the newness that he cleans the surface regularly. We try not to clutter it, although that’s not always possible.”
The cabinetry was painted Chantilly White by Benjamin Moore (in Cabinet Coat); the walls are Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore. “It’s a very soft gray,” Armina says. “Anything you put in a white kitchen looks gorgeous and pops, whether it’s a bunch of pink or yellow flowers, or the green of avocadoes and limes. Even a mess looks good in a white kitchen.”
A tray (from Home & Garden Shop, Troy) painted black inside; a tray (from Terrafirma Ceramics) with a circle pattern interior; and a fish-shaped narrow white platter (from Crate & Barrel’s Paola Navone collection) add a splash of color.
“I love open shelving, but that’s not possible for our lifestyle, so I created just a little area for that, and (that’s where) I keep a few everyday dishes.”
Follow the Sun
The sun’s daily journey also affected color choices. “We get the morning sun here, but after 2 p.m., the kitchen gets dark — so the lighter palette is great. Stone countertops reflect light from the silver overhead globes beautifully, the cabinet lights add mood … everything, in its own way, makes the kitchen glow.”
The Big Decision
“We all decided that we don’t have to waste things or start from scratch. Keeping the cabinetry was a big part of our design decision, as was keeping the ceramic floor.”
Above the dining area is a chandelier from Serena & Lily. “The strands of cream-colored beads mixed with subtle bronze veining bring earthy glamour.” A Restoration Hardware dining table and hutch (filled with decanters, water glasses, and more) have a heavy wood style. Wicker chairs (also from RH) add more texture.