Interior designer Phoebe Lovejoy Russell’s kitchen/dining room was not working for her family at all. One of the first things you see when you walk into her condo, the kitchen had an oddly placed freestanding closet, and a 4-foot-long island divided the space in an awkward way. Striving to keep it open, light and not too kitchen-y, she created a look that’s bright and crisp with fresh chinoiserie style, taking inspiration from two hand-painted silk wallpaper panels.
Who lives here: Phoebe Lovejoy Russell; her husband, Peter Russell; and their 9-month-old son
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Size: About 450 square feet (42 square meters)
Russell wanted to keep the appliances and cabinets sleek and clean-lined; she tucked the refrigerator, dishwasher and pantry behind matching cabinetry. “The cabinets fade away because they are crisp, clean and white,” she says.
An awkward 9-foot-high freestanding closet once divided the kitchen from the dining room; the ceilings are 11 feet, 3 inches high, so it just floated oddly and clunked up the space. Russell’s intervention united the rooms into one pleasing space that now has an eat-in kitchen that also serves as a formal dining area.
The new island is 8 feet long and includes a dishwasher and microwave drawer on one side, and storage for linens, small appliances, mixing bowls, platters and more on the other. It’s also become a handy spot for stashing baby stuff, she says.
Photos by Michael J. Lee Photography
Tip: If you’re going to splurge on something like Ann Sacks antiqued mirror tiles, pick a spot where a little will go along way. These tiles make a huge impact, yet the Russells did not have to invest in boxes and boxes of them.
The countertops are white Rhino marble with a leathered finish. Russell says that this particular marble is harder than Carrara or Calacatta, and the leather finish is a little bumpier than a honed finish, adding a beautiful texture.
Pendant lights: Gibson, Urban Electric Company, cabinet pulls: Rocky Mountain Hardware; faucets: Newport Brass; antiqued mirror tile: Ann Sacks
The chairs’ light gray picks up on the touches of gray in the tiles and pendants.
Vinyl cushions on the chair will stand up to all sort of spills as their son grows up. Once he becomes a little climber, Russell plans to replace the glass tabletop with cerused oak.
While the Russells had planned on sliding food through here, they found what they enjoy most is leaving the panels open most of the time to enjoy the view between the rooms.