Kitchen of the Week: Chestnut and an Open Fire in Connecticut | Bedford Corners NY Homes

American chestnut was once one of the most popular woods used in home construction in the United States, but the majestic tree has almost completely disappeared from the landscape. A blight that arrived around the beginning of the 20th century has all but eliminated the species. However, some resourceful builders are using this beautiful wood via reclamation. Chestnut boards recovered from a dilapidated barn in the South are currently thriving in this New England kitchen, lending an antique look to a room full of modern conveniences.
“The homeowner owns a travel business and travels to Africa extensively,” says Jeff Schneider, a designer at Crown Point Cabinetry. “She fell in love with the old-world look of kitchens over there, and loved every imperfection in the boards, like knot holes and mortise and tenon joint marks — these little details that show the history are her favorite parts.” Working in conjunction with the general contractors at Andy Miller Works, he crafted a one-of-a-kind kitchen.
Kitchen at a Glance Who lives here: A family of 5 Location: Greenwich, Connecticut Size: Main part of kitchen, 350 square feet; banquette area, 80 square feet

This project was a complete kitchen renovation in a 1920s Dutch colonial home. The new kitchen is full service, complete with an island as well as this eat-in banquette and pizza oven. The chestnut banquette cozies up to the corner, while chalkboard paint, an industrial table and subway tile with gray grout lend a vintage look.
This is a true wood-burning pizza oven, with a stone chimney on the outside of the house. The owner is also an artist and loves to change out the art around the pizza oven for different seasons and events.
Crown Point found these boards through a dealer, who saved them from a Virginia barn beyond repair. The chestnut boards were reclaimed from the barn’s old siding, beams and roof boards.
To get the old boards in shape for the new construction, they were X-rayed, and all the old metal objects such as nails were removed. Next, the cabinetmakers replaned the surfaces and edges, revealing fresh grains. After transforming them into cabinets, they finished them in a honey stain with a Van Dyke glaze.
While the rich chestnut wood and traditional antique bronze hardware bring in old-world style, floor-to-ceiling industrial white subway tile with gray grout mediates between the antique wood and the modern appliances. The overall result is an eclectic mix of vintage and modern.
Three floating shelves crafted from chestnut wood house everyday dishes. This open area balances out the other wood cabinetry and provides a light space between the windows.
Stacked cabinets kiss the ceiling, with glass doors showing off favorite wares in the top section.
Inspired by the home’s original diamond-paned windows, the cabinetmakers crafted leaded-glass diamond-paned doors for the upper cabinets on this wet bar, which is just off the side of the kitchen. It includes a sink, a wine refrigerator and glassware, creating an easy drink station.
The top stacked cabinets continue over the doorways. “This gives the cabinets a true built-in look,” Schneider says.
The ceramic tile herringbone floors lend more old-world style.
More leaded glass and diamond-paned doors define this custom buffet area. Lighting inside highlights favorite items. The buffet serves as a focal point on this wall.
The off-white kitchen island provides a contrast to the darker wood around it. The wood on the island is maple, and the finish is Blackened by Farrow & Ball. Blackened is made in a historical way: “lamp black,” residue from burnt lamp oil, is added to the paint to give it an antiqued look. The marble countertop is two inches thick.

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