A handcrafted French stove inspires a suite (and sweet) redesign
A grand 1915-era mansion modeled after a 16th-century English Tudor castle certainly demands a strong shot of tradition when it comes to interior design. But who really wants to hang out in a centuries-old kitchen?
Nobody, figured New Jersey kitchen designer Jim Dove, who created an inviting kitchen suite with a graceful blend of modern and period elements for the 2012 showhouse at Glynallyn Castle in Morristown, New Jersey.
“People like the peaceful quality of clean, modern lines but most of our clients live in traditional homes,” says Dove, a kitchen designer at Canterbury Design in Morristown. “It’s a bit of a balancing act to get the correct push and pull of colors, textures, and forms.”
Dove and the Canterbury Design team—Melissa Seibold, Scott Seibold, and Alison Griffin—started with one large room at the Mansion in May Designer Showhouse, with the vision of creating a guest suite with kitchen. Their first choice was a dark navy blue French range that has the charm of an old European stove combined with the latest in high-powered cooking functions. A coordinating navy vent hood and side cabinets with stainless steel tops give the nearly 60-inch-long range even more of a presence.
An arched nook was constructed on one wall to gracefully accentuate the cooking zone. A refrigerator and a pantry neatly fit into recesses on either side of the arch, hidden behind ceiling-high, paneled cherry doors, also with arched tops.
Another wall was modified to enclose existing radiators and create charming window niches. The radiators are camouflaged with metal mesh doors and topped with stone windowsills. “Air is able to flow through the mesh, and the stone sills allow heat to radiate,” Dove notes. Plus, enclosing the radiators created enough wall depth for a built-in kitchen hutch.
The beveled-glass doors on the built-in alder hutch pay homage to the traditional aesthetic of the mansion—they’re reminiscent of the diamond grid in many of the home’s original windows.
Modern influences came into play with the boxy island, topped with a thick square-edge slab of Danby marble. Rather than adding ornately turned legs, Dove set the island on simple tapered feet with a mirrored toekick. “The toekick reflects the floor, giving the illusion that the island is floating,” Dove says. Nickel lanterns above the island are traditional in style, but their large scale gives them an updated attitude that energizes the room, the designer says.
A tone-on-tone Venetian plaster treatment with an old-world matte finish gives depth and patina to the walls. New ceiling beams (added to unify the spaces) and trim were painted semigloss white.
New Jersey interior designers Laurie Finn and Mary Dore oversaw the sitting and dining areas, taking cues from the blue range. In the dining area, blue-and-white fabric lends a French country air to whitewashed fretwork chairs that circle a mahogany table. Cream-colored furnishings provide a serene backdrop in the sitting area, where blue makes a comeback on pillows and draperies.
The kitchen, dining, and sitting areas flow easily from one to the other, combining “sleek sophistication with traditional familiarity,” says Dove, “a convivial atmosphere for the grand home’s guests.”
Photography: John Bessler
Produced by Stacy Kunstel
Interior design: Laurie Finn and Mary Dore, La Jolie Maison, 359 Springfield Ave., Summit, NJ 07901; 908/598-7170, lajolie.com .
Kitchen design: Jim Dove, Canterbury Design, 103 Ridgedale Ave., Morristown, NJ 07962; 973/539-3339, canterburydesign.com .
A dark navy blue La Cornue range is set into a nook that is flanked by arched cherry doors for the refrigerator on the right and a pantry cupboard on the left.
Kitchen designer Jim Dove of Canterbury Design.
A thick squared-off edge modernizes the Danby marble top of the center island.
Details on the following slides.
An arched chrome faucet from Kallista  is one of the minimalist features that keep the kitchen feeling clean-lined and contemporary.
Two large-scale fixtures from Remains Lighting  visually balance the weight of the island. The lanterns are embellished with curved nickel bands around the top of the glass, subtly mimicking the arch above the range and on the tops of doors.
A round mahogany table from Hickory Chair relaxes when mixed with whitewashed side chairs with fretwork backs (a nod to classic Chinese Chippendale designs).
A built-in hutch designed by Melissa Seibold has burled alder door panels, crown molding, and beveled-glass doors with serpentine lead cames. Enclosing old radiators created a space in a corner for the hutch, which is visible from the kitchen and dining areas.
Tapered metal-banded legs and a recessed mirrored toekick reflect the floor and give the illusion that the island is floating. The visual trick lightens the mass of the island and introduces a modern feel to the traditional kitchen.
Laurie Finn (standing) and Mary Dore of La Jolie Maison Interior Design, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey.
Blue-and-green-patterned fabrics for draperies and pillows add color to the serene and neutral palette.
Cherry doors on the refrigerator and pantry are accented by Baxter  bronze hardware with a “living finish,” which develops a patina over time, particularly on areas where it is frequently touched.
Jim Dove and the Canterbury Design team chose a navy blue French range from La Cornue , which combines the charm of a classic European stove with the functionality of modern amenities.