Christine Pit What inspired that beautiful blue?
Beth Martell: Our client, Rose Marie Bravo, showed us an old wooden candlestick and said, 'This is the color I want.' And our painter matched it.
Rose Marie Bravo: I was trying to get that French blue, with a little purple in it. Although I've never met a blue I didn't like.
I can see that. Why did you decide to redo your kitchen?
RMB: I have seven grandchildren, and I needed a place for everybody to sit and have tea. Tea is a major pastime. I have a collection of teacups — from my mother, my husband's mother, from friends — and when the girls come over, they pick out which ones they're going to use, and I brew the tea with real leaves and a strainer. It's a nice memory, and I think kitchens are all about memories.
That explains the display of teacups. Now what prompted you to draw on the walls?
RMB: I was looking through a book on Charleston, the house in the English countryside where Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant lived and did all these colorful paintings on every available surface — doors, closets, fireplaces. I was so moved. I showed Beth, and she said: 'I love it. I can have an artist do it in a way that would work with all your blues.'
Enda Donagher: We extended the kitchen, which gave us space for a big sitting area and a walk-in pantry — that's what's behind the mural. And there's even more storage underneath the cushions on the banquette.
Why did you opt for a banquette?
ED: It's a more efficient way to use space. The grandchildren can all cram in and slide around, and you can fit in more people than you could with a set number of chairs.
What is that bright-blue table?
BM: It's made out of lava stone from France, and then they enamel it in whatever color you like. You can't get that kind of clean, clear blue in marble, and this is equally durable. I like that glossy blue next to the graphic blue-and-white fabric and the French bistro chairs. It's a nice mix of textures.
What's on the countertops?
ED: Caesarstone. We wanted this kitchen to feel modern as well as traditional, and one of the ways we achieved it was by topping traditional cabinetry with contemporary Caesarstone, finishing it off with a clean, sharp edge.
BM: The white countertop comes as a relief, amid layers of blue.
Who chose the white cooktop?
RMB: Me. It's white and it matched, and I couldn't care less about anything else as long as I can boil water for my oatmeal. As my husband, Bill, said, 'I can't believe we're doing this and you don't even cook.' But this was never about cooking. It was about making a family gathering space. And Bill had some of the best ideas, like getting rid of the small windows and making them feel like a wall of glass.
How long have you been collecting blue-and-white china?
RMB: For years. I love all my Wedgwood and delftware and stoneware, and I remember where I found each piece. When I was working for Burberry in England, I used to walk through Bermondsey market on a misty London morning and pick upa pitcher or two for 10 pounds. Some of it's good; some of it isn't. But it doesn't matter. I just bought what I loved.
ED: We built the pantry to free up space in the cabinets for display.
RMB: But when it came down to putting food in the pantry, I couldn't even fill one shelf! So now I have more dishes in there, like my Tiffany Christmas china.
Ready to make more memories.
RMB: One of my granddaughters just told me, 'Grandma, if you ever sell this house, make sure whoever buys it promises never to touch this kitchen!'
Get the Look…
Decorative painting: .
Light fixture: .
Chairs and stools: .