The perfect balance of modern and country made this Connecticut kitchen our pick for Kitchen of the Year.
Though a "pass-through" refrigerator is the kitchen's quiet star, the Nero Marquino marble countertops and twin 19th-century light fixtures are also understatedly electric. The massive custom-made center island is on casters, mostly to enhance the visual effect — it's too heavy to really move. The hexagonal floor tile is from Urban Archaeology, but the custom flower-pattern design is based on a floor that designer Joan Schindler saw at Harrods in London.
In the main kitchen, a polished nickel Franke Triflow Corinthian faucet.
Antique ironstone pitcher and French dessert plates on the breakfast room table.
Custom stainless-steel pass-through refrigerator from .
Note the designer's detailed use of rounded subway tiles on all edges. "We like the idea of soft and continuous flow of the walls, no sharp corners." The use of white bronze for the hardware, from Sun Valley Bronze, also lends the kitchen a visual richness. All panes in the cabinets are restoration glass, which is uneven.
The designer created a warm feel in the breakfast room with built-in cabinets of reclaimed antique white pine. A simple Louis XIV chandelier lends the room a low-wattage opulence, and the client's collection of English blue-and-white china (extravagantly mismatched) gives the room a homey sense of elegance and fun. 1940s Belgian chairs upholstered in linen from Hinson surround an Italian Renaissance-style oak refectory table.
A cabinetmaker built cabinets to look like drawers — down to the white-bronze pulls — because Schindler thought horizontal lines under the counters would be more beautiful.
Schindler kept continuity with the kitchen by extending the black-and-white tile through the pantry into the room.