A charming farmhouse in Connecticut gets a modern yet classic kitchen redesign that pays homage to the home’s history while providing ample space and functionality for a growing family. We’ll tour the light-filled kitchen that artfully blends new and old, discuss the homeowners’ wish list and design goals, and detail all the special features that make this a coveted farmhouse kitchen. From striking black windows to ornate tile backsplashes, vintage furnishings to state-of-the-art appliances, follow along as we uncover what makes this fine-tuned space a standout.

Overview of the Home and Goals for the New Kitchen

This 1930s colonial-style farmhouse in the countryside of Connecticut has been lovingly maintained and added onto over the decades. The home’s newest owners sought to honor its heritage while adapting it for modern family life. The dated, cramped kitchen was high on the priority list for an overhaul. Goals included:

  • Opening up the space for better flow and functionality
  • Incorporating ample storage solutions
  • Upgrading appliances for convenience
  • Infusing bright, airy ambiance using light colors
  • Adding high-end finishes for an upscale look
  • Accenting with vintage elements to acknowledge home’s history
  • Achieving a timeless, classic aesthetic that leans traditional

Thoughtful planning and precision design were instrumental in achieving these goals while crafting a bespoke kitchen that feels custom-tailored to the home.

Demolition: Preparing the Canvas

With ambitions to significantly expand the kitchen’s footprint, the first order of business was demolition. The existing kitchen layout was confined to one small section of the home, closed off from adjacent spaces. Construction teams gutted the entire kitchen area to its studs, removing walls, flooring, ceiling, and everything in between to provide a blank slate.

This enabled the physical space to be united with adjoining rooms on either side to establish an open concept kitchen, dining, and living layout. For this farmhouse, a kitchen open to adjacent gathering areas enables better flow for entertaining while allowing the cook to feel connected to family activities.

Layout and Cabinetry – Maximizing Space and Function

With the shell of the room stripped back and boundaries expanded, designing the new kitchen layout focused on a few key goals:

  • Dedicated work zones for food prep, cooking, cleaning, and storage
  • Island that provides additional counter space and casual dining
  • Breakfast nook area for more intimate morning meals
  • Unobstructed flow patterns between sink, fridge, stove, and prep areas
  • Open sight lines to living spaces for visual connection

To optimize valuable real estate in the kitchen, cabinetry was designed floor to ceiling. The perimeter is lined with cabinetry topped with crown molding, providing a custom built-in look. The island is also fully covered in cabinetry for concealed storage.

For the cabinet boxes, painted shaker style maple provides a classic, timeless look and clean lines that suit the farmhouse aesthetic. Detailed moldings on top lend character. Dove grey cabinetry keeps the space light and fresh rather than going dark. Paint color is Benjamin Moore Grey Falls.

Hardware is satin nickel with an antique feel, suiting the home’s traditional vibe. Soft close hinges are a modern convenience that allow the traditional shaker cabinets to function seamlessly.

Countertops and Backsplash – Mixing Materials

The kitchen displays an artful mix of countertop materials and backsplash tile for added dimensions of visual interest:


  • White Carrara marble on the substantial kitchen island
  • Cambria Britannica quartz on the perimeter counters

The marble island top is a showstopper that anchors the kitchen with timeless elegance. White marble has gray veining with hints of gold that catches the light beautifully. The white field keeps the palette light.

For heavy prep zones with the sink and stove, durable quartz was chosen for functionality. The muted gray-brown tone of the Britannica quartz complements the marble, gray cabinets, and other materials.


  • Walker Zanger Portuguese Oval Tile – unique handmade glazed ceramic tile with an aged patina spanning behind the range as the focal point
  • White subway tile – classic white 3×6″ tile laid in a brick pattern above the perimeter counters

The Portuguese tile backsplash steals the show with its vibrant blue floral motifs. The aged, crackled finish and handmade imperfections give incredible character. The varying blue hues pop against the grey cabinets.

Crisp white subway tile keeps the remaining backsplash light and bright. Laid horizontally, it contrasts directionally with the vertical walker Zanger behind the stove. The combo creates interest while the white field keeps the palette soothing.

Flooring – Wide Plank Oak Hardwoods

The kitchen flooring needed to unify the new open concept space while suiting the traditional farmhouse style. Wide plank 8-inch hand scraped oak hardwoods run throughout the kitchen, breakfast nook, and adjacent living room.

The subtle hand scraping adds texture and character to the oak planks. The width and length of the floorboards help the new space feel original to the 1930s home. The warm oak tone and matte finish keep the aura relaxed and welcoming.

To warm the floor visually, the boards run lengthwise rather than a standard brick pattern. This elongates the space and complements the home’s architecture.

Lighting Features – Lighting Up the Space

Proper lighting was a huge priority, with goals for ample task lighting supplement by pretty pendant fixtures. Key lighting includes:

  • Flushmount drum pendant light fixtures over the kitchen island
  • Recessed LED can lighting throughout the kitchen ceiling
  • Under cabinet lighting for task illumination
  • Sconces flanking the range backsplash providing accent lighting

The pendant lights are the jewelry of the kitchen, providing striking light fixtures with a matte black finish and white interior drum shade. Their industrial edge plays well against the traditional cabinetry. They hang low enough to illuminate the sizable island.

Recessed cans meet general and task lighting needs in the main kitchen while remaining subtle. Under cabinet lights ensure ample illumination for food prep tasks. The decorative sconces highlight the backsplash artistry.

Windows – A Room with a View

The kitchen was designed to maximize natural light exposure from large windows:

  • Sets of French doors along two adjoining walls leading to deck and dining room
  • Double hung windows above the sink looking out to backyard
  • Transom windows up high for additional daylight

The abundant windows flood the space with natural illumination while providing an airy, spacious aura. Views of the outdoors also connect the kitchen to nature.

To enhance the architecture, the top transom windows were treated with striking black framing. This custom detail adds a bold, dramatic contrast against the white walls.

Appliances – Modern Convenience Meets Tradition

Choosing appliances required balancing modern functionality with equipment that would harmonize with the home’s traditional spirit. Key appliances include:

  • Wolf dual fuel pro range with 6 sealed burners and infrared griddle
  • Best undercounter refrigerator and freezer drawers
  • Asko dishwasher with custom cabinetry front
  • Faber stainless steel vent hood
  • Franke stainless undermount sink

Wolf’s performance and heritage of quality fit the bill for a pro-style range that could handle an avid home chef’s needs. The infrared griddle provides additional cooking space in one luxurious package.

Undercounter fridge and freezer drawers tuck appliances discreetly out of sight while keeping frequently accessed items within arm’s reach.

The dishwasher and sink are fully integrated behind cabinetry for a seamless look. Faber, Asko and Franke were chosen for their sturdy reputations and cleaner stainless designs.

Kitchen Island – Focal Point of the Space

The expansive kitchen island is truly the hub of the renovated kitchen, serving multiple functions:

  • Abundant counter space for meal prep
  • Informal dining area with pendant lighting overhead
  • Optimal gathering spot for entertaining
  • Showcases the marble countertop and aged edge
  • Flanked by windows on either side for ample light

A sizeable 72″ x 42″, the island provides next-level prep space and dining area while defining different zones of the open concept kitchen. Surrounded in cabinetry with a marble top, it makes a stunning focal point. Windows keep the sight lines open so the cook doesn’t feel isolated.

Breakfast Nook – An Intimate Dining Zone

Beyond the bustling kitchen island, a quaint breakfast nook was incorporated for more intimate morning meals and additional seating:

  • Banquette bench seating lining one wall
  • Matching chairs on the opposite side
  • Large window provides views of the scenic backyard

The cozy banquette features custom upholstery in a neutral linen fabric with nailhead trim detailing. The vintage farmhouse dining table adds warmth with its reclaimed wood top and carved pedestal base. Painted white, the table keeps the small space light and airy.

Vintage Finds – Incorporating Charming Antiques

Beyond the fresh cabinetry and modern appliances, the homeowners cherished signature antique finds that infuse the new kitchen with farmhouse charm:

  • 19th century English hutches flanking the range to provide enclosed storage
  • Antique French butcher block as a food prep surface and focal point
  • Reclaimed wood beams as an architectural feature on the ceiling

The pair of stately English hutches provide character on either side of the stove, while offering ample storage concealed behind charming doors. Their aged patina, molded details and crown tops feel original to the historic home.

As the central prep zone, the enormous French butcher block is a showstopper. The 50 inch x 30 inch island has wonderful history as a vintage butcher block in France, with abundant nicks, scratches and character marks. It adds texture and is ideal for chopping, prepping, and serving charcuterie.

Above, accent beams reclaimed from old barns rebuild a sense of heritage. The exposed beams unite new and old craftsmanship.

Design Takeaways

This light-filled new kitchen in a traditional 1930s Connecticut farmhouse is a study in seamlessly blending eras. By honoring the home’s heritage while incorporating fresh modern elements, the space strikes an artful balance between old and new. From the layout to the materials to the furnishings, each design decision focused on achieving a functional, beautiful, enduring kitchen tailored to the home’s spirit.

Key takeaways from this outstanding farmhouse kitchen renovation include:

  • Open up closed off spaces for better flow and connection to living areas
  • Maximize storage with cabinetry reaching the ceiling
  • Mix countertop and backsplash materials for visual interest
  • Choose wide plank flooring for a cohesive look true to the home’s origins
  • Incorporate ample lighting fixtures at different levels for functionality
  • Allow great natural light exposure through ample windows
  • Seek high-end appliances that suit home’s style rather than going ultra-modern
  • Create defined kitchen zones for prepping, cooking, cleaning and dining
  • Add personality with hand-picked vintage antiques that celebrate heritage
  • Select custom details like black window framing to make a statement

This bespoke farmhouse kitchen honors the home’s long history while providing an utterly fresh, functional space optimized for present day family life. For homeowners seeking historic charm coupled with modern convenience, choices like timeless shaker cabinetry, hand-picked antiques, classic materials, and state-of-the-art appliances strike the perfect balance.


What size should a farmhouse kitchen island be?

Experts generally recommend a minimum of 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep for a kitchen island. Bigger is often better for a farmhouse kitchen island to accommodate food prep and guests. Aim for an island between 6-9 feet long and 36-42 inches deep if space allows.

What backsplash looks best with white cabinets?

White subway tile, marble, and lighter stone or concrete backsplashes tend to complement white cabinets best. White backsplashes keep the kitchen looking light and bright. Materials with veins or mottling like marble add nice subtle contrast.

What flooring works best in farmhouse kitchens?

Wood flooring suits farmhouse kitchens beautifully. Wide plank oak or walnut floors with a hand scraped or distressed finish are popular options. Wood visually warms up kitchens and ages well over time. Tile with some texture also pairs well with farmhouse kitchens.

What kitchen island stools work in a farmhouse kitchen?

For farmhouse kitchen islands, opt for stools with exposed wooden legs or mixed materials like wood topped with upholstered seats. Wicker, rattan or copper stools also fit farmhouse aesthetics nicely. Avoid sleek modern stools with stainless steel bases. Match the warmth and finish of your cabinetry.

What is the most popular farmhouse sink material?

Fireclay is the most popular authentic farmhouse sink material. It provides the traditional look of an apron-front sink seen in old homes with the durability to withstand heavy use. Stainless steel and enameled cast iron also work well in farmhouse kitchens.

Should you have upper cabinets in a farmhouse kitchen?

Upper cabinets provide essential storage in farmhouse kitchens. If the space has low ceilings, consider open shelving or a smaller upper row. For tall ceilings, floor to ceiling upper cabinetry creates a built-in look. Avoid omitting upper cabinets altogether unless your kitchen has ample other storage solutions.


This renovated farmhouse kitchen exemplifies how to artfully intertwine vintage charm and modern functionality. Strategic layout changes including an expanded footprint and open concept facilitated better flow and connection to living areas. Storage was maximized with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry while remaining true to the home’s heritage with timeless shaker style doors. The cohesive palette of materials incorporates a stunning marble island, warm wood floors, vintage butcher block and subway backsplash tile. Honed selections like pro-range Wolf appliances balance utility and aesthetic for this active family home. Personal antique finds like 19th century English hutches inject heirloom character. Every considered decision honors the colonial farmhouse origins while upgrading for current needs. The ultimate result is a bespoke culinary space equally suited for everyday meals or special gatherings with family and friends. This harmonious farmhouse kitchen skillfully blends new and old into a timeless, livable space.