This week we’re taking a look at a beautiful kitchen renovation in New Hampshire that manages to strike the perfect balance between warm and inviting, and sleek and industrial. Located in a 1930s colonial in Nashua, this space was given new life with a thoughtful mix of materials, textures, and details. The homeowners worked with a local design firm to completely reimagine the layout and aesthetic of their dated and dysfunctional kitchen. The result is a highly functional cooking space with a transitional look that suits the architecture of the home while feeling fresh and contemporary.

Background on the Home

This home was originally built in the 1930s during the colonial revival period. Common attributes of colonials from this era include a symmetrical facade, multi-pane windows, and restrained decorative details. The interior layout tends to be practical and efficient. Our homeowner’s goal was to preserve as many of the original details as possible while giving the kitchen a major style upgrade. Let’s take a look at how they achieved this through intentional design choices.

Blending Old and New Elements

The existing kitchen layout was very closed off. A peninsula jutted out from one wall, blocking flow within the room. Cabinets and counters lined every inch of available space, making the area feel dark and cramped. The first order of business was to open up the floor plan to make it more inviting and functional. The peninsula was removed and a large island was added to provide more workspace and casual seating without obstructing movement. Perimeter cabinetry was scaled back and shifted around to improve traffic flow.

Though the footprint changed dramatically, the home’s original charm was kept intact. The existing wood floors were refinished to a warm honey tone. Crisp white cabinetry brightens up the space while paying homage to the home’s colonial roots. Elaborate moldings frame doorways and windows to maintain the traditional architectural details. Stainless steel appliances and fixtures add an industrial edge, keeping the design from feeling too old-fashioned. The color palette balances cool grays and warm wood tones for contrast. This blend of old and new gives the kitchen an eclectic, collected look over time.

Focus on Functionality

The new layout was thoughtfully planned to maximize workflow efficiency. The fridge is conveniently situated next to the rear entryway so groceries can be brought right in and put away. Generous countertop space lines the perimeter for food prep tasks. The large island provides room for baking, rolling dough, and setting up buffet stations. It also creates a comfortable spot for drinking coffee, doing homework, or chatting with the chef.

Double ovens allow multiple dishes to cook at once, while the gas range offers responsive and even heating. The deep farmhouse sink makes washing large pots and pans easy. The microwave is built into a tower of shelves rather than mounted above the range, keeping it easily accessible while freeing up prime real estate for open shelving. A walk-in pantry provides storage for dry goods so the main kitchen stays clutter-free. Every decision was made with functionality in mind.

Mix of Materials Adds Interest

The material palette combines traditional and modern elements for visual interest. Crisp white cabinetry gives the space a light and airy feel and pairs nicely with the original mouldings. Matte black hardware and fixtures add bold contrast along with brushed brass accents for a bit of warmth. Honed marble on the island brings in an elegant natural material that wears well over time. The modern tile backsplash provides texture and reflects light beautifully.

Open shelving introduces wood tones to warm up the palette. The lower cabinets are shaker style while the uppers have glass fronts to break up the solid white. naught iron brackets beneath the shelves and marble add industrial edge. The punches of black and brass keep the space feeling sleek rather than stuffy. It’s a thoughtful mix of materials that provides depth and interest.

Statement Lighting Takes Center Stage

One of the most striking elements in this kitchen is the large drum pendant light hovering above the island. It makes a bold style statement while providing much needed task lighting. The crisp black metal frame pairs nicely with the matte black hardware throughout the space. The double-globe design offers ambient lighting below with more direct illumination on the countertop surface.

Sconces flanking the range offer additional task lighting for cooking safely. Recessed can lights in the ceiling wash the perimeter with ambient lighting so every work zone is covered. The under cabinet lighting illuminates the counters and backsplash. Each lighting source was carefully coordinated to make this highly functional cooking space feel warm and inviting. The drum pendant steals the show and defines the room’s transitional industrial style.

Tips for Achieving This Look

If you’d like to emulate the successful blend of warm and industrial elements in this kitchen, keep these tips in mind:

  • Preserve architectural details of older homes like mouldings and hardwood floors to retain the original charm
  • Choose a mix of materials like wood, marble, metal and glass for added depth
  • Include at least one standout lighting fixture as a focal point
  • Stick to a minimal color palette of three core neutrals for cohesion
  • Add black and brass accents for an industrial vibe
  • Use white cabinetry to open up smaller spaces and reflect light
  • Focus on creating a functional layout suited to your cooking and living style
  • Scale down perimeter cabinets to make room for large islands and open shelving
  • Mix modern elements like stainless appliances and tile backsplash with traditional details

The important thing is finding the right balance of old and new components tailored to your home’s architecture and your family’s needs. This kitchen skillfully blends industrial and colonial elements for a warm, welcoming, and highly functional heart of the home. The thoughtful details give it a collected look layered over time. Updating a dated kitchen doesn’t mean sacrificing vintage charm. This beautifully balanced design proves you can have the best of both worlds!

FAQ about Achieving a Warm, Industrial Style Kitchen

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about creating a warm yet industrial style kitchen:

What paint colors work best for this look?

Stick with a neutral color palette of warm whites, grays, black, and wood tones. Popular choices include Benjamin Moore White Dove, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray, or Benjamin Moore Gray Cashmere. Matte black is great for accents.

What types of flooring suit an industrial kitchen?

Concrete, stained concrete, and wood floors complement this aesthetic well. Save tile for the backsplash – covering floors in tile can feel too cold.

Should I use shaker or flat panel cabinets?

Shaker style cabinets are a perfect pairing with an industrial kitchen. The simple design allows the hardware, counters, and backsplash to take center stage.

How do I add warmth to an industrial space?

Incorporate wood elements like open shelving, butcher block countertops, and refinished flooring. Brass hardware also adds a cozy, vintage touch. Don’t be afraid to use some softer textiles and vintage accessories as accents.

What backsplash tile works with a warm industrial palette?

Subway tile, herringbone, sleek marble, or geometric designs make excellent backsplash options. Stick to neutral colors like white, soft gray, black and natural stone finishes.

Should I choose stainless steel or matte black appliances?

Matte black finishes will pair better with brass and antique bronze accents, while stainless steel makes sense if you want more contrast. Mixing the two can look great too.

Can this look work in a small kitchen?

Absolutely. Scale back upper cabinets to make the space feel open. Add one standout light fixture as your focal point. Use black accents sparingly so the palette doesn’t overwhelm.

What should I use to finish open wood shelving?

An oil-rubbed bronze or dark walnut stain will give wood shelves a nice patina that pairs well with industrial elements. Use a satin polyurethane over the stain for protection.

What type of sink should I use?

An apron-front farmhouse sink or stainless commercial sink complement this aesthetic beautifully. Undermount sinks can work too but might feel a bit too modern.

Achieving the Perfect Balance

Creating a kitchen that feels both cozy and sleek comes down to striking the right balance. Focus on blending metals, woods, glass, and marble rather than using matching sets. Mix modern elements like backsplashes and pendants with original architectural details. Incorporate small vintage touches alongside steel and marble. The key is including both warm and cool finishes in balance, tied together through your core neutral color scheme. With thoughtful detailing and tactile textures, your kitchen can feel welcoming and highly functional. Don’t be afraid to combine eras and aesthetics until you find your perfect middle ground. This kitchen shows how seamlessly industrial and traditional design can merge into a collected, livable space brimming with character.


This stunning New Hampshire kitchen makes a strong case for blending industrial and traditional elements in a seamless, livable space. The thoughtful layout provides superb functionality while nods to the home’s colonial roots preserve its inherent charm. Crisp white cabinetry brightens up the space while punches of black provide modern edge. Pops of brass add in vintage character to keep the palette feeling warm. The honed marble island and geometric tile backsplash add sleek contrast to the refinished wood floors and mouldings. Every finish was carefully chosen to achieve balance between old and new. Little vintage touches like antique hardware and ceramic containers keep the kitchen feeling collected over time. The dramatic pendant light ties the whole look together as the focal point. This room proves that a kitchen renovation doesn’t have to sacrifice vintage architectural details to feel fresh and contemporary. Seamlessly blending eras and aesthetics creates a comfortable, highly functional heart of the home tailored to the needs of a modern family.