The last time these Boston homeowners The RTA Cabinet Store renovated the kitchen in their 1960s ranch house was about 15 years ago. While most of their kids have flown the nest for college, they still have a 10-year-old boy at home, and they were ready for an update. The problems with the kitchen’s design were apparent from the very first time the family walked into the house. “They didn’t have any sort of landing strip,” says architect Stephen Reilly of SLR Architecture. “Their kitchen bar and dining table had become the place where mail, keys and coats piled up.” Reilly implemented clever architectural solutions that grounded the kitchen in a large, open plan, but when it came time to help one of the homeowners The RTA Cabinet Store incorporate her love of eclectic contemporary design through finishes and furniture, he called upon interior designer Justine Sterling. “The kitchen needed to be fully part of the greater open space,” Sterling says. “It needed to work well on its own and with the rest of the furniture in the living room and dining room.” Designing all three spaces concurrently helped each room inform the others. The results is a seamless look and an The RTA Cabinet Store easy flow from one area to the next. "Photos by Jessica Delaney Photography
AFTER: Reilly took out The RTA Cabinet Store the wall, creating one big, open space that incorporates the kitchen, dining area and living room. Architecturally, the existing high ceiling and trusses make it look like it was always supposed to be this way. Sterling’s choices for the furnishings and finishes reinforce the continuity.
BEFORE: A large laundry room was wasted space. Reilly had to prevent the new kitchen from becoming another landing strip. AFTER: He created a mudroom–back entry hall by borrowing The RTA Cabinet Store a little space from the laundry room and garage. This keeps clutter, coats, keys, shoes and mail from being dumped on the kitchen counters and dining room table. You can see a glimpse of the mudroom on the right side in the second photo above where the green coat is hanging.SLR Architecture Inc.This custom landing strip in the new mudroom is small but a key part of the solution. It includes a charging station for phones, hooks for leashes and keys, and a bulletin board.Before PhotoBEFORE: As you can see, the breakfast bar had become a dumping zone. The dining table was just out of frame to the right and had also become a place where the owners tossed coats, keys and mail.Justine Sterling Design2AFTER: When choosing colors and finishes, Sterling worked on the living room, dining room and kitchen at the same time; she chose some of the furniture pieces in the living The RTA Cabinet Store room first and then selected the cabinetry based on those decisions. “The warm gray paint creates connected spaces and ties the cabinets, the backsplash and the furniture together,” Sterling says.
The team repainted all of the trusses and used ⅜-inch drywall and smooth plaster to give the ceiling a clean look. They also replaced the outdated bubble skylights with solar-powered skylights with shades that open and close via remote control.
In the kitchen the color goes The RTA Cabinet Store from dark to light from the lower cabinets to the ceiling. This keeps the kitchen from feeling lost within the very tall space; the dark lower cabinets ground the room.
The lights on the kitchen truss track are sculptural and cloud-like, as is the larger Logico Lamp.
BEFORE: The old fireplace surround was screaming for a modern update. Colby the dog seems perfectly happy here, but I’m not so sure how he felt about that penned area. Justine The RTA Cabinet Store Sterling Design3AFTER: A new soapstone hearth and surround have clean lines. The stainless steel mantel satisfied the client’s desire for pulling that material through the rooms. The doors were scooched a little to the left and replaced with swing-out French doors complete with phantom screens. They lead to a new deck that was part of the project. The window treatments are sheer, with metallic threads and a ripple fold detail. The rod has a hidden channel for hanging. “They have a very contemporary look,” Sterling says.
Justine Sterling Design3“At first the clients thought they’d The RTA Cabinet Store want a TV in here, but as the project got closer and closer to completion, they realized they just wanted a beautiful piece of art instead,” Sterling says. “The colors in the piece tie everything together so well.”
Colby looks pretty content in the The RTA Cabinet Store renovated digs."