The part of the island near the refrigerator (which is off to the right) includes a prep sink and a lower shelf. A 2-inch-thick edge profile makes the marble countertop appear more substantial. The other section of the island has a refrigerator drawer and storage for the Aga cooker pans. The mahogany countertop has a waterproof finish, and though the wood is not commonly used for kitchen counters, the client was willing to work with it because she really liked the look, the designer says.
Jim Fiora The part of the island near the refrigerator (which is off to the right) includes a prep sink and a lower shelf. A 2-inch-thick edge profile makes the marble countertop appear more substantial. The other section of the island has a refrigerator drawer and storage for the Aga cooker pans. The mahogany countertop has a waterproof finish, and though the wood is not commonly used for kitchen counters, the client was willing to work with it because she really liked the look, the designer says.

The couple who own this house have a sentimental attachment to it because it was built by the husband’s father. They hired Gerard Ciccarello, president of Covenant Kitchens & Baths, in Westbrook, Conn., to design their new kitchen, into which they wanted to incorporate items they had collected.

The first and most important of these was the Aga cooker, which the couple purchased and then stored in the dining room until they were ready to remodel. The cooker is the centerpiece that began the project. The owners also asked Ciccarello and designer Eric Koch to incorporate antique pieces including stained glass panels from an 1800s church (on the rear wall) and 150-year-old tile.

The owners wanted a traditional backdrop for these pieces: The main cabinets are maple with a painted finish and glaze. The island features both the painted cabinets of the perimeter cabinets, as well as mahogany with a custom stain and glaze.

Traditional Elegance

The homeowners found antique tile on a trip to Europe, and the designerís staff and tile subcontractor worked together to incorporate the tile into the backsplash, framing it in black marble to match the cookerís stovepipe.
Jim Fiora The homeowners found antique tile on a trip to Europe, and the designerís staff and tile subcontractor worked together to incorporate the tile into the backsplash, framing it in black marble to match the cookerís stovepipe.

“There is a formal, elegant feel to the space,” the remodeler says. The original kitchen is now the butler’s pantry, and the new kitchen is in what previously was the dining room.

The clients wanted a certain level of molding details, so Ciccarello had his millwork shop stack several moldings on top of the fluted molding to create a full crown detail above the wall cabinets. He also included carved corbels, and there are reeded columns on the backsplash panels. The plank wood floors are both durable and provide a rustic contrast to the formal kitchen.

An L-shaped island fits well with the traffic flow in the kitchen, which is open to the living room and has an adjacent sunroom. In addition, the L-shape provides storage and staging across from the refrigerator and the Aga cooker. Friends and family can gather at the quarter-round table without blocking the kitchen’s workflow. “We wanted it to feel like individual pieces but still have functionality,” Ciccarello says.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.