From the February/March 2015 Issue:

A Grand Old Kitchen Made New

    Writer: Robin Amster | Photographer: Peter Rymwid | Designer: Scott Seibold, Canterbury Design |

A thoughtful redesign pays homage to the past while meeting the demands of the present


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enlarge | An elegant La Cornue range — which the French manufacturer calls the “crown jewel” of its Chateau Series — is the focal point for the renovation of historic Blairsden’s kitchen. Designer Scott Seibold says the kitchen is both detailed and subtle with features such as the range and custom range hood’s unlacquered brass hardware, which will acquire a patina with age. Behind the hood, Seibold had a stainless steel grillwork fabricated to cover a window that was formerly hidden by a now-demolished addition. The dark bluish slate color of the custom island contrasts with the beige custom cabinetry. Antique glass lanterns over the island were refurbished and electri­fied. The black of the lanterns echoes the black of the range hood.
The owner of Blairsden — the grand home that was the site of the 2014 Mansion in May Designer Showhouse — wanted a kitchen that would pay homage to the mansion’s glorious past yet provide optimum 21st century style and function.

That goal presented kitchen designer Scott Seibold, owner of Morristown-based Canterbury Design, with a fascinating challenge: How to create a kitchen that looks back in time but, at the same time, lives very much in the present.

The historic 38-room Peapack-Gladstone home is one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the United States. It was designed by the legendary firm of Carrère and Hastings, renowned for its landmark work on the New York Public Library and other country estates for prominent society figures.

“At the time that Blairsden was constructed [1898-1903], the kitchen was where the servants would prepare and cook food to be served to the homeowner and his guests in the different eating areas of the house,” Seibold says. “The kitchen was designed for a full domestic staff, however, so it was purposed much differently than today’s kitchens.

“The homeowner wanted to create a space that wasn’t a historic replica, but more of an homage to Beaux-Arts architecture,” he adds.


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enlarge | Scott Seibold renovated a former pantry cleanup area off the kitchen to create a galley workstation to house other appliances so they don’t distract from the sensational La Cornue range in the main kitchen space.
Fitting Focal Point
Beaux-Arts style draws on a Louis XIII aesthetic and includes a nod to Greek antiquity style, Seibold says.

His fitting starting point for the design was a Grand Palais 180 range from La Cornue, what the company calls “the crown jewel” of its Chateau Series. It’s six feet long with two ovens, and Seibold placed a stainless steel storage unit on each side for a total length exceeding 10 feet. The range is crowned by a custom black-coated stainless steel hood.

Seibold says the range is both detailed and subtle. For its hardware, he chose unlacquered brass, which will acquire a patina as it ages. The brass band on the hood is also unlacquered brass.

The beige custom cabinetry looks light and airy but at the same time has an aged quality, he notes. The island is a dark bluish slate color to contrast with the cabinetry. Its countertop is white marble, which contrasts with the dark stone perimeter countertops. The backsplash is glass tile, and the flooring is Belgian bluestone.

Beige Venetian plaster walls provide “a quiet and subtle textured, layered backdrop” for the entire space and contrast with the cabinetry’s flat paint, he says.

Seibold gave a nod to the Greek antiquity notes in Beaux-Arts style with a Greek key design on the ceiling that’s repeated in the kitchen shades.


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enlarge | Distinctive touches in the new kitchen include (clockwise from top left) a refrigerator drawer next to the range, pullout trays, pullout walnut vegetable bins on the island and drawers featuring censor-controlled interior lighting.
Reconfiguring
In addition to the appearance of the kitchen, Seibold made changes to its configuration to provide maximum function.

Initially, the range was on the south wall of the space, which created circulation problems and didn’t allow for any countertop space. Seibold eliminated framed pantries on the north wall, making room for the range, improving circulation and allowing additional counter space.

Seibold also came up with a creative solution to reclaiming a window that was original to the kitchen but had been covered by an addition. Wanting to return the house to its former footprint, the homeowner had the addition torn down, exposing this nearly ceiling-high window. Seibold centered the range under the window and created a structural steel window frame that supports the range hood. The hood vents through the window. The window’s outside glass is opaque while its interior glass is clear, allowing for additional natural light to stream into the space. Seibold had a stainless steel grillwork in a harlequin design fabricated to cover the window behind the range hood.

In another key reconfiguration, Seibold transformed a former cleanup pantry area off the main kitchen into a galley workstation to house the main refrigerator and other appliances. “I didn’t want to distract from the range with other appliances,” he says. “But instead of trying to hide the appliances, I decided to celebrate them [in this newly renovated space].” This space now contains the refrigerator, a second sink, secondary dishwasher, microwave and built-in rotisserie.

Robin Amster, a regular contributor to Design NJ, is a Madison-based writer and editor.


Sources

kitchen design and custom cabinetry and hood, Canterbury Design in Morristown; interior design consultant, William Welch of Bldg. 39 in Pottersville; countertops: Bridgewater Marble and Granite Works in Bound Brook; hardware, Hamilton Sinkler through Moe Distributors in Morristown; tile, Short Hills Marble & Tile in Short Hills; wall and ceiling finishes, Ken Caruso of Alternative Interiors in Basking Ridge; carpentry, Pensyl Creek Construction in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania; stools at island: Kristina Bade Studio in Madison; antique light fixtures at island, Bldg. 39; appliances: La Cornue range and rotisserie, Miele dishwasher and microwave, Sub-Zero refrigerator.

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