HOME TOUR: Saunderstown

A Colonial kitchen gets reimagined for busy family life


Homeowner Christine loves to bake, so when her kitchen started to crumble faster than a cookie, it was time to consider some upgrades. Her family of four has made a Colonial in the North Kingstown village of Saunderstown their home for nearly a decade. Built in 1999, the four-bedroom house has served them well, but original cabinets and flooring made of lower-grade materials were beginning to break apart. It was time to call in a pro.

“When I met with Christine and Jason, they stressed how important a family-friendly kitchen was to them,” says Michelle Parenteau, interior designer and owner of Johnston-based Michelle Lee Designs. With that directive, Parenteau began by making some structural modifications to give the busy space a better flow: this included installing a peninsula to create seating. Unlike a freestanding island, which generally sits in the center of a room, the peninsula is like a table that extends from the countertops; it provides open space for three custom white wood stools and adds surface area with a light footprint.

Other “family-friendly” selections include distressed cabinet fronts and wood plank tile floors with a weathered look. “Not only did these choices create a coastal contemporary feel but also make any cleanups much easier.” Storage is a must in any workspace, so the remodel features larger cabinets to stow away baking pans and cookware for Christine, who enjoys cooking and entertaining. Parenteau was sure to add a bit of her signature “blingy” touch, as well, in elements like the soft gray and white Cambria countertops. “There’s a shell-like shape that sparkles,” she says. Dated oil-rubbed bronze lighting was removed and new brushed nickel pendant lights were installed along with chunky brushed nickel hardware for the cabinets, and a much larger stainless steel undermount sink.

Knowing her clients’ adoration of their Ocean State location, Parenteau was sure to infuse some blue. A cabinet was removed and in its place, navy blue shelves float over a backdrop of blue and white tiles. Vases holding everything from pasta to flowers along with stacks of cookbooks, plants, and artwork contribute warmth, color, and charm. Along with barely-there window treatments, plenty of lighting, and buttery yellow walls, the kitchen feels
twice its size.

“The new kitchen layout works so much better for me and the rest of the family,” says Christine. “It’s so much brighter and lighter!”


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