Inspirations > A Modern Kitchen With Old-World Charm

Visitors to Grant and Karen LeGoull on’s Bedford kitchen immediately notice two things: The first is the room’s Old World feel. The second is the light. When planning the kitchen, the LeGoullons wanted a space that ran the width of the house. The result is a bright, airy kitchen with a bank of windows and an eight-foot sliding glass door overlooking the back yard at one end, and French doors that open to the house’s stunning view out front.

“My favorite aspect of the kitchen is being able to look outside,” says Grant. “The sun rises in the front and sets in the back. Doing dishes in the evening, you watch the lights go on in Manchester.

” The Old World feel comes from the kitchen’s carefully chosen details. The grapevine molding across the top of the cabinets is hand-carved and was inspired by the neighborhood, where the streets are named for wines. The cabinets are painted cream with a brown glaze. Designer Carl Doucet of Just Your Stile Cabinetry in Manchester says that painted and glazed cabinets provide an antiqued look without the need to distress the wood. “It is a cleaner look, but an older look as well,” he says.

Designing the details

Doucet designs his kitchens around focal points in the room that catch the eye. Most of the time, two focal points are the stove and hood, which, in the case of the LeGoullon home, is a stained-wood hood over an eightburner Viking® range top. The hood carries the grapevine theme with carved details, and corbels mounted under each side complete its furniture-like appearance. Other details include a pot-filler faucet, one of Karen’s favorite gadgets.

Another focal point is a special workspace for Karen, who loves to make pies. Opposite the stovetop is a slightly sunken wooden countertop specifically for rolling out the dough. Above are the only glass-fronted cabinets, with lighting underneath to brighten the piemaking workspace.

Some of the kitchen’s other details include wood floors made of five inch-wide planks of Brazilian cherry (which run throughout the entire house), seamless, silver sea-green granite countertops and oiled bronze hardware on the cabinets. A granitetopped peninsula acts as a divider between the kitchen and the breakfast seating area. It contains a small prep sink, additional bar-style seating and a refrigerator to hold drinks for the LeGoullons’ three children.

Doucet says, “The main challenge [in kitchen design] is satisfying the client’s appliance needs in the space allowed.” As an example, he notes the kitchen’s island, which was built to hold three dishwasher drawers and a porcelain apron sink. The island is large enough to allow many cooks to stand around and prepare a meal.

Planning for success in the kitchen’s design

As key to the kitchen’s final look, Karen credits Doucet’s flexibility and willingness to sit down and work with the couple. “There was a large education process that he brought us through as far as what we could and could not do,” she says.

Another element that visitors might notice is the height of everything in the kitchen. Since both the LeGoullons are tall, the cabinets are as well. The lighting, table and accessories are also done on a grand scale.

The breakfast area at the far end of the kitchen is dominated by a large, round table. Karen’s good friend Kathie Boschetto chose the fabrics—using a predominate color of pomegranate— for the chairs’ tuxedo tops, the window treatments and the pillows that line the long window seat, all of which Boschetto made. The walls in this area are a moss green, and the fabrics highlight the colors from a framed print of three bell peppers that Karen calls “The Sexy Peppers.”

Most of the kitchen’s accessories— including a huge clock that looks as if it once hung in a Paris train station and the sprawling centerpiece on the breakfast-area table—come from Bedford Fields. The chandeliers, from Fusion Lighting, look as though they were absconded from the Palace at Versailles.

Karen likes the old European feel of the space. “I’m not a contemporary style person. I’m pretty traditional.” She describes the kitchen as, “flowing, super organized, warm and homey.”

Grant adds: “It’s the heart of the house. It’s where everyone lives.”