Interior design: a trip to France inspires a kitchen makeover

This Norwell kitchen redesign includes touches of French country.Danielle Robertson/Styling by Janine Maggiore/GrandView PropHouse

The longtime owners of this Norwell home installed cherry cabinets for their last kitchen renovation 30 years ago. This time, they turned to France for inspiration. “We incorporated colors and materials with a rustic French aesthetic drawn from the couple’s romantic memories of a trip there,” says Raquel Swartz, founder of Seviva Design. The architect-designer also expands the space by absorbing the dining room. “We created a large open space with natural light and modern updates that felt like home,” she says.

1 Reclaimed white oak planks connect the two spaces that have become the new kitchen. “We made the transition between this space and the adjoining spaces easier by using similar wood,” says Swartz.

2 Swartz centered the new farmhouse sink on the existing windows, which overlook a nature reserve adjoining the property. White oak shelves bring warmth to this corner of the kitchen.

3 Visual Comfort antique brass pendants tie the kitchen together with antique furniture in older neighboring spaces, while their sleek shape and clear glass give them a modern feel.

4 The cabinets, made by Wood Decor in Pembroke and painted Farrow & Ball Ash Grey, look beige, gray or green depending on the light. “Colors like this kept popping up in inspirational photos of shuttered cottages and the French landscape,” says Swartz.

5 The crackle look of Fireclay Tile’s tiles (Swartz appreciates the brand’s use of recycled materials) is a fresh take on a traditional subway tile. “The gray/green tone mimics neutral cabinetry but the crispness sets it apart,” says Swartz. “You take a second look.”

6 The peninsula is a favorite spot for their visiting grandchildren. The stools’ driftwood finish is an ode to the rustic French aesthetic.


Marni Elyse Katz is a regular contributor to Globe Magazine. Send your comments to [email protected]

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