Take a Peek Inside This Two Hands Interiors-Designed Kitchen

By Elizabeth Harper | April 7, 2021 |

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The kitchen combines light tones as seen in the Taj Mahal quartzite countertops with moodier hues a la the PB Kitchen Design cabinets. The pendants are from Circa Lighting PHOTO BY MICHAEL KASKELThe kitchen combines light tones as seen in the Taj Mahal quartzite countertops with moodier hues a la the PB Kitchen Design cabinets. The pendants are from Circa Lighting.

After a pair of childhood friends reconnected, fell in love and combined their families, they set out on their next adventure: a complete remodel of the dated ’90s kitchen in their Craftsman-style home.

When you try to imagine a modern Italian kitchen in a Craftsman reproduction, literally no example comes to mind. Until now. In a melding of dark-tone wood finishes, Taj Mahal quartzite countertops, a terra-cotta backsplash and a copper vent hood, a new generation of kitchen is born. Here’s how homeowners and frequent entertainers Laura Scariano and Frank Bednarz got the look with the help of interior designers Rachel Alcorn, Karen Javier and Bryn Wulf of Two Hands Interiors (twohandsinteriors.com).


The custom vent hood, also by PB Kitchen Design, is surrounded by terra-cotta tiles from The Fine Line and a Brizo pot filler. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KASKEL
The custom vent hood, also by PB Kitchen Design, is surrounded by terra-cotta tiles from The Fine Line and a Brizo pot filler.

THE PROJECT

“The original kitchen was built with the house in 1997. It was beautiful and warm, but the layout was a bit tight, and for our large family and the amount of entertaining we do, we needed to open the space and utilize as much of the footprint as possible,” says Scariano. Thus began the journey of transforming the kitchen from staid to stylish in a manner that respected the home’s elements (Craftsman with hints of Japanese design) yet spoke to the owners’ Italian heritage and interior sensibilities. “We needed a team that could help us design an inviting kitchen and kitchen sitting area that incorporated modern, Japanese-influenced sleekness; Craftsman-style lines; Italian charm; and, above all else, warmth.”


Interior designer Rachel Alcorn describes the redesigned kitchen as “not only interesting, but comfortable and inviting” PHOTO BY MICHAEL KASKEL
Interior designer Rachel Alcorn describes the redesigned kitchen as “not only interesting, but comfortable and inviting”

THE LAYOUT

With the goal of opening the floor plan without sacrificing any existing windows, the parameters of this remodel were anything but simple. “There are beautiful windows throughout the kitchen, which presented a challenge in terms of cabinets for everyday use,” Scariano explains. “We wanted to avoid having to cover up any of the windows with a soffit and hanging cabinets. The designers gave us some wonderful choices to adapt to this problem. We used the range and a breathtaking copper range hood as the focal point, flanked by full-height cabinetry on either side to accommodate our everyday usage. Adds Alcorn, “We worked with PB Kitchen Design to create a new space plan that put a long wall of refrigerators, freezer, bar service and pantry along the perimeter, and two new islands were run east to west through the space, allowing for sightlines through to the fireplace and better flow.”


When devising the layout, it was imperative to the homeowners that no windows be sacrificed. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KASKEL
When devising the layout, it was imperative to the homeowners that no windows be sacrificed.

THE DESIGN

“From the beginning, these clients were not interested in a white kitchen,” says Alcorn. “The first finish selected was the gorgeous backsplash in rust and cream. From there, we added in chocolate- and honey-hued wood and lighter stone counters to keep it from getting too heavy.” Also on the design master plan were the vent hood from PB Kitchen Design, organic shapes, sleek faucets from Brizo, earthy textures, tile from The Fine Line and rustic white oak beams to marry the Italian with the Craftsman. “I can’t say enough how necessary the beams were in terms of giving us that ‘yes!’ feeling,” says Scariano. “The cherries on top were the incredible white quartzite countertops and the installation of the copper hood.”

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MICHAEL KASKEL