Mixing Contemporary Design With Traditional Details in a 100-Year-Old Kitchen

Candice Olson creates a entertaining area fit for a "super-funky" city loft.

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kitchen-dining-area-afterHide CaptionShow CaptionCandice Olson gave this loft kitchen the divine treatment, mixing old with new, and adding fabulous details like a Carrara-topped custom island, green glass backsplash and dramatic, sleek lighting.
I started by opening up the kitchen and changing it from a cramped, U-shaped room into a more practical, L-shaped space. I then got to work on the details. Nalini liked the idea of combining the old with the new, so I decided to give her a kitchen that was the perfect blend of the traditional and the contemporary.

I kept the modern stainless-steel appliances as well as the kitchen’s base cabinets (but refaced some and retrofitted others to create more usable space). I then created a very long, sleek quartz-topped countertop along one wall and incorporated white, Shaker-style cabinets, a dishwasher and a stainless-steel beveled edge sink with the most high-tech faucet I’ve ever seen.

On the adjacent wall, I refaced the cabinets in the same Shaker style and kept the existing stainless-steel fridge, stove and microwave. But, for some extra modernity, I added a beautiful, built-in coffee maker and a state-of-the art wine fridge.

To bring the two areas together – and to add splash of color to the room’s neutral color scheme – I put in a fresh, green-glass tile backsplash with unsanded snowy-white grout.

I then got started on the focal point of the room – a new kitchen island that really brings together the idea of old and new. I found a long reproduction wooden antique cabinet that serves perfectly as an island, and I added a surface of traditional, white Carrara marble. I then put some upholstered barstools around the island so Nalini’s friends will have a place to sit while she cooks dinner for them. Above, I put up three stainless-steel pendant lights with frosted diffusers that give off a cool, industrial vibe.

Last, but not least, I created a little something for Fozzie – a funky, little dog bed of his very own. It is made from green and brown linen and has his name (“The Foz”) embroidered on it.

By saving some of the old, adding a bunch of the new and reconfiguring the rest, I created a traditional/contemporary kitchen that will be a delicious space in which Nalini (and Fozzie) can cook, eat and entertain. Now that’s divine!