Designing a Modern-Meets-Traditional Kitchen

He wanted up-to-date. She wanted classic. HGTV Magazine shows how a Virginia couple married their distinct kitchen styles.

Photo By: Trevor Dixon (styled by Karin Olsen)

Photo By: Trevor Dixon (styled by Karin Olsen)

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Trevor Dixon (styled by Karin Olsen)

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Trevor Dixon (styled by Karin Olsen)

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

Photo By: Courtesy of the manufacturer

1 Kitchen, 2 Styles

After enduring 10 years with a cramped kitchen, Matt and Jennie Rosecan got the chance to dream big when they reno’ed their entire 1930s home in Arlington, VA. Plotting out the kitchen, which would include an additional 440 square feet from the backyard, Matt pictured a restaurant-inspired space gleaming with stainless steel. Jennie envisioned something colorful and rustic. “Our styles seemed really tricky to combine,” says Jennie. Bringing in designer Katie Otis and the team at Sagatov Design + Build to referee, the couple cherry-picked from their competing visions to create a best-of-both-worlds mix. Slick metal now partners with warm wood, color is used strategically, and Jennie and Matt gained an appreciation for each other’s decorating tastes. “This kitchen sums up what it’s like to compromise,” says Jennie. “It’s a perfect reflection of our marriage.”

Designing the Island

Island: Almost 11 feet long, the his-and-her island combines an upcycled white oak top salvaged from a local barn and a high-tech induction cooktop that boils water in 90 seconds. For Matt, the family chef, it’s the ideal setup: He can chat face-to-face with diners while he whips up a meal.  

Pendants: The mercury glass trio from Troy Lighting reminds Jennie of light fixtures she spotted in Colonial Williamsburg. “I like that they have the gleam of stainless steel but look antique.”

Counter Stools: Jennie prefers the mismatched look, but going with two different styles was a budget decision, too. After splurging on custom Lawson-Fenning seats with mustard yellow upholstery, the Rosecans trimmed costs by pairing them with backless wood-and-metal stools by Arteriors.

Get the Look: Pendant

Troy Lighting Mercury 3-light 21 ½"-tall iron urn pendant with mercury glass shade, $364,

Get the Look: Stool

Wood and metal adjustable stool, $120,

Get the Look: Vase

Diamond 15 ¾"-tall ceramic vase in yellow, $44,

Around the Room

Backsplash: Hand-poured cement tiles from Architectural Ceramics satisfied Jennie’s desire for craftsmanship and color. Matt, hesitant at first about having huge yellow and blue diamonds spanning the entire wall, now loves how the tiles make the kitchen feel energetic and lively.

Cabinets: The kitchen is open to the family room, so the couple wanted the cabinets to seem less cabinet-y. Stained a custom deep blue-gray color, they resemble large pieces of furniture.

Get the Look: Tiles

Sabine Hill Tilt 8" x 8" cement tiles in white, silver, and shale (4 tiles shown above), $35 per square foot,

Get the Look: Cutting Board

Suzy Q Paddle 8" x 15" wood chopping board in white, $20,

Get the Look: Serving Bowl

Baltic 10 ½"-diameter stoneware bowl, $30,

Dining Room

Pendant + Art: The style of the iron-and-fabric pendant from Troy Lighting says farmhouse, but its large scale (31½ inches tall) makes it modern. The abstract watercolor print from, measuring 30 inches by 30 inches, holds its own against the pendant’s proportions.

Dining Nook: A timeless banquette got hip with striped Maharam fabric, which hints at all the kitchen’s colors. Since this is the Rosecans’ only dining spot, they supersized the seating: Eight adults can fit easily on the L-shaped built-in. Industry West chairs provide a pop of yellow next to the Made Goods limed oak table. Here, Matt and Jennie are pictured with twins Ava and Will, 11.

Get the Look: Chair

Octane steel chair in yellow with split-leather cushion in black, $135,

Get the Look: Table

Foundry Saw Buck 74"W x 44"D x 30"H Norwegian spruce dining table, $1,365 (includes 2 18"-wide leaves), for stores

Get the Look: Pillow

The Pillow Collection Nakeasha Aqua Stripes 18" x 18" cotton pillow, $49,

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