Tour a Terrazzo-Cool Kitchen With Tons of Counter Space

Step into an airy hot spot with nonstop appeal. HGTV Magazine shows you around.

January 31, 2022

Photo by: Diana Paulson

Diana Paulson

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Photo by: Diana Paulson

Diana Paulson

John Neary was thrilled with the idea of buying a lakefront 1960s home, except for one small thing: the kitchen. Cramped and dated (with misaligned cabinet doors to boot), it brought down the Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, house he’d found. On the plus side, it lay smack in the middle of an otherwise open main floor. “I’m not a person who ever pictured what their dream kitchen would look like,” he says, “but I knew this had big potential.” Tearing down walls to bust it out of solitary confinement created a continuous cooking, dining and living space. Designers Christine Babini and Amy Pariser helped update it while paying homage to the home’s retro roots: See the pill-shaped island and the terrazzo countertops and backsplash. The local landscape and the countryside of Ireland, where John grew up, inspired the natural tones. All that openness has encouraged his 18-year-old son, Jack, to make meals on occasion. “He’s a much better cook than I am!” says John. Either way, no one ever feels like they’re stuck in this kitchen.

The Details

Photo by: Diana Paulson

Diana Paulson


Rectangular 6-inch-by-2-foot plank slate tiles by Clé are a reminder of the kitchen’s former rustic stone floor — with a sleeker and more up-to-date look. The tiles’ large size emphasizes the roominess of the layout.


The pine beams were already in place. Painting the paneled wood ceiling white (Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore) lightened the whole area. The striking pendant over the island by Hollis + Morris calls even more attention to the soaring ceiling.

Backsplash + Counters

John was drawn to the mix of colors in this terrazzo by Concrete Collaborative, with chips of mauve, rust, gold and black. Practically, the stuff is heat-resistant and easy to live with. “It’s hard to tell when it’s not clean, put it that way,” he says, laughing.


An extended oval shape contributes to the space’s incredible flow. It’s covered in oak half-round tambour paneling — kind of retro, kind of modern — and lightly stained for the natural look John was after. The counter stools are by Nuevo.

Breakfast Nook

Next to the island, where John and Jack eat most meals, sits this groovy little nook constructed by Virtuoso Design + Build. It’s their hangout for coffee, tea and reading, made to feel organic with a curved oak bench and burnt umber velvet upholstery. Round stools with fuzzy fabric from Industry West fit right in.

Photo by: Diana Paulson

Diana Paulson

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