La Petite Cuisine in Little Silver
David Teneralli’s mother is an antiques dealer and decorator who has collected, among her objets d’art, the prized precious Limoges porcelains. He recalls his mother redecorating their home every few years. With all of that decorating going on, it gets in one’s blood. Eclectic in personality as in style by his own admission, and a collector in general, David has amassed “little pieces of art.” He loved the Limoges, but not for himself, being too feminine for his taste. However, among his collection are Old English Staffordshire and, somewhere along the way,he picked up a cache of old Austrian fish plates with the intent of displaying them, and thus the inspiration for the new, yet diminutive, kitchen was revealed. The space is not much larger than a butler’s pantry of the old Victorians and Dutch Colonials. However, in this English country Tudor, built in the 1920s, it is the kitchen. Space is at a premium along with the charm.
It was time for a kitchen remodel, yet homeowners David and his partner Russell wanted to keep the feeling of the 1920s true to the home. It was not a difficult task; David knew exactly what he wanted and so he enlisted Antoinette Fraser, Designer and Principal of St. Clair Kitchen and Home in South Orange, whom he had known for years as her hair stylist.
Toni says, “When we met for the consultation at my studio, I am not sure he shut off the engine of his convertible. It took less than twenty minutes for me to show him my favorite white painted door and matte nickel Regency knob. He then asked, ‘Polished or honed Carrera?’ And should he do the mosaic floor we both love, as Russell had thought it impractical for a kitchen. Of course we won that one!”
So, Hollywood Regency meets Baroque in a harmony of materials and finishes that one might imagine that the kitchen had been there forever, frozen in time except for the modern, stainless steel appliances.
In keeping with Toni’s monochromatic tone on tone color scheme, polished Carrera marble tops off milk-white flush inset cabinetry by St. Clair Fine Handcrafted and is extended into the extra deep window sill; while a Bertazzoni range with a stainless steel hood makes the gesture to European influences. A chandelier with drum shade hangs like a jeweled earring in the center of the room. And, in a nod to the period, handmade subway tiles adorn the backsplash, while the floor is a mosaic of black and white honeycomb tile. Finishing touches are in the details: a cherry-picked ROHL Edwardian bridge faucet and a 5’ by 3’ medallion impressed on the gray ceiling.
A pipe intruding into the room was neatly camouflaged by Toni by constructing a murphy-bed style drop-down table, which the guys can use for extra workspace, when needed.
As for those Austrian fish plates, Toni designed wall cabinets with mullion glass doors, front and sides, along with glass shelves, which easily display any prized compilation.
The collaboration was effortless and fun for both client and designer. The room may be small, but the results are big time style and design. What’s more, the space completes the home with sublime aestheticism.
Designer: Antoinette Fraser
Photographer: Peter Rymwid
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