scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Home design: Perfect patina

The dual-height island is topped with Danby marble, which has a blue/gray veining to it. Walnut was used to top the raised portion of the island where family members often sit. “Stone is cold to lean against, the wood is a nice way to add warmth in color and texture.” Metal stools that play into the vintage industrial look are highly durable.Shelly Harrison Photography

When the time came to overhaul the kitchen of their 19th-century Victorian in Cambridge, the homeowners hired historic renovation specialist Charlie Allen to handle construction, maintain and replicate the home’s treasured moldings and white oak floors, and advise on period-appropriate paint colors.

While it was important for the room to be in keeping with the home’s historic character, it also needed to accommodate a busy family of four and reflect its personal style.

Interior designer Jayme Kennerknecht collaborated with the owners to infuse the space with an eclectic aesthetic punctuated by vintage-inspired details and handmade elements. “While the kitchen is very current, the owners didn’t want it to look brand new or trendy,” says Kennerknecht, who began the project when she was with LDa Architecture and has since started her own firm. “We paired antique with modern to create a room that is approachable with pieces that have an acquired quality.”

The juxtaposition of styles is apparent with the dining table — a white lacquer mid-century modern Eero Saarinen style — and traditional Windsor chairs. Open walnut shelves store dishes for easy accessibility and subtle hand-blown glass pendant lights provide task lighting.


To enhance connection and flow between spaces, Allen’s team created a double-wide opening between the kitchen and living room. A new fireplace replicates the style of one in the dining room, original to the home. Paired with modern furnishings — including a striking cowhide rug — there’s a perfect balance of old and new.

<span id="U802256556666TL" style=" font-family: 'PoynterGothicText Black'; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; text-transform: uppercase; ;">Living room</span>Soft gray walls provide a backdrop for jewel-toned furnishings including a cobalt-blue velvet sofa and another one upholstered in icy blue woven linen. Playful pillows in an array of textures can be mixed and matched.

Jaci Conry can be reached at