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White, blue, and modern

A mid-century kitchen in Lexington gets an overhaul designed to endure.

rosemary fletcher photography
rosemary fletcher photography

Once they’d made headway in the redesign of their kitchen, reworking the layout and choosing new cabinetry with Kitchen Designs Unlimited of Westford, a Lexington couple hired interior designer Barbara Elza Hirsch for help with stylish finishes and furnishings. The kitchen in their mid-century modern home was sunny and spacious, but the original configuration was disjointed, sporting an L-shaped counter and an ill-placed fridge. The new layout, with its center island and strategically located appliances, is vastly more functional, but design-wise, it called out for color and warmth. Concord-based Hirsch delivered both, executing a clean yet elegant transformation. Rather than using hits of color, she focused all the color on the backsplash for maximum impact. In the eating area, more natural tones come into play, with a single piece of vibrant artwork beside the table taking center stage. “It’s a space that really suits them,” Hirsch says.


1. For the walls, Hirsch chose a shade called “Stoneware” from Benjamin Moore. “It’s a creamy white with subtle gold undertones that compensates for the cold northern light that floods the room,” she says.

2. With so much white up above, Hirsch elected to ground the floor with a dark color. Large-format charcoal-hued porcelain tiles with shimmery specks replaced pale gray square tiles.

3. The vertically applied tile backsplash draws the eye up. Glossy Senio Tuscania tiles have a crackle effect with a handmade feel. “The family wanted blue,” says Hirsch, “but not a shade that was too shocking or would seem dated quickly.”

4. The Moen Delaney faucet with pullout spray nozzle offers hands-free control. The extra-tall gooseneck design is unfussy.

5. Teardrop-shaped seeded-glass pendants, ordered online from Shades of Light, don’t distract from the architecture. “The client wanted something modern but elegant,” says Hirsch.

6. The countertops are Supreme White quartzite, a natural stone with robust gray veining. Crate & Barrel “Felix” bent-plywood stools have a modern vibe.


7. The oversize linen double drum light from Restoration Hardware has a diffuser at the base that casts a soft glow. Its clean silhouette adds a sculptural element to the space.

8. The Tea Tray print by Joan Davis from Powers Gallery in Acton is a warm, abstract still life perfectly suited to an eat-in-kitchen.

9. Crate & Barrel’s “Dakota” table in natural white oak replaced a traditional dining set. It lends an organic feel that warms up that corner of the room. The couple’s son likes to climb up on the matching bench, while the parents prefer the comfortable pebbled leather chairs.