Style Watch

How to get a bright kitchen without white cabinets

Metallic finishes rev up a Westborough kitchen.

Michael J. Lee

Jill Najnigier of Boston-based JN Interior Spaces worked with her clients for more than six years before they tackled the most important room in their Westborough home — the kitchen. “The space was very, very dark, with hulking cherry cabinets and green granite countertops,” Najnigier says. “There was no question we would eventually gut it.” The homeowners wanted a light, bright space, but not a classic white kitchen. Najnigier responded with a wall of cabinetry with a custom metallic finish that adds a subtle, unexpected sheen. As for the layout, Najnigier reconfigured a jagged arrangement of cabinetry and appliances along the side of the room that holds the sink. By relocating the fridge, pulling the sink away from the window, and removing bulky cabinets, Najnigier created a clean, straight line from the sink to the end of the wall. The result is a much sleeker and more functional design.

1. The main wall of cabinetry from Venegas and Company, made from hand-scraped mahogany with a metallic finish that blends silver and gold tones, was a splurge.

2. Najnigier refreshed the Goodman pendant lights, by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort & Co. — installed several years before the renovation — with large paper shades.


3. Horizontal cabinets along the ceiling look like soffits but are actually storage space with touch-latch doors, perfect for seldom-used items like party platters.

4. Katie Acorn sconces with seeded glass globes by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort & Co. have the same bronze finish as the island pendants.

5. Najnigier used floating shelves to fill the shallow wall space next to the sink. “It looks great, and the kids can easily grab glasses,” she says.

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6. For the cabinets on the sink wall, Najnigier used a less expensive line with a painted matte finish, also from Venegas and Company.

7. White Rhino marble countertops from LeaMar Industries in Marlborough have buttery, golden veining.


8. Palecek Palermo synthetic wicker stools with vinyl cushions, designed for use outdoors, are comfortable and durable.

9. Handmade ceramic tiles from Discover Tile laid out in a herringbone pattern make up the backsplash, which adds interest without distraction.

Michael J. Lee

10. An appliance garage hides the coffee maker and toaster.

11. The bay window allows for a 12-inch windowsill behind the sink, perfect for kitchen herbs.

12. An apron-front farmhouse-style sink was on the homeowner’s must-have list. Adding to the vintage feel is the Kohler HiRise bridge faucet.

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