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Style Watch

Budget-friendly cabinets help reinvigorate a kitchen that served four generations

The owners of this Woburn home wanted to combine modern conveniences with reminders of the past.

Jessica Delaney

Christina Wikman’s children are the fourth generation of their family to enjoy meals in the eat-in kitchen of this Woburn ranch house. “My husband’s grandparents bought it new in 1955,” says the designer. “We bought it in 2013, after they both passed away.” The original kitchen had been revamped just once, in the 1970s, making a gut renovation inevitable. Wikman used budget-friendly Ikea cabinetry upgraded with custom doors by Semihandmade. They’re painted in Farrow & Ball Drop Cloth, a mellow putty color, and punctuated with unlacquered brass hardware. “It’s bright and light but not cold,” she says. “We wanted to maintain the feeling that some of this had been here awhile.”

1 An apron-front cast-iron sink was a must for style and function. “It brings in a touch of bright white,” Wikman says. The polished-nickel faucet is a cool counterpoint to the gold tones elsewhere in the space.


2 Over the sink, a Chilewich roller shade from The Shade Store cuts glare. A trio of windows replaced a small one. Says Wikman, whose husband is a landscape designer, “We wanted to emphasize our brick patio and pretty yard.”

3 Wikman used white oak shelves rather than upper cabinetry to avoid boxing in the window. “They hold everyday items, so nothing gets dusty,” she says.

4 Linen-and-velvet block-panel drapes from West Elm add softness, as do the tufted head chairs. The cast-iron curtain rod is one of several black accents incorporated throughout the house.

5 Ink drawings by New Hampshire-based artist Gene Matras, which the couple have collected over time, are a sentimental touch. “The New England scenes are reminders of our family’s ties to the area,” Wikman says.

6 The finish of the extension table from Ballard Designs coordinates with the wood floor. The faux-bamboo chairs were a long-ago dumpster find, repainted black.


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