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The house on Cousins Island in Yarmouth, Maine, was built as a family getaway by a railroad tycoon named Sir Henry Thornton. “It was a wonderful project,“ says Tina Rodda at Kitchen Cove Cabinetry, a design and build firm in Portland. “The owners love this house and wanted to honor its roots.“

The new kitchen has a clean and balanced design that alludes to an old farmhouse without re-creating a period kitchen. What’s most stunning, though, is the well-handled use of salvaged architectural elements and materials. “When I was designing the space,“ Rodda explains, “I gave the homeowner dimensions for the various places where we could, potentially, make use of salvaged doors or furniture. Then she scoured New England to find them!“

The new room is softened, and history incorporated, by the use of salvaged materials, including a country-store counter and old barn wood. James R. Salomon

The search was successful. The island is actually an old cash counter from a Vermont country store. The island top is made up from barn boards salvaged from a barn on site. And the old doors with obscure or pressed glass were used to create a pantry in an awkward space around two chimneys. The door handles are made of reused leather. Countertops are a hard Indian marble called Fantasy Brown, which has an organic, swirling pattern that recalls the ocean right outside the door.

The new room is softened, and history incorporated, by the use of salvaged materials, including a country-store counter and old barn wood. Most intriguing is the pantry built into a chimney corner, which has old doors with obscure glass.

The room is in perfect balance: old and new, classic and edgy, warm and spare. Old windows, a farm sink, and a painted floor are balanced by clean lines and the use of stainless steel. The design is crisp, yet appropriate for the old house.

A limited palette works in kitchens of almost any era: think of soapstone and white tile, or cast iron and creamy enamel paint. Dark walnut base cabinets anchor the room while white wall cabinets and beadboard ceiling further enhance the generous natural light. Color can come from accessories, textiles, flowers and food.

The room is kept from sterility by the addition of wood, both painted and left natural. The counter island itself is a rustic piece of salvage; the checkerboard floor ties it all together.

Be Inspired

8³-high metal-shade wall sconce.

Shown in antique copper, the 8³-high metal-shade wall sconce is from Innovations Lighting’s Railroad Collection:

Also sold in a black or nickel finish on brass through

White stoneware from Farmhouse Pottery.

White stoneware from Farmhouse Pottery, wheel-thrown in Vermont, is timeless and practical. The farmer’s pitchers have a hand-formed spout and sturdy handle, and double as vases. Smallest is 8 oz., largest 86 oz. Also check out the ‘Windrow’ serving bowls, 6³ to 14³

Jeffrey Alexander’s ‘Bremen’ 12³ gavel or appliance pull.

In a beautiful antiqued, brushed satin brass finish, Jeffrey Alexander’s ‘Bremen’ 12³ gavel or appliance pull is an elegant piece of cabinet hardware. (Smaller sizes and 10 finish options available.) Sold

‘Mitzy’ apron-front farmhouse sink.

The ‘Mitzy’ apron-front farmhouse sink is finished on four sides. Deep enough for soaking pans, the 30³-wide fireclay sink has a hollow casting that produces a product that’s lighter in weight and easier to install. From Signature Hardware,

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Patricia Poore

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