The Right Fit

Renovation and expansion create user-friendly rooms // Photography by Beth Singer
Right this way
With two children and two dogs, a Milford couple’s goal was to create better flow in their kitchen and adjoining mudroom.

For a young family in Milford in need of more space, a thoughtful remodel and addition did the trick. “They loved their home and the property,” Rita O’Brien, principal of Rita O’Brien Design Group in Troy, explains. Working with contractor Gardner Builders, O’Brien, who had previously refreshed the living room and foyer, created a spacious kitchen and an addition with a new side entrance to accommodate a mudroom, laundry room, and powder room that were lacking. “With two children and two dogs, this couple was looking for organization and neutral colors (that were) functional and practical for their lifestyle,” she says.

The updates are transitional in nature, with some eclectic touches. “The trend is to be very transitional; less is more,” O’Brien explains.

Gather ‘Round
Transitional appointments and lots of island seating combine to create a stunning family-style kitchen.

Black accents make an impact, like the durable wallpaper in the mudroom that sports a fun but sophisticated pattern as a backdrop to the baskets, hooks, and bench. In the laundry room, dark wood floors, black granite countertops, and a matte black faucet keep it streamlined. White cabinets echo the baseboard and trim.

In the powder room, black and white elements appear in sconces that make the modest space feel more polished. “The unique sconces were a bit over budget but added an unusual element to the room,” O’Brien says.

Soft gold details ensure a cohesive feel with the rest of the rooms, like the kitchen — where appliance handles and knobs mimic the other hardware. “We like to mix metals and finishes when appropriate,” O’Brien says. “With the black faucet and sink, all these touches just make the design so very warm, and less stuffy.”

A place with space
The homeowners wanted a great deal of storage. Goals met! Note the expansive drawers and convenient corner cabinet.

Expansive drawers flank the range, while a corner cabinet in the kitchen adds more stylish storage. “It’s just so fun, especially with the pulls in different sizes and directions,” O’Brien says. A new bump-out window gives an open feel to the sink area  and offers a better view of the backyard,  while stacked backsplash tiles were used to keep all lines in unison with other elements in the room.

A sizable island with a classic black base welcomes faux leather stools that are kid-friendly. Substantial pendants add a finishing touch to the new space, which is large enough to accommodate a microwave, refrigerator, wine fridge, bar area, and pantry.

Erin Argy, who shares the home with her husband, Nick, and their two children, explains the project was about reimagining what they had. “We wanted to make it more practical for our family and our needs — and our needs for the future, too,” she says. “It’s beautiful and very functional, with all the storage. Working with Rita (and Rita’s associate, Colleen O’Brien-Seitz ) was really wonderful. They supported our decisions and let us know what upgrades to make, and where to save money in other places.”

MORE INFORMATION: ritaobrien.com

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