Keeping the Charm

A gifted local designer beckons tradition and character for a kitchen update using present-day upgrades anchored in the past...

A gifted local designer beckons tradition and character for a kitchen update using present-day upgrades anchored in the past.

When a young family of five decided to expand and update their existing home’s kitchen, they need look no further than interior designer Anne Wagoner. Wagoner, who established Anne Wagoner Interiors in 2010, has a talent for creating timeless interiors that reflect her clients’ varying lifestyles. She has experience designing interiors for a variety of clientele and was first introduced to the world of interior decoration at a very young age. “I was first exposed to the industry through my grandmother’s antique shop, where I spent many summers, as well as buying trips abroad,” Wagoner says. “My grandmother deserves credit for fostering my passion and serving as a wonderful role model.”

Wagoner is known for addressing the bones of each space she designs, saying she feels “the most essential element to any design is a classic foundation”. Her latest project does just that.  When a couple came to the realization that they had outgrown their kitchen, they put necessity into action and assembled a team to update the hub of their home. “Before the renovation, the house was close to perfect...gorgeous moldings, original character, hardwood floors, a perfect location, the list goes on. But the homeowners were limited by a small kitchen that prevented them from interacting with family and friends on a daily basis. The homeowner wanted to increase counter space where her children could do their homework or make Christmas cookies while she cooked. She wanted to create a gathering space that was lacking in the original house.

The kitchen renovation was the final step in making this family’s house the perfect home,” says Wagoner. Located in the heart of an alluring  neighborhood, the home was originally built in 1939 by the first homeowner himself. The current homeowners are just the third family to live there. Factoring in the new kitchen space, the home now totals around 4,000 square feet. The challenge with this renovation lay within the duality of accommodating a modern lifestyle while at the same time, maintaining the original character of a traditional home. An open-concept floor plan, which combines the kitchen and adjacent living area into a single space, was not an option for this house. “A home built in the 30s would not have had an open-concept floor plan. We wanted to increase living space for the homeowners but consciously defined each room with cased openings to preserve the integrity of a traditional floor plan,” Wagoner says.

While Anne conceptualized the overall design for the project, builder Sam Barrow, of Barrow Building, was an integral part of both the vision and execution of the renovation. A dated screened porch was transformed into an updated and now enclosed extension of the remodeled kitchen. New custom cabinetry, appliances and hardwood floors were installed. “The goal was to seamlessly blend the new space with the old as if it had always been a part of the home, but to create functionality for a busy family of five,” Barrow says. Wagoner says she encouraged the homeowners to go with a European style for the kitchen, adding touches like a La Cornue-inspired range hood that was custom-built by local blacksmith, Lucas House, of IronHouse Forge.

Subway tile was installed on the entirety of the range wall instead of a standard backsplash. All millwork, including cased openings, crown molding and baseboards were painted a soft grey to add character and attention to detail. The final result is an updated space that maintains the charm and character of the original home. Wagoner says she couldn’t be happier with the finished product. “My goal is always the same, to create a space classic enough to stand the test of time yet innovative enough to be thought provoking.”