A new banquette and colorful trimmings boost a kitchen corner’s appeal in Massachusetts.
The owner of this home has a fearless love of color, a passion for prints and an affinity for modernism. But before she hired interior designer Meghan Shadrick
, she had a rather plain eating area. The designer helped her brighten up her entire Medford, Massachusetts, house — including this formerly nonfunctional breakfast space.
The small eating area off the kitchen wasn’t working. There wasn’t really room for a table and chairs, access to the back door was impeded, and people were constantly bumping their heads on the chandelier as they rose from the table.
AFTER: A banquette moved the seating area back toward the wall, freeing the passage to the door, and a new aesthetic reflects the owner’s passions and past. “Although my client grew up in Boston, she lived for a time in San Diego,” says Shadrick. “All of the inspiration pictures she showed me were sunny, bohemian and colorful. I call the look we developed modern cottage.”
The style skillfully blends old and new with colorful elements that reference the owner’s life. The vintage chairs, a splurge scored at a local antiques shop, are Italian, like the client’s family. The table is reminiscent of Eero Saarinen’s masterwork, but it’s from Ikea. The light fixture is new, but it’s a dead ringer for an atomic-era piece.
The corner shelves hold pieces the client inherited from her late mother, and framed photos of Boston and San Diego flank the window. “We had to use corner shelves, because the window is not centered on the wall,” says Shadrick. “The wall displays give the eye something to look at, and you don’t notice the window placement.”
Shadrick wanted to give the room a feeling of beach-cottage fun and of being assembled over time. To do it she collected a cheery mix of patterns for the window coverings and pillows. “The trick is to vary the scale and keep everything in the same color palette,” she says. “This way you can mix many different patterns together.”
What was once a little-used space is now one of the owner’s favorites.