Polished marble tops the island and surrounds the cooktop area, where sliding panels hide storage.
Polished marble tops the island and surrounds the cooktop area, where sliding panels hide storage.

When Terri Crittenden set about designing a home for her brother and his family on a Glencoe property where an old Georgian-style house had stood before, everyone agreed the new house should look as if it had always been there.

A veneer of rough stone wraps around a kitchen corner and extends into the room beyond.

“It was important to us that everything seemed authentic,” says Crittenden, an architect and a designer with the Susan Fredman Design Group. “We didn’t design the house with a style in mind; we just followed what the homeowners love. It has some contemporary touches, some Tuscan touches. It’s Old World eclectic.”

Open to the dining room, family room, mudroom, and breakfast room, the kitchen of this 8,000-square-foot home is clearly where the action is for the owners and their four daughters. Its most visually striking feature is the juxtaposition of polished marble on the large island and in the cooktop area with the rough-textured natural stone that wraps around a corner and continues into the next room.

“We wanted the stone to ground the whole kitchen,” Crittenden says. “We used it to create an entire composition along that wall rather than draw attention to the hood or the cooktop.” Its tactile quality is made more pronounced by the stone’s proximity to the gleaming marble, some of which serves as sliding panels that hide storage for oils and spices. The panels are installed so their veining runs at a 45-degree angle, a distinct contrast to the horizontality of surrounding elements. Elsewhere in the kitchen, perimeter countertops are made of leathered gray limestone; this subtly textured material continues up the window wall.

A custom De Giulio sink with cutting boards is set into a counter-top of leathered gray limestone that extends up the wall.

A stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, a 60-inch Wolf range, a custom De Giulio sink, and two Miele dishwashers mean the kitchen can handle serious cooking. But it’s also a locus for unserious hanging out.

“My sister-in-law likes entertaining, likes making breakfast for her kids every day,” Crittenden says. “Being with people is what she and my brother love.” It’s no accident that the island is positioned so that the cook can move easily from fridge to stove to sink to work surface while visitors perch on stools nearby, watching the show but not getting in the way.

The kitchen is “more about ‘Sit down, have a cup of coffee—let me make you something’ than it is about elaborate dinners,” Crittenden says. “It is a very big part of the family’s every day.”


Photography: Nick Novelli/Novelli Photodesign