A French-Inspired Kitchen

December 4, 2022

Designer Kate Smith cooks up a handsome and highly functional French-inspired remodel of her own kitchen.

Text by Lisa H. Speidel    Photography by Erin Kestenbaum

The 1858 Greek Revival in Farmington had character in spades. The kitchen, however, had fallen prey to an eyebrow-raising renovation in the 1990s that clashed with the home’s charming overall aesthetic. Undeterred, designer and homeowner Kate Smith forged forward. “I had wanted a house that was a bit of a project, so I could put my own stamp on it,” she remembers. “I was excited to gut the kitchen.”

Down to the studs it went, courtesy of builder Andrew Veselak of A.V.E. While Smith retained the original footprint, everything else—save the built-in hutch from the 1940s—met its demise in the dumpster. A handsome La Cornue CornuFé range in Provence Blue, coupled with a recent trip to Paris, provided the color palette as well as some inspiration for the space. “I wanted colorful, light-filled, print-driven,” says Smith. “I love patterns, textures, and a layered look.” And she also needed functional and family-friendly: she and her husband, Ted, like to entertain and they have two active young kids.

Smith opted for creamy white cabinetry, brass accents, gray Georgia marble on the counters, a walnut-topped island, and a showstopping paper from Lee Jofa on the walls to tie it all together. “I love how the wallpaper mimics the wild branches outside,” she says. “It brings that botanical look inside.”

Smith favored natural materials that patina over time. “I don’t look the same as I did twenty years ago, and neither should a house,” she says with a laugh. And now that the kitchen remodel is complete, new rooms blend seamlessly with old, and the house is poised to age gracefully as a whole.

Project Team
Interior design: Kate Smith Interiors 
Builder: A.V.E.

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