Tour Two Contemporary Connecticut Kitchens

July 31, 2023

A pair of Fairfield County kitchens straddle the line between contemporary edginess and homey warmth.

Text by Paula M. Bodah

Cool Contemporary

Danielle and Jonathan Shemesh had definite ideas of what they wanted for their Westport kitchen. “We wanted a more minimalist look, my wife likes to stay organized, and it was important to have enough storage for all the pots and pans,” Jonathan says. With three children under the age of five (plus a dog in the mix), it’s no wonder organization is a priority. Designer Merrin Jones fashioned a kitchen with a place for everything, including a tall bank of handsome white-oak cabinetry that hides the fridge and an appliance garage and has cupboards and drawers aplenty.

When it came to style, Jones says, “My clients are very cool, with a bit of an edge. They lean more modern.”White upper cabinets and white-quartz surfaces, including the sleek waterfall island, provided the minimalist look, and Jones warmed things up with white-oak lower cabinets and black accents.

In the nearby breakfast nook, a scratch-resistant Caesarstone breakfast table surrounded by black faux-leather chairs is edgy and child-friendly in equal measure.

Project Team
Interior and architectural design: Merrin Jones Interiors
Builder: Epoch Homes
Cabinetry: Precision Millwork
Photography: Emily Sidoti

Moody Modern

The land on which this Southport house sits, an expansive field at the top of a ridge, inspired designer Gaelle Dudley to create what she calls a “moody, industrial farmhouse.” In the kitchen, that translates to a sleek, modern space with an overlayer of earthy, textured elements. The wide-plank oak floor and a mix of natural oak and white-painted cabinetry speak to the farmhouse style, while the waterfall island and single-slab backsplash, both of Enigma white quartz, add the contemporary feel.

Dudley introduced an industrial touch in the oak shiplap range hood and stainless-steel appliances and brought textural interest to the subtle, earthy palette with pendant lights that look like cast clay and island stools of woven rope. Thoughtful design touches, like the X detail on the upper cabinets that echoes the base of the island stools, add personality.

“We translated the moody design inspiration into something that still feels modern and airy with a New England coastal feel,” Dudley says. We say she merged all those elements—traditional, modern, and industrial—into one beautiful whole.

Project Team
Architecture: Matthew R. Dougherty
Architect Interior design: GLDESIGN
Builder: Olsen Built Homes
Cabinetry: John June Custom Cabinetry
Photography: Neil Landino

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