When a 1920s Colonial-style beach house in New Jersey needed a kitchen makeover, its owners called in a New York-based interior designer. Nicole Cohen. Trained as a multidisciplinary artist, Cohen approaches design through a visual lens that plays with composition, color, and form in an accessible way.
Here she found inspiration in the original architecture, including stucco walls and arches, choosing to ‘work with’ the period features rather than against them. That said, “the original kitchen was too small and in disrepair,” says Cohen, citing the lack of color, nonfunctional floor plan, and outdated Formica finishes. “It didn’t make sense for a young family who wanted to spend a lot of time together at home.”
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Cohen aimed to create a kitchen that would easily accommodate the family, without it feeling cluttered when cooking or entertaining. Work with the team of Monmouth Custom Buildersthe designer undertook an eight-month renovation that included the kitchen, pool, basement and porch, all combined for a 4,000 square foot retreat.
In order to make the kitchen the true heart of the home, the team opened up the L-shaped space that connects the dining room, den, and back porch. Now it is filled with color and light.
Take, for example, the star of the show: green Mosaic House tiles. “The couple let us know that they have a mutual love for the color green, and we wanted to make sure that figured prominently,” Cohen says. “I found this tile when I was researching other materials for this project, and felt like it was a perfect fit.”
Custom cabinets by Castle craftsmanship, Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances and a custom terrazzo dining table combine to “make the kitchen special,” says Cohen. “In each of the projects I work on, I always try to create a piece of furniture that can live in the client’s home. With this table, we have customized the aggregate and the shape.
Simply white by Benjamin Moore throughout helps the room feel more open, VOL Kitchens and climbs by School create brilliant layered lighting, and Mosaic House floor tiles add personality. “Color makes the room vibrant and exciting,” she says. “I love the joy of the space, like the perfect place to eat ripe peaches and homemade pasta.”
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