Rye Modern Reno

Creativity, patience, communication and a budget to match the vision were key components to success of this Rye, NH kitchen renovation. I started working on this project in November 2015 and it officially wrapped up December 2017. The construction portion of the project spanning 8 consecutive weeks, leaving the rest of the time for design and planning. And all that time was important and well worth it.

The client was looking for a clean, modern, simple design that matches the luxury home’s aesthetic instead of the kitchen that was installed 10 years ago. The project scope incorporated the kitchen, dining room and pantry. The goal was to introduce layers of materials that complimented each other while designing a space that could host many guests and open the space to light and traffic flow.

The Design

There was a large structural wall that divided the existing kitchen/dining areas. We removed it and installed a large steel beam for a flush finished ceiling. This allowed a large island that houses the sink, two dishwashers, trash,dish drawers and seating for five. The cooktop & hood did not change location but were expanded and upgraded, while the refrigerator and oven wall with cabinetry grew to accommodate the new high-end appliances. A wet bar was created with a wine fridge, refrigerator drawers, and a custom drawer to hold alcohol that locks. While the layout didn’t change greatly, by taking down the wall and moving around the island, the space became accommodating and welcoming.

The Materials

In order to pull the project together, all key components were selected prior to construction. This was to ensure that they work together gracefully as an end result.

Cabinet Style, Finish, & Hardware

Because the client was leaning toward the modern kitchen, this immediately determined the cabinetry style as Euro-style with full extension rails and flat panel doors / drawers manufactured by Jewett Farms. The Cabinet finish was much more challenging. We chose C2 – “Architectural White” as the refrigerator and cooktop wall cabinets.For the island and bar, we chose a  quarter-sawn oak with vertical grain in a whitewash finish.

As for hardware, we used Cliffside as our vendor because all of their hardware comes in several finishes as well as varying lengths from 24” to 4”. Cliffside does a great job making sturdy, well-manufactured hardware – and their customer service is fantastic!


Our client was very specific about what appliances they wanted so it was a relatively quick trip to State Street Discount to get the final appliance specifications, including the special refrigerator drawers and wine fridge with most of the appliances having cabinet panels.


Lighting is a tricky component in this industry. One can buy lighting very easily online with hours and hours of research. Depending on budgets, buying online is not a bad idea. The sconce is a Arturo Alvarez. The Dining Room fixture is Tech Lighting that is a circle suspended on wire with cloth shade with modern, clean lines. Lastly, the island lights are actually the second rounds with the first ones being a bit “flat” round cylinder shades. These lights are John Pomp custom made hand-blown iridescent glass purchased from Studio 534. These are the needed special feature that brings movement, color and shape to the room. Fun fact: Tom Brady has these in his kitchen, too!

Custom Table

We utilized Haven Hill Builders to fabricate a custom table that extends to 10’-0” with several leaves. Without the leaves, the table base creates a circle convex that extend apart from each other, as the table gets larger. We were able to purchase the seating from retail stores in Boston, MA.

The contractor on this project was Pat Driscoll or Star Island Builders of Rye, NH. They are an amazing crew who works collaboratively with myself to make this project successful. They are high quality builders who I love to work with. The fabulous photographer Raya does all of the pictures you see with this project, from Raya on Assignment.


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