Bright new kitchen with original charm

It was destiny that the Winkelman family live full time in historic Sea Cliff on Long Island’s gold coast – their home has been a part of the family in a roundabout way for many years. “We rented the home during the summers from 1983 to 1990 – our primary residence was in Manhattan,” said Marty Winkelman. “My sister also rented this home as a summer property in 1967,” he added.

    Built in 1927, the original Dutch colonial style home had small rooms and quite a few quirky features including a bathroom located just outside the kitchen, not ideal for any homeowner. While planning their renovation, the Winkelman’s goal was to maintain the integrity of the home’s design while improving its functionality.

    “We have a long standing personal and professional relationship with Chris Van Tuyl of Nassau Suffolk Lumber & Supply. They supplied the materials for our deck and other renovations, so we came to them when we were ready to renovate the kitchen,” Winkelman said.

    The front of the home was expanded to open up the kitchen space and make room for a new bathroom. Two large windows were placed where the previous bathroom used to be. “Chris suggested we go big with the windows, I initially resisted, but now we are so glad we took his advice,” said Winkelman. “The natural light in the space is great.”

    “The original kitchen was brown with honey pine cabinetry. We wanted something light and bright and always admired white kitchens,” he said. The Winkelman’s selected Plain & Fancy cabinetry because of its high quality and great looks – other alternatives didn’t come close according to the homeowners. They chose Plain & Fancy‘s beaded inset, Vogue door style in white enamel. “Plain & Fancy’s custom capabilities were a big plus when dealing with a quirky older home. The biggest challenge was getting everything to fit properly – and that’s where the expertise of designers Cecile Cote and Bob Geiger was wonderfully helpful,” Winkelman said.

    “Most problematic was accomodating the chimney that runs through the center of the house – it’s not straight, but that’s part of its charm,” said Winkelman. The contractor, Larry Byrnes of Precision Carpentry of NY, Inc., did an amazing job according to Winkelman. He cut ‘channels’ into the brick so that the cabinetry could sit flush against the chimney, rather than standing out from it. “A seemingly small detail, but no easy task in an older home – Byrnes’ solution is much more pleasing to the eye.” 

    As with most small kitchens, adequate storage space can be challenging. “Cecile suggested shallow cabinets on the back of the island and we’re very happy that she did – the space is perfect for items that we don’t use on a regular basis,” Winkelman said. The new island was designed larger than the original to accommodate additional seating and create more work/entertaining space.

    Complimenting the white cabinetry are Quartzite countertops in Iceberg from Elegante Stone in Westbury. The backsplash is crafted from 2 x 6 Viscaya Glass tiles in Spirit White with a matte finish, and the flooring is square Saltillo tile (a Mexican red fired clay tile) from Nemo Tile in Westbury. 

    “We are thrilled with the renovation – our home seems bigger and the living space is much better. We’re actually going out to eat less frequently!” said Winkelman.