Style Shift

Ryan and Nancy Duffey simplify the design of a once-cluttered Brookhaven kitchen, providing a functional and stylish gathering space for this family of five.

When architect Ryan Duffey of J. Ryan Duffey Architect Inc. and his wife, interior designer Nancy Duffey of Scout for the Home Interiors, were called upon to transform a family’s cramped kitchen into a functional gathering space, they knew a major overhaul was in order. “It was almost like a mental exercise,” Ryan says. “We got rid of the clutter that competes with the ability to live comfortably; we’ve taken a lot of the noise out.”

To give the appearance of a larger space, the husband-and-wife duo gutted the room entirely, knocking out impractical columns and cabinetry and rearranging appliances to improve workflow. Recapturing the dead space that once bled into the adjoining mudroom, they installed a set of pocket doors to separate the kitchen from the rest of the home.

Clever storage solutions, such as the open shelving that lines one of the walls, keep everyday essentials within reach while maintaining a clean aesthetic. Knocking the island—previously stacked to bar height—down to one level also offered additional storage space while, more important, providing the homeowners with a functional gathering space. “Now, the whole family lives at the island,” says Nancy. “They eat lunch, they eat dinner there. Since it’s all one level, it feels more like a kitchen table.”

A subdued color palette and soft textures in the form of limewashed cabinetry, a wooden dining table and plastered, walls offer an earthy counterbalance to the sleek marble countertops, geometric cabinetry and metal window frames. To further streamline the space, the Duffeys removed the existing crown molding to create a seamless transition from wall to ceiling.

“The shell is powerful, so the furnishings really pop,” explains Ryan.“The arrangement is nearly the same; we just shifted the parts, so the room became something that could be pretty and functional.”

ARCHITECTURE Ryan Duffey, J Ryan Duffey Architect, Inc. INTERIOR DESIGNER Nancy Duffey, Scout for the Home Interiors BUILDER Mike Hammersmith, Mike Hammersmith General Contracting, Inc. CABINETRY Cameron Thurman, Phoenix Millworks APPLIANCES Gaggenau FAUCETS Rohl INTERIOR PLASTER Vali Lazar, Lazar Stucco, Inc. BREAKFAST ROOM CHANDELIER Gregorius Pineo at Jerry Pair BREAKFAST ROOM TABLE South of Market PENDANT Arteriors