Clean-lined maple cabinetry surrounds the 12-by-19-foot kitchen, which is spacious enough to invite multiple cooks to share in the prep work. Borrowing a lesson from Shaker artisans, who left their furniture handles dark or unpainted to hide dirt and wear marks, we chose dark-cherry-stained maple door and drawer pulls. The deep color and round shape lend just enough graphic appeal to be interesting, but not too flashy.
Glass doors front the upper cabinets, creating a lighter look while supplying dust-free space for collectibles. Stainless steel appliances contrast with the surface without looking out of place. A stove hood from Jenn-Air, with warming lights, tops the 48-inch double-oven range.
Made from a quartz-and-resin composite, the granite look-alike DuPont Zodiaq solid-surface countertops require no sealing and offer easy-clean durability in the spacious work area. The distinct color contrast between the fine-grained Cloud White on the perimeter and the intense Galaxy Black on the island helps define the spaces.
The island and nearby breakfast table allow places to sit and chat with the cook during dinner parties or informal suppers. French doors open onto the cantilevered balcony for dining alfresco. An added Shaker touch: Raised chair rails, with pegs originally used to store chairs, display a broom collection and tab-top curtains.
The Shakers found beauty in the absence of embellishment, designing for function rather than frills. The clean look evokes a serenity -- something we tried to capture in our Idea Home by the use of light and shadow, as well as warm wood tones.
The boxy cabinetry and trim, plus the white rectangular backsplash tile in the kitchen and cleanup areas, establish a cohesive design.
We chose maple cabinetry, doors, and trim throughout the house for the wood's fine grain and ability to stain well. Its light amber tone casts a glow and contrasts with the honey-stained red oak floors.
Caring for Hardwood
Simplicity can also apply to upkeep. For example, durable hardwoods offer easy maintenance. Limit exposure to water, dust regularly with a soft cloth, and avoid abrasive cleansers. For cabinet doors with windows such as those in the kitchen and butler's pantry, spray glass cleaner onto a lint-free cloth or towel rather than directly onto the glass and nearby wood surfaces. Then, wipe the windows clean.