Kitchen Cove Design Studio: Traditional with a Twist

Words By Heather Chapman
Photos By Michael D. Wilson

Mary O. Adams, owner of the Portland-based specialty design firm Kitchen Cove Design Studio, relishes projects that involve problem solving. With the older dwellings typical of Maine remodels, the problems at hand are numerous, spanning from poor layouts and choppy points of entry to additional dysfunctional design. “The way kitchens work today is very different than they did even as recently as 20 years ago,” says Mary. “Our biggest challenge is how to update an older kitchen in a way that is on-trend, while also ensuring that it doesn’t feel out of place.”  

A custom coat of deep taupe graces the cabinetry, fitted with brass hardware, to match the dining room.

When Falmouth-based clients requested a remodel, Mary assessed the situation with a healthy dose of professional tough love, removing an entire wall in the center of the home and banishing dated archways and unnecessary doorways. The expansion allowed space for a reimagination of the kitchen’s functional duties for inhabitants keen on fresh food preparation. Bright quartz countertops for the large center island, wash station, and breakfast nook reflect an abundance of natural light pouring through newly raised windows, and an abutting glass doorway provides flow from the kitchen straight to the back deck for alfresco gatherings. Mary chose a custom coat of deep taupe for the cabinets—pairing it with brass hardware—to match existing decor in the formal dining room, which she smartly opened to the kitchen. 

Patterned tile by Stone Impressions playfully works a contemporary accent into the kitchen’s traditional decor.
Mary raised the windows above the wash station—topped with bright quartz—to incorporate more natural light.

Although this kitchen’s style leans traditional, patterned tile by Stone Impressions and oversized pendant lights draw the eye, tastefully incorporating contemporary accents for a pleasing modern twist. “You’d never know that this space was incredibly dark and small, with little to no wall space” Mary says.  “Now, it really is the heart of the home.”