The Customer Knows Best

A homeowner who knows exactly what he wants in a new kitchen works with Patriot Builders to turn his vision into a reality.

By Rob Duca | Photography by Dan Cutrona

Jim Pelletier is an interior designer by trade, so he had specific ideas for what he wanted to accomplish when he embarked on a renovation of the kitchen in his newly purchased West Barnstable home. To attain his goals, he turned to Chris Childs of Patriot Builders in Dennis. Together, they expanded the 12×12 kitchen and turned the area into a retreat for cooking and entertaining. “He had strong input on everything,” Childs said. “He knew exactly what he wanted.”

Stylishly functional

The project’s buzzword was “functionality.” Pelletier loves to cook, and he and his partner, Joel Hass, wanted a kitchen that was well designed, offering abundant storage and open areas, with clean, contemporary lines that remained faithful to the Cape Cod style of the circa 1970s house. “This is a user-friendly kitchen,” Pelletier said. “We literally used every square inch of space. I didn’t want to maintain a museum look. I wanted user-friendly, and I think we got that.” He also wanted clutter-free countertops and a nearby room where friends and family could gather without bumping into the cook. “I was tired of walking around people who like to bring their stuff to the house to prep,” he said. “I started allocating space for them. Now we don’t crawl all over each other.” To accommodate those wishes, the original kitchen was transformed into a wet bar that included maple cabinets and a built-in wine chiller. It has become an ideal spot for guests to congregate. Antique 10-inch wide heart pine floors were installed in the wet bar and kitchen addition, matching the rest of the house. A large center window over the wet bar is now flanked by glass-paned cabinets that were placed against rectangular windows. They sit on the counter, allowing light to stream into the space, while providing views through the cabinets to the beautifully landscaped backyard. It’s an idea that Pelletier spotted in a magazine. “They had 10-foot ceilings with no wall space, so they put cabinets over the windows,” he said. “We put them on the counter and use it to store additional glassware.”

New space; new kitchen

The 14×15 addition now serves as the working kitchen area. Rough sawn fir beams match the nearby great room, offer a striking contrast beneath the vaulted 11-foot ceiling and effectively shield the lighting. The homeowner initially wanted the beams to be placed at the same seven-foot height of those in the great room, but Childs maintained that it would be more dramatic to raise them higher. “It hides the lighting much better,” Pelletier said, “and it blends in effortlessly between the two rooms. It ties everything in.” The new kitchen features a Thermador stove that includes a convection oven, two broilers, a small pie oven, six cook tops and a flat-top grille. The flat-top grille has been popular for making pancakes, waffles, French toast and omelets. There is also a full-standing Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer, along with a warming drawer, microwave and built-in coffee maker. The clean look is reflected in the linen white walls with bright white trim, the painted cabinets and the Jet Mist honed granite countertops. “It’s contemporary, yet it still ties into the rest of the house, which is a very traditional Cape Cod style,” Childs said. Storage is a central theme in the kitchen. Pelletier wanted to take into consideration current needs and the future. Therefore, all storage is at a low level, under counters. The kitchen island has open shelves that are ideal for storing cookbooks. A visually striking detail is the stainless steel backsplash that winds around the counters. The basket-weave design serves as a symbol of the home’s overall theme. “It’s about gathering, bringing people together and bonding,” Pelletier said. “I had used it on another project and the client didn’t like it, so I brought it into my own kitchen. We added Nantucket basket weave china to mesh with it.” The stainless steel also stunningly reflects light. “It’s beautiful when the sun hits it,” Pelletier said. “And it has interest to it. It worked out better than I expected.” A final touch is the custom-made pot racks that were installed in both corners, to the left and right of the stove. Built by Cape Cod Fireplace in Hyannis, the rack is yet another way to utilize wall space and maximize storage. Since the project was completed last December, the kitchen has been the busiest room in the house. “Everything turned out as well if not better than we expected,” Pelletier said. “We’re very pleased.”

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