The Best of Both Worlds
Once inside the house, the entryway offers visitors a preview of what the rest of the house has in store, with cool white and gray shiplap walls and black and white stair railings juxtaposed with an antique table and eclectic accents, such as artwork printed on old dictionary pages and a nautical lantern. Keeping the front door open on a warm, sunny day, and exposing the glass storm door adds another pop of color to the entryway. “I moved to London five years ago for work and I was inspired by country houses and beach houses in the UK and Europe where they’re much more bold with their color choices. It’s really a mix of the traditional and modern,” says Amplo. As one walks through the home, each room offers its own character and flair to the house. From the clean, monochromatic kitchen to the warm and cozy living room and den, there is a room to fit any inspiration.
Looking at the outside of the house, one wouldn’t expect to see a completely monochromatic gray kitchen. But with artfully placed accents and the perfect color selection, the gray kitchen provides the warmth and comfort promised by the exterior of the home. Gray has been building its name as the new neutral and this kitchen proves that it’s here to stay. “I find it to be a very calming, relaxing color, but also not so typical. With all the different shades of gray, it actually enhances the sunlight in the summer, but you feel cool when you’re in the room,” Amplo says. The deep gray cabinetry contrasts the white sandstone countertops and the light subway tile backsplash. Covered in the same Shaker style cabinetry as the upper and lower cabinets, the refrigerator blends seamlessly into the rest of the kitchen; so seamlessly in fact, that at first glance, one might wonder where the appliance is. The kitchen is warmed up with brass hardware on the cabinetry and light fixtures, and a retro style stove top and farmhouse sink hint at the eclectic style that can be found throughout the house. “The stove is a French range. I love to cook and there’s just an old world style to that kind of kitchen where things don’t necessarily need to match,” explains Amplo. While there is a harmonious flow throughout the room, small details like the brass hardware on the cabinetry contrast the silver of the faucet. “It was very much, ‘how do you build something that’s new and modern but also very classic and timeless?’”
But the stunning kitchen didn’t always look like that. “The old kitchen was a tiny galley style kitchen,” Dio describes. “Everything was redone; we opened it up with French doors, blending the old with the new, the lounge area taking over the old dining room.” Part of the redesign was bringing the dining room into the kitchen, and converting the old dining room into a more functional lounge area.
Cool gray trimmed French doors open up the kitchen and dining room into the cocktail lounge. “Each room really has its own feeling. In the old dining room, which is now a cocktail lounge area, you see people sitting but they are actually using the rooms and talking much more,” Amplo notes. “It’s not a house where people are on their phones, there are no TVs in any focal points, it’s all about connecting with people and being social. Even in the kitchen, the counter has two stools so when my neighbor comes over, that’s the perfect spot to have a chat over coffee.” The gray of the kitchen flows into the lounge connecting the two rooms that, at their cores, couldn’t be more different, but thanks to a few key pieces, the connection and flow is executed flawlessly. Gray pops up throughout the room, most noticeably in the velvet couch, and complemented by the geometric black and white area rug. The couch and two blue velvet arm chairs provide a sense of luxury, while pieces like a soft, warm end table and pillows featuring sketches of tall ships add rustic flair. Pops of color grace the room, including welcoming yellow throw blankets and warm taupe lamp shades. Mismatched end tables, coffee tables and footstools add a sense of playfulness.
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