Text by: Tiffany Carboni
When surfers come together, good things happen. Such was the experience for architect Richard Bubnowski that started as a blind call from a fellow wave rider. “He saw the surfboard shed I converted from a garage in a national magazine and liked my work,” he says.
To capture that same seaside essence for a Harvest Cove kitchen overlooking New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay, Bubnowski and interior designer Donna Grimes of Serenity Design combined new, old, and industrial elements. Every material chosen by the team was done so to work with the surrounding views, natural light, and a beloved sea breeze. The team used custom cabinets made from reclaimed oak sourced in Pennsylvania and had them finished with a subtle whitewash stain and clear glaze for added durability. “The house is used as a rental for much of the year, so we had to build it to withstand abuse,” Bubnowski says.
The cabinets offer loads of storage with boat-like efficiency, and because there are no wall cabinets to obstruct the lagoon view, every inch of cabinet space counts. “The beauty of this space is its simplicity,” he explains. “Even the island has castors on it so that it can be moved out of the way.”
The island is topped with stainless steel to match the GE Profile appliances. Mahogany counters along the perimeter tie in to the other natural materials that include the staircase’s teak stringer and handrail, and the 12-by-24-inch Autumn Gold slate tile flooring.
Amazingly, the house measures only 1,800 square feet, but the kitchen feels exceptionally spacious. The exposed steel beams define the kitchen’s scale while still generously letting in light from the second-story windows. Similarly, the see-through fireplace keeps the kitchen, dining area, and living room connected.
The farmhouse sink from Kohler adds a vintage vibe to the timeless design while pendants from Visual Comfort provide a fishing pier-like look. The decidedly white walls act as a backdrop that lets the natural colors and textures speak for themselves.
Around the trestle dining table sit chairs that homeowner recovered from the trash (yes, the trash!). Grimes had the perfectly intact seats reupholstered allowing them to ride yet another wave.
“We all followed the lead of the homeowner who had a great vision,” says Bubnowski. Must be something in the water.
Awards & Publications: 2011 Watermark Award,Grand Award Design Bureau, March 2012 Design NJ, February / March 2011 Builder, May 2011 Small Room Decorating, Fall 2011 Small Kitchen, Fall 2011 Houzz Tour, July 2011 Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2011