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Nantucket Before & After

Posted by Cecilia Walker on

A kitchen renovation on Nantucket, demonstrates that minimal changes can make a major transformation.


The biggest impact in the new kitchen design is the 3 rows of open shelvingSusan Shepherd consulted her clients to remove all of the upper cabinetry, and replace them with the modern, thick shelving.  The cabinetry around the refrigerator was removed as well, and replaced with a bigger Sub Zero refrigerator and then boxed-in with simple, clean lines and a bold molding.  In addition, Susan wanted to create more counter space, and added lower cabinets on the far wall to the right of the dishwasher, allowing the shelving to extend into the dining area as well.  This change centered the island inside the kitchen perimeter and creates balance.  The result is a kitchen that feels bigger, even though the square footage has not changed.  

One of the challenges with the renovation was timing.  Susan’s clients were faced with a tight deadline to complete the construction in time for the summer rental season.  The minimal changes – including swapping out the 3 light fixtures; painting the existing lower cabinetry and kitchen/dining walls; replacing the granite-tiled countertops with honed black granite and then re-facing the island with shiplap – allowed for the successful turnaround with such a dramatic change!

Susan introduced her clients to Scott O’Connor of O’Connor Custom Builders (OCB), whose work she’s long admired.  Although the project was of a smaller scope, OCB once again exceeded expectations.  In addition, to the kitchen transformation, OCB gave the entire home a face lift.  Their craftsmanship and attention to detail is unparalleled on the island.

Susan and I have collaborated on a few renovations on Nantucket.  She is incredibly talented, and has such an eye for detail.  One of my favorite elements in the kitchen is how the lower shelf breaks at the sink.  It allowed for the installation of a higher faucet and creates visual interest as well as balance.  Susan and I have had a long history of working together, dating back to Levi Strauss and Co. where we first met in a heated conference room discussion!  It was one of those defining moments in time, when you just know you’re in sync with the other person.  We have the same philosophy and both like modern elements and clean lines.  Collaborating together over the years has been a great experience.  We continue to learn from each other and have this built-in trust and open, honest rapport.

If you’d like to see more photos of this waterfront property, please visit here, as the house is currently available to rent for the upcoming vacation season.

photo courtesy: ©Cooper Shepherd Real Estate 

interior design by Debra Bergstrom, Reusser Bergstrom Associates, Pasadena, CA

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