Behind The Kitchen Design For An Idyllic Maryland Home

ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN | BY | December 5, 2018

At a country home designed by Steven Gambrel, garden and lifestyle brand Terrain sets the scene for entertaining.

Foxfire, the bucolic 127-acre farm in the rolling hills of Maryland’s Harford County, holds a special place in Steven Gambrel‘s design portfolio: It happens to belong to his best friends. It’s also a residence the designer frequents in the fall and winter months when the region partakes in traditional equestrian events and festivities making this an ideal spot for hosting get-togethers.

Because this kitchen is a true workhorse in every sense of the word and one of the most heavily used areas of the home, Gambrel made sure to prioritize both form and function.

The New York-based interior designer is a true master when it comes to creating beautiful, elegant and layered kitchens. This space, which was completely gutted and reimagined, is no different.

Where did you begin when designing this kitchen?

First, I surveyed the space and determined that we needed to significantly renovate it. The day begins and ends in this kitchen, and the morning light is particularly beautiful here. So, I thought about where the sunlight is best and this is where I positioned the sink. From there, I looked at the functionality of the room which, in this case, is to serve, so I wanted to make sure dishes and glasses could be seen and accessed quickly and easily. Eliminating upper cabinets helps aesthetically with the airiness of the space, but it also makes the function of it immediately apparent because everything is visible.

Tell us about your approach to texture.

The clients were looking for more neutral interiors; it was fun to rethink this kitchen in terms of texture instead of color. I love big, thick stone, so I put the countertops through a heating process called sweating that makes the surface beautifully uneven but still smooth and creates a patina of sorts. The cabinets are cyrus oak, which has a gorgeous finish but is very durable. I’m always thinking about materials that will be the easiest to live with and use.

How is the adjoining storage room used?

This area holds the silver and decorative dishes for serving in the formal dining room–we allude to this space as the servery. Food is also laid out here for more casual evenings, but many nights center around big dinners and having friends over in the dining room. I transformed this smaller space into a pretty open room that has a very calming spirit, especially with the silver wall.

Terrain's first book, Terrain: Ideas and Inspiration for Decorating the Home and Garden, released this fall, offers tips for creating the perfect centerpiece, a guide to wreath making and expert advice on embellishing with foliage.

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