Update on Kitchen Renovation in Bronxville, NY

I have an update on the kitchen renovation in Bronxville, NY.  As an aside, the google gods who are in cahoots with the SEO gods (pls google that if you don’t know what that means) ;] really like it when I put the #keyword (word or phrase) in the post title and then if I repeat it in the first sentence, they are even happier! Did you know that? Me neither. There’s a lot more that they like, but that would take a volume akin to War and Peace!

Back to the subject at hand; the kitchen renovation in Bronxville, NY.  I am very excited to share some new photos of the progress! The other day, I was trying to explain what we are doing (pls see here) and here is the visual of the space in its raw state (and I mean raw as it’s still very much a construction site!) without any cabinetry. The cabinets are being delivered this Tuesday and the hood is on its way!

susankitempty 009

This is the view facing the new range area, also showing three out of the FIVE doorways into the kitchen. (yes, FIVE!). We’re doing a Wolf 48″ range with a Calacatta Gold marble backsplash.  Here’s the custom nickel hood before it left the factory! Texas Lightsmith did a fantastic job. I really cannot recommend them highly enough and the turn-around was only a few weeks.

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and here is one of our Calacatta Gold marble slabs which we are doing for the backsplash and island top! We had to drive out to New Jersey to pick it out!  (I’ll be nice and not make any disparaging remarks about our neighboring state and their driving abilities.) 😉

Laurel Bern Calacatta Lot# (612

Isn’t this a beauty? The gold, I think is a bit misleading. The stone is actually a gorgeous milky white with soft grey veining and yes, a hint of gold, but really, just a hint. This stuff has become so popular in recent years that it is becoming not so easy to find and be warned, if you are considering doing this, it comes with a hefty price tag. Also, the stone is polished here, but we are having our stone in a honed finish which will also make it appear to have aged gracefully with the home.

Here is our primary inspiration kitchen again, to give it better context. Our hood, while still generous in size, is about 30″ less wide and less tall; different kitchen; different situation. I think that we got the proportions perfectly!

update on kitchen renovation in Bronxville, NY
O’Brien-Harris Kitchen

Below is our elevation of the range wall. I drove our kitchen designer bonkers with the details in this area. It took a few tries, but I am thrilled with the design, now! Our designer, Kelly Bielfeldt of JEM Woodworking is a doll to work with and really got my design concepts. Sometimes I am asked why I work with a kitchen designer, when I’m already an interior designer. The easiest way to explain it is this: If you had cancer (God forbid!) would you go see your GP for treatment?


One of my favorite features in this kitchen will be the built-in spice/utensil  niches on the inside of the cabinets flanking the range. Originally, there were two slightly wider cabinets in the typical fashion with a backsplash underneath. I try to avoid a lot of those types of cabinets and this felt so much more elegant to me. From the front, they will look like pilasters and will each have one of our custom sconces. (see below)

Moving along, the next view shows the two original Palladian Windows. The cabinets will begin right after the first window and under the second window, will be a large farmhouse-style sink.

Please also note the gorgeous coffered ceiling which is brand new. Stuart Newsome, our GC did a fantastic job of laying that out. Together, we decided on the appropriate size and moulding details. Formerly, there were some very dark “rustic” beams which really dragged the space down, even though the ceilings are a soaring ten feet! The brown beams are so wrong for this home, I just can’t say!

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The biggest brown beam was where we see a large soffit and underneath will be a decorative pilaster with a sconce. Before the demo, we weren’t sure if the beam is structural or not. It is, of course, so it has to stay. So, NOW, we have a larger than expected space in our run of cabinetry and it was one of those “problems” which in the end, became an asset. It came to me to have the beam become an architectural feature separating the first run of cabinets with the second piece which is a built-in furniture piece mimicking our other inspiration kitchen. (below) It also serves as a divider between the kitchen and the eating area and provided yet another source of lighting. This kitchen is going to be beautifully lit!

On the pilaster, will be one of the five of  the aforementioned custom sconces coming from Canopy Designs.


Here is our elevation for the sink wall, showing the pilaster and how nicely it separates it from the built-in glass cabinet.


We matched the pilaster with a much less deep one on the opposite wall. It didn’t have to be as deep, because there’s no cabinetry on that wall. One interesting thing, if you notice on the above elevation is that we had some extra space on the left side of the upper cabinets. It’s exactly one foot off, so if we could’ve magically moved the sink window over only six inches, we could’ve had a perfectly symmetrical situation with the upper cabinets and it would’ve also given us some more space in our lower right side cabinet. However, magic costs beaucoup bucks, and we had to draw the line somewhere, so like a lot of things in this 100+ year-old home, we let it be one of its many charming quirks.

update on kitchen renovation in Bronxville, NY

This is the back wall opposite the range wall where we are going to have that very cool sideboard from Somerset Bay underneath. And here you can see our brand new CUSTOM Palladian windows which I’m terribly excited about! Formerly, there was a very large UGH-ly arched window that was single pane glass (brrrr…) and about 30% larger than these, AND it was way off-center and it just plain sucked. Now the two new windows match the original windows— exactly! I can’t tell you how much better it looks!  I know that the original builder of this home would be so happy to see this change!

Rounding the bend, we come to the fourth opening which goes out to a lovely small deck.

Then our pilaster with sconce as shown above. (note dangling light bulb) After that, we turn the corner. Formerly, on that wall was a window with a sink underneath it. We really didn’t need another window and we didn’t need the sink either, so we covered it up and moved our plumbing stacks to create more space for our pantry on the next wall– our final wall which on the left is the pantry with pull out drawers which I love, then the entry to our dining room with a new pocket door! And finally will be our fridge with another pilaster and on the other side of that, the big freezer. We are also augmenting the fridge and freezer with two drawers in the island. Also, in the island is a built-in microwave, bread bin and storage area.

update on kitchen renovation in Bronxville, NY


Below, is an isometric drawing which is pretty self-explanatory and we also can see our elegant island.


Well folks, that is our kitchen! Next post, I will discuss the kitchen hardware we’ve chosen. I spent DAYS on this! Hardware is like the jewelry of the room and it’s really important, I think.

Happy December everyone!

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7 Responses

  1. Hi Laurel,

    I have a question on this Bronxville kitchen project. The recessed areas between the ceiling millwork, is it also wood or is it drywall? Love how the cabinets are integrated with the ceiling and windows. Did you paint the walls in this kitchen or is the whole space whtie. Really stunning!!!

    Kate Baron

    1. Hi Kate,

      Thank you so much. The ceiling is dry-wall and the coffers are wood. The wall is wallpapered in a small geometric pattern.

      One day, I’m hoping to get some better photos… hoping…

      1. Hi Laurel,

        Thanks so much for your response. Quick question regarding soffit above cabinets. Is it made of all wood or is the underside of those drywall as well? I had beautiful custom kitchen cabinets installed 5 years ago. the cabinet stores we visited recommended taking down our soffit. They said it was out of style!! So down they came and we had our new cabinets just hung on the wall For 5 years I couldn’t figure out what didn’t look right…Kept thinking..” I miss that soffit. I couldn’t stand that useless, dark space above my cabinets!!! Such a small area with way too much going on…ceiling color, strip of wall color and then the cabinet color I felt like I was at a circus!!!…I finally convinced my husband we had to do something about the ceiling and the fact that the cabinets looked like they were free floating!!! Thanks for your posts…they have been incredibly valuable!!!

        1. Hi Kate,

          What idiots who told you that!!! They probably had you take it down because it’s an easier install for THEM! grrr… I’m so sorry! I have had clients put up a soffit to fill in the area and it is made from sheet rock. And then we put a crown moulding up at the top. Depending on the configuration it could either be painted to match the cabinets or could be the wall color.

          If you are referring to the custom kitchen in my posts, that is all wood.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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