Green and Gorgeous In New England


Vermont master kitchen and bath designer Wendy Johnson loves the outdoors; skiing, gardening, observing nature… A lifelong advocate for the environment with degrees in zoology and botany, Wendy’s dabbled in landscapes but her passion remains architecture and interiors. Her mission at Designs for Living is to achieve spaces that cultivate togetherness, joy and love, in partnership with her clients.

This project was a highly collaborative one. Wendy’s clients have worked together to design and build a gorgeous year-round energy-efficient home in the beautiful village of Dorset, Vermont. He architectural designer and timber-frame craftsman (with help from Bob Escher AIA of Dorset) and she as interior designer, the couple partnered in all architectural and design detail processes. The entire home was built from trees harvested on the property with energy-efficient building materials from bottom to top.

To accommodate an empty-nester lifestyle, the open concept living space works for informal gatherings of friends and kids come home but is also comfortable for only two. The kitchen is central, surrounded by formal dining, office for he and she, center entry hall, and a living space for lounging, reading and listening to music by the fire. Design values flow from the open, light-filled structure and the bold, cheerful color palette celebrated by the couple. Counter Top Induction Stove, Garden View

The kitchen required major prep and cooking areas to work well for 2 or several. The work areas accommodate two separate sinks — one for garden produce and food prep, one for clean-up, a spacious central chop/cook/ bake / serve area; and ample storage for food stuffs, equipment, and dinnerware. Wendy searched for energy efficient cooking, baking, steaming and refrigeration appliances that would cohabitate beautifully with serious hardwood cabinet and pantry storage.

An L-shaped center island makes the bridge between the main prep/cook center and a second work space, while a solid cherry bar brings comfortable seating for 4 to gather here. The curve and elevation adds fluidity and conceals island counter from the living space if work is in progress!LEED-Certified Timber Frame Home in the Mountains

Detail features custom to the homeowners’ lifestyle include a pullout stainless steel compost bin and recycling station, rearrangeable drawer and cabinet storage, and glass cabinet doors with back lit interiors to show off displays of colorful pottery and fiestaware.

The entire project utilizes only sustainable materials in carefully orchestrated combination of materials, color, style and finish to create an environment both inspiring and exciting, but also comfortable and calm. Maple, Cherry and Walnut finishes mix with natural wood, cork and recycled tile floors. The dynamic Verdi Karzai island reflects blues and greens and golds in  sensuous harmony with the soapstone and recycled terrazzo counter-tops and colorful back splash.

Together, Wendy’s design of function and organic earthy materials combine with a brilliant wall palette in a whimsical, textural symphony. The final result, a gorgeous, eco-friendly kitchen and living space custom to its owners, that flexes with their lifestyle and capitalizes on gorgeous view of their Vermont gardens and landscape.

More Photos of the Kitchen Project HERE.

Also, have a look at the CUSTOM BATH and SHOWER spaces Wendy also designed for this project.

Featured Products Include:

Cabinetry by Quality Custom in Cherry, Maple and Walnut;  Original Soapstone Countertop and Integrated sink with Backsplash, Terrazzo Countertop by Dex, Island Countertop in Verdi Karzai granite, 2-1/4″  Cherry Bar crafted by the Homeowner;  Subzero Refrigerators; Induction Cooktop and Ovens by Wolf; Microwave by GE; Lighting by Hubbardton Forge and Tech; Prep Sink by Franke

Builder:  Derek Cornell, Big Pine Builders

Photography: Eric Roth