Artistic Kitchen and Bath

Forget the one-stop (and generic) shopping at the big-box home improvement stores. With a little extra effort you can adorn your kitchen and bath with local and artistic creations.The kitchen and bathroom are the two rooms of a home that have a utilitarian focus, but that doesn't rule out bringing in beautiful design or hand-made, functional objects.

New Hampshire is full of inspired interior designers, woodworkers, furniture makers, potters and more who create beautiful works of art, from a kitchen renovation in a historical home to accoutrements like stunning sinks.

One such renovation in a Portsmouth home by Vintage Kitchens illustrates that function and great design can go hand and hand.

The kitchen pictured at left is from a early 20th-century Craftsman-style home that was an original Sears Roebuck pre-cut mail order house, "The Hazelton" model. The cost of the home back then? $780-$2,248, depending on the model

ordered. Adding to its historical interest, the house was originally a dairy farm. The entrance to the kitchen used to be from a porch, likely used for cold storage.

Designer Susan Booth and the home- owners worked long and hard to come up with a modern kitchen that suited the needs of a family with children, but still remained true to the history of the house. The original layout was changed slightly to create a better, less-awkward traffic pattern and a small bump-out was added to increase dining space. However, the exterior of the home looks nearly the same.

The cherry cabinets and woodwork were chosen in an effort to match the original woodwork and trim from the dining and living area to make it look like there was no addition at all, says Booth.

"I like the fact that the kitchen really fits the house," adds Booth. "It looks like it belongs - it doesn't look like an addition at all."

The idea was to blend the needs and appliances of the modern world with the look and feel of an older kitchen. Dijon yellow, cherry wood with a honey stain and oil-rubbed bronze hardware were all chosen to match the feel and look of the house.

Rather than ignoring the history of the home and building a completely modern-looking kitchen, the result is a room that adds to the character of the home and makes it that much more special.

Vintage Kitchens

24 South St., Concord

(603) 224-2854

More great kitchen and bath design resources3W Design

7 Henniker St., Concord

(603) 226-3399,

Cobb Hill Construction

206 North State St., Concord

(603) 224-8373,

Crown Point Cabinetry

462 River Rd., Claremont

(800) 999-4994,

Dream Kitchens

139 Daniel Webster Hwy., Nashua

(603) 891-2916,

Gilberte Interiors

10 Allen St., Hanover

(603) 643-3727

G.M. Roth Design Remodeling

12 Murphy Drive Nashua

(603) 880-3761,

The Granite Group

6 Storrs Avenue Concord, (603) 224-1901

381 Elm Street Manchester, (603) 518-1515

Route 125 Rochester, (603) 332-0550

22 Exeter Road, Route 105 South Hampton, (603) 394-7740

Granite State Cabinetry

384 Route 101, Bedford

(603) 472-4080,

Kitchen and Bath Home Design Center

inside Cyr Lumber

39 Rockingham Rd., Windham (603) 898-5000

545 Hooksett Rd., Manchester

(603) 518-5507,

Maple Creek Inc. Custom Builder & Cabinet Maker

18 Cote Ave., Goffstown

(603) 624-6744,

New England Kitchen and Bath

123 Nashua Road Londonderry

(603) 421-0203,

Not Just Kitchens and Baths

123 Nashua Rd., Londonderry

(603) 623-6650,

Standard of New England

100 West Rd., Portsmouth

(603) 436-1400,

Traynor Glass Company

43 Gigante Drive Portsmouth

(603) 329-6668,

Bathroom UpdateJulie Fergus, owner of American Home Gallery in Wolfeboro Falls, recently remodeled an outdated bath with classic styling.

Using the timeless design of the 1920s, she added visual space to the small room. A vintage clawfoot tub and recycled cabinet add negative space - the area under the cabinet and around the functional tub. Vintage tubs are generally deeper and have better ergonomics for relaxing.

In the new bath design, wainscotting fills the wall two-thirds the way up, adding a strong vertical element. Painting the wall above the wainscotting and ceiling the same intense color simplifies the space and adds drama.

Fergus' shop offers a great selection of vintage furniture that has been brought up to date with paint and new hardware. A few router cuts and they are a new vanity.

Julie Fergus, American Home Gallery

49 Center Street, Wolfeboro Falls, (603) 569-8989

Art of the BathThe contemporary and hand-crafted vessel sinks from Indikoi Sinks are works of art. Potter David Pellerin makes each sink from start to finish at Indikoi's studio in Springfield. Every sink is hand-thrown by Pellerin, which compresses the clay and creates strong, durable results.

The sinks come in three different shapes: classic, flare and modern. Combine that with a variety of glazes and the possibilities are nearly endless. The top photo is a modern-style sink with a seafoam Ochiba glaze.

Making these works of art even more incredible is Indikoi's collaboration with local artist Steven Hayden. Hayden, a sculptor, woodworker and more, creates modern and beautiful vanities that are paired with Pellerin's sinks.

Indikoi Sinks, (603) 748.1440

Steven Hayden Arts, (603) 520-7299

Artisan FlatwareJoy Raskin is something of a multi-tasker. As a metalsmith and silversmith, she creates sculptures, jewelry and all manner of beautiful pieces of art from various types of metals - silver, brass, copper, nickle, gold and steel, to name a few.

In addition to her lovely work in jewelry and sculpture, Raskin also makes exquisite pieces that you're more likely to display in the kitchen than place on your mantel.

Raskin has a number of styles of flatware, pastry and salad servers, measuring spoons and other types of functional art.

"Jewelry can be so small in scale and I prefer to work in a slightly larger scale, so flatware was a perfect fit for me," says Raskin. "There is something so functional about flatware, and being a native N.H.-er and New Englander, I need a function for whatever I make."

Originally, says Raskin, her style was architectural and influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright and Art Deco. In the time since she moved out into the country, she adds, her style has begun to incorporate more fauna and flora designs with lots of textural leaf motifs.

Looking through Raskin's work, you'll also notice knitted wire ropes or tubes and woven wire details in her jewelry and some of the flatware handle details. "Metal can be so harsh and rigid and to transform metal into a flexible knitted tube or rope is so captivating to me," explains Raskin.

With Raskin's wide repertoire of metals you're bound to find something that fits your kitchen and personal style.

Joy Raskin

(603) 488-1301

Her work is also available in galleries throughout the state. Visit her website to see a list of galleries that carry her work.

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