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A dark and drab kitchen in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts, was in need of a refresher, and designer Kathy Marshall took her inspiration from the home’s cheery ocean-side setting. “The homeowners wanted something really fresh,” Marshall says, “more modern pieces and bold graphics.” In addition to the cosmetic overhaul, the kitchen area was opened up by ripping out the railing system separating it from the living area and creating a cozy banquette for meals and hanging out.


Manchester by the Sea 1: Michael J. Lee, original photo on Houzz


Photos by Michael J. Lee


Kitchen at a Glance

Who lives here: A family of five

Location: Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts

Size: 390 square feet (36.23 square meters)

Designer: Kathy Marshall of K. Marshall Design


New Shaker-style cabinetry fabricated by Dutch Made was painted in a crisp white and accessorized with glass knobs and pulls. For the backsplash, glass tiles by Ann Sacks were arranged in a dynamic herringbone pattern that was even incorporated into the backs of the cabinets. “At nighttime, when you turn on the lights it has a great shimmer to it,” designer Kathy Marshall says.

For the family-friendly space, Cirrus Quartz from Viatera was chosen for the countertops because of its bulletproof durability and marble-like appearance. Bold accessories like green Herman Miller shell bar stools and blue glass pendant lights add modern, playful touches.

Above the 48-inch Wolf range, Marshall designed a custom wood oven hood using glazed quarter-sawn oak. “I wanted the hood to take center stage,” she says. “I loved the balance of the white with the wood. The wood looks as if it washed up onshore.”


Manchester by the Sea 2: Michael J. Lee, original photo on Houzz


Cabinets painted in Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue were set off by an accent wall covered in a wallpaper embellished with an indigo hand-blocked leaf motif by Galbraith & Paul. “I wanted something grounding on the back wall, and I liked the idea of blue,” says Marshall, who drew her color scheme inspiration from the home’s ocean-side setting.

A beautiful blue bar area is flanked by a wine refrigerator and refrigeration drawers along with a pantry for food storage.

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Manchester by the Sea 3: Michael J. Lee, original photo on Houzz


The throughway from the kitchen to the living area was opened up by removing a railing system. Next to the pantry, Marshall had the builder create a message board and storage cabinet tucked in the wall. Throughout the home, the original red oak flooring was given a beachy driftwood finish with a new custom glaze.


Manchester by the Sea 4: Michael J. Lee, original photo on Houzz


Dutch Made, the company that made the kitchen cabinetry, crafted the breakfast table and banquette out of the same oak as the oven hood. Underneath the bench there’s plenty of storage to tuck away the kids’ arts and crafts materials. Shiplap replaced the old railing system that divided the kitchen from the living area.

A blue glass pendant light fixture, which also is found in the kitchen, provides a nautical look. The oak banquette is topped with Indigo patterned throw pillows and seat cushions from Serena & Lily. And the custom oak tulip table is paired with white Herman Miller Shell chairs.


Manchester by the Sea 5: Michael J. Lee, original photo on Houzz


Cooking storage was well planned with a tiered spice rack drawer tucked next to the oven for easy access to spices and herbs while preparing meals.

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Manchester by the Sea 6: Michael J. Lee, original photo on Houzz


On the other side of the oven, cutting boards and oven mitts are kept conveniently in a tall narrow drawer.