Goose Pond is a 625-acre lake located in Grafton County in western New Hampshire. A secluded body of water with beautiful views, it offers a tranquil, peaceful location for homeowners and vacationers.
“We had been looking for the perfect spot to build for several years. We saw a home in South Carolina that had a lovely modern English-cottage feel, but we weren’t completely happy with the location,” explains Audrey Brown, owner of this 6,500-square-foot home. “When we came upon this lot on Goose Pond in Canaan, New Hampshire, we fell in love with it and the area. We knew that this was the right place to build our cottage.”
By Carolyn M. Runyon
The Browns wanted to capture that English-cottage style and designed the exterior with that in mind. When they started on the interior, they consulted Crown Point Cabinetry, a family-owned and operated business, handcrafting custom cabinetry since 1979, and located in Claremont, New Hampshire. “The Browns were very specific in their desires,” says Mark Wirta, then Sales Designer for Crown Point, and currently Sales Manager. “They wanted a functional kitchen with lots of space for their family to spend time together.”
Wirta created a kitchen design with an Early-American feel. “Our kitchens are 100 percent custom, so we were able to accomplish everything the Browns were looking to do,” he explains. “They wanted pine, which we stained an amber brown. Then we hand-brushed a pitch black milk paint over the stain giving the cabinetry a burnished, warm, worn feel.” The under stain gave the pine an aged wood look according to Wirta, so the cabinets took on the appearance of a lived-in, well-loved kitchen. A baked-on finish provided exceptional durability.
The 12-by-15-foot kitchen opens to a dining room and a living room. “Whenever someone is cooking, it seems like everybody ends up in the kitchen,” says Brown. “We wanted a gathering area for our children and grandchildren to socialize comfortably, so we left a generous space behind the island, between the kitchen and dining room.”
The cabinets create the impression of fine furniture with toe-kick detail and custom touches. There’s a paneled back to the island for a finished look. “The turnings that provide additional support for the Vermont Danby marble countertop, keep the island light and open looking,” adds Wirta. “In the butler’s pantry, the cabinet has divided panes of glass and therefore has the feel of a buffet rather than a kitchen cabinet.” Brushed stainless pulls blend with the stainless appliances.
Because the kitchen is open to the other rooms, the Browns were concerned that it look attractive from a variety of angles. “The 48-inch Wolf range and vent hood became a focal point from the living room, so we wanted that view to be particularly appealing,” says Brown. The professional vent hood is inserted into a custom-finished cabinet frame. There is a recessed rail with lighting in the cabinetry and the homeowners had a brick backsplash installed to reinforce that warm, welcoming home feel. Copper pots hang on a rack for an Old-World touch.
There’s no refrigerator in the main kitchen area by choice. “We have a large, deep refrigerator and felt it would be overpowering in the kitchen, so we tucked it discreetly in the butler’s pantry,” says Brown. “However, there are two drawer refrigerators in the island cabinet for easy access to milk, juice, and those things used most often.” The Kohler apron-front sink adds to the English-cottage ambience.
Crown Point Cabinetry delivers its products nationwide, as well as to the Bahamas and Canada. “Since we often do our designs long distance, we supply samples of working cabinet doors before we begin building the cabinets so the homeowners know exactly what they are getting,” explains Wirta. “Some customers, like the Browns, become intimately involved in the design. Others give us a general overview and then let us carry the ball. We work comfortably either way.” Brown absolutely loves her kitchen, and, for Mark Wirta, that’s what really matters.