A Moody, Azure Kitchen in Brighton

Dusky shades up the cool factor in this cozy space, designed by Karen Swanson of New England Design Works.

BlueStar Kitchen in Boston Magazine

After the owner of this Brighton home finally grew weary of her 118-square-foot kitchen’s old appliances and deteriorating cabinets, she reached out to Karen Swanson of New England Design Works for help. The homeowner’s vision? “A kitchen that was more interesting and cool than ‘cute,’” the resident explains. That meant a moody space that would draw inspiration from both the stained-glass windows in the adjacent dining room and the rich hue of the stained gum and pine woodwork incorporated throughout the home. “A lot of people like white kitchens with white subway tile, but that was never going to be her,” Swanson says. “All of the areas in her home are [full of] dark corners with a really warm, cozy feel.”

The designer began the overhaul by installing Jet Mist honed-granite countertops, which she chose for their dusky shade and low-maintenance quality. Then, to prevent the space from appearing dismal, she offset the darker tone with a matte ceramic-tile backsplash and maple cabinetry coated in “Light Blue” from Farrow & Ball, which echoes the blue hues in the nearby stained-glass windows. The azure array continues with a patterned Nina Campbell wallcovering from Osborne & Little and swiveling velvet-upholstered barstools from West Elm at the center island, which is coated in Farrow & Ball’s “Down Pipe” and topped with an L-shaped piece of walnut wood that frames the granite top. “It all kind of works together,” Swanson says.

BlueStar Kitchen in Boston Magazine


Cabinetry New England Custom Cabinetry
Contractor Nick Portnoy Builders
Interior Designer New England Design Works
Stained Glass Jim Anderson Stained Glass