Irish Country Kitchen
Kurt Sauser has caused a lot of distress in his designing career, but it’s all for a good cause. Kurt works for Designer Kitchens & Baths Inc. in Deerfield, Ill., and says prudent distressing is the key to pulling together a design that includes modern materials and authentic aged pieces, such as the 160-year-old hutch he worked with in a country kitchen design.
The hutch and an oversized farm table came from Ireland, just like his recently relocated clients, who wanted to use the pieces to create an Old World irish country kitchen. Kurt gave the rest of the room the same centuries-old European manor feel with distressed limestone-tile floors and cabinets, but still managed to include modern amenities like Sub-Zero all-refrigerator and all-freezer units faced with distressed pine doors.
Kurt says he’s partial to old pieces and architectural salvage in kitchen design, even in his own home. He offers these tips for people who want a traditional irish country kitchen design that will still let you cook like a modern master:
“This distressed limestone tile is a modified version of a pattern you might have found in a European manor 120 to 130 years ago; it’s not precisely the same, but it’s in the general spirit of that time frame,” he says. “Tumbled limestone tile has a lot of natural variation and when it’s distressed it’s more forgiving than clean-honed tile. Limestone is more porous than a lot of stone tiles and as the sealer wears off the spots and cracks will look much like the crevices that are already there.”
Choose reputable reproductions: “The hutch and the table in this design are authentic period pieces, but the rest of the pine in the kitchen only looks Old World — it was all made to order. Lots of manufacturers will do distressed looks for you, but you want to closely evaluate the techniques they use to create the reproduction. Every door should not look the same or have the same distress marks in the same places. If you’re using a vintage piece from a specific period in the same design, look carefully to see how beat up it is and in what way. You’ll want the new pieces to have distress details that would be appropriate to that same era.”
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