Michele C. Hollow

Freelance Writer/Editor/Author/Marketing Expert


I am a regular contributor to Small Rooms Decorating and HGTV.com, former editor of Kitchen Portfolio, and ghost writer of a decorating book for a designer on the DIY Network.

The following article is from Kitchen Portfolio:

Kind of Blue         

Like the Miles Davis’ masterpiece, this kitchen has a melody that captures the imagination.

 A good piece of music inspires creativity.  The same can be said of cooking. All of the ingredients need to work together to perform to its audience’s liking.

“Everything about my kitchen flows so smoothly,” says homeowner Nancy Stone. “The placement of the appliances, the island, the cabinets, and the counters were all carefully planned.”

When she is not working, Stone spends a lot of time preparing meals in her newly renovated north Jersey kitchen. From making a few hundred cupcakes for a PTA (Parent Teacher’s Association) fundraiser to entertaining family and friends, baking and cooking are a creative outlet for Stone.

“It is such a beautiful space,” she says. “We entertain often. My husband has ten siblings; so we host a lot of family functions. The kitchen is an ideal spot for spending time with family and friends.”

The kitchen was completely remodeled and extended from the backyard. Walls were taken down and the space was opened up to flow into the dining room. “Everything in the kitchen—the appliances, cabinets, island, floor, plumbing, and electrical—were redone,” says Steven Meltzer, owner and designer at Abbey’s, a kitchen remodeling and design company based in Short Hills, NJ. “Nancy (Stone) wanted to be in a space surrounded by color. She didn’t want a monochromatic feel to the room. Instead we choose the blue and tan Marmoleum floor and warm earth tones. The blue is picked up throughout the room in the china and countertops.”

To further enhance the overall design of the room, Meltzer painted a border around the room where the cabinets meet the ceiling.

Stone also wanted natural products in her home. The countertops are granite and the floor is Marmoleum, which is made from linseed oil, wood flour, rosin, jute, and limestone. Available in a wide range of designs, Stone and Meltzer liked the retro feel this pattern brings to the room. “It’s a transitional space with a lot of warmth,” explains Meltzer. “It is also a very functional space.”

Stone requested an area for baking with a lot of space for laying out cookie sheets, a 48-inch range with a professional hood, separate sinks, a Miele dishwasher, Kitchenaide refrigerator, lots of light, and ample storage space for her many pots and pans. “The long neck faucet on the island was of special importance,” says Meltzer. “Nancy met her husband at college. They both worked in the kitchen at their university. The kitchen had this long neck faucet and that is where they both first glanced at each other. So that faucet evokes romantic memories of a first meeting. It is a nice reminder of how they met.”

Designing this space was a lot like putting a musical score together. For Stone and Meltzer, it was a lot of fun.