N.J. home makeover: How to turn an unused dining room into an inviting space

White is among the most popular choices for kitchens, evoking ideals of cleanliness and sensibility. But walls full of white cabinetry and white countertops could result in a sterile kitchen that lacks warmth. For architect Aparna Vijayan of the Ridgewood design-build firm Ulrich, the answer was to complement the white in one open-floor-plan kitchen and dining area with skillful lighting, rich wood tones and luxurious detailing in pale blues and grays. Polished nickel hardware adds shine. “It doesn’t feel cold at all because we have so many different textures,” she said. The taste of the young Glen Rock owners ran from modern to transitional for their 1930s home. “They rarely used the formal dining room, so they wanted a little more of an open flow,” Vijayan said. “I took the wall down between the dining room and the kitchen and redid the whole back wall.” That wall is now mostly glass, opening to a backyard deck through 9-foot, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors with sidelights. To the right of the doors, a bar area was installed. Its sink is set in a countertop of dark wenge wood with a Sub-Zero brand wine cooler below.


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