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Kitchen of the Week: English Country Charm in a NJ Suburb (Plus the Prettiest Pantry)

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Kitchen of the Week: English Country Charm in a NJ Suburb (Plus the Prettiest Pantry)

March 24, 2022

This house is on one of my running routes, the one reserved for the rare days when I’m feeling extra peppy. And every time I pass it, as I turtle-pace up the hill, I admire its front yard. Unlike most homes in my town of Maplewood, NJ (including mine), it has no water-guzzling lawn. In its stead is a crazy-quilt of plantings that looks far more interesting than the standard suburban swathe of grass.

Recently, I had a chance to peek inside the Craftsman, owned by photographer Danielle St. Laurent and comedian Paul Dinello (currently a writer for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)—and the interiors are just as special as the exterior. Warm, cozy, with ample dark wood moldings that are the hallmarks of this architectural style, their home is a compelling statement against minimalism: on nearly every surface is an intriguing object (or ten) that has a story behind it. “We’re not really designers. We’re more collectors,” says Danielle. “We’ll find little objects that we love and react to and we pile them on till it’s us.”

That was their M.O. for their recent kitchen remodel. They began with Shaker cabinets by deVOL—”they’re my Instagram porn,” says Danielle—which fit nicely into their tradition-with-a-twist aesthetic. “I wanted it to look cool but not trendy, and everything to have a human touch to it.” Then they filled it with artisan wares. Most pieces are either from John Derian, M. Crow, French pottery shop Le Fanion in Greenwich Village—or Amy Sedaris (their longtime friend and the godmother of their two boys), who has gifted them a fair share of hand-me-downs over the years. (Paul was the co-creator of At Home with Amy Sedaris.)

Both Danielle and Paul have strong opinions that aren’t always in sync, though, so they enlisted a professional, Hollie Velten, to help. “Hollie was able to find us options that we both loved. She is very good at seeing the big picture, and that was beyond our skill set.” (Scroll down to see Hollie’s design magic, mixing patterns and colors, in the dining room and pantry.)

Below, a tour of the couple’s favorite room, artfully appointed with some of their favorite things.

Photography by Danielle St. Laurent.

danielle and paul wanted a european feel for the kitchen. to go with devol& 9
Above: Danielle and Paul wanted a European feel for the kitchen. To go with deVOL’s English cabinetry, they selected a Lacanche stove. Hanging above it are Paul’s collection of copper Mauviel pans. The backsplash is made up of zellige tiles from Clé in sea salt.
when the couple moved in five years ago, the kitchen had a lot of tile and dark 10
Above: When the couple moved in five years ago, the kitchen had a lot of tile and dark cherry wood cabinets; Paul describes it as “70s colonial in an arts and crafts house.” The new Shaker cabinetry, in mushroom, better suits the Craftsman home. An Original BTC pendant light hangs over a table and benches by Black Creek Mercantile & Trading; the chairs are from Moon River & Co.
the open shelves are a gathering place for the couple&#8\2\17;s favorite th 11
Above: The open shelves are a gathering place for the couple’s favorite things—among them, a clutch of faux flowers in a yellow pitcher, both from the set of At Home with Amy Sedaris, and a hand broom from Sunhouse Craft. The brown pottery that holds wooden spoons is from Le Fanion.
a painting of clementines by their friend max eisenstein hangs just above a tab 12
Above: A painting of clementines by their friend Max Eisenstein hangs just above a table lamp by BDDW, a Christmas gift from Sedaris. To the left is a peek at the “Wychwood Provencal Yellow” wallpaper in the dining area, from the Kit Kemp Collection at Andrew Martin.
dishwashing with a view of the backyard. 13
Above: Dishwashing with a view of the backyard.
more cherished objects: a single sconce from edison light globes hovers over a  14
Above: More cherished objects: A single sconce from Edison Light Globes hovers over a John Derian plate. On the counter is a Sicilian splatterware bowl from Baker Street Market in Maplewood.
in the cabinet is a collection of coffee cups—no two the same, all handm 15
Above: In the cabinet is a collection of coffee cups—no two the same, all handmade. To the left is the butler’s pantry and just beyond is the formal dining room.
in the pantry, hollie paired a checkerboard backsplash of clé tiles, in te 16
Above: In the pantry, Hollie paired a checkerboard backsplash of Clé tiles, in teal blue and weathered white, with Hamilton Weston “Archway House” wallpaper. On the windowsill are jars of honey harvested from Danielle and Paul’s backyard beehive. “We foster a beehive. A guy from [nearby town] Montclair comes and educates us on bees and manages it all for us.”
the view from the formal dining room, lined with &#8\2\20;bat and poppy& 17
Above: The view from the formal dining room, lined with “Bat and Poppy” wallpaper by Trustworth Studios, into the pantry. Despite the disparate patterns, the room-to-room transitions work brilliantly.

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