Working with Kate Jackson Interior Design of Pawtucket, Rhode
Island, Pitoniak and Barber were confident they could, without much
major renovation, incorporate old and new furnishings into the interior
spaces. The problem was the kitchen. A previous owner had moved it
from the servants’ area in the northern wing of the house into a sun-
room overlooking the river. “The view was lovely, but the space didn’t
make sense for a kitchen,” says Goff. “It was tiny and unworkable, with
the refrigerator across a hallway.”
Goff suggested returning the kitchen to its former location, a
14-by-16-foot space flanked by windowed walls facing east and west.
That way, “we could take advantage of two existing pantries with orig-
inal cabinetry and countertops, and also create ample space for cook-
ing and gathering,” says Goff.
Inspired by the 1916-style elements found throughout the house,
Goff designed new base cabinets in an old-fashioned slotted-door style
along one wall. Continuing the classic look, white Vermont Danby marble was chosen for countertops. But what really brings historic charm
to the room is the vintage six-burner Chambers stove, which Goff and
her clients decided to salvage from the old kitchen, and the original
bisque glazed brick wall behind it. “Some of the brick was damaged,
and this presented a challenge because it was impossible to replace,”
says Goff. Her solution: Take pieces from the very top of the wall to
repair the main section and then hide the foraging by adding a hand-forged steel ledge, a convincing detail that looks as though it has always
been there. Other walls in the kitchen are finished with horizontal barn-board, evoking the rural surroundings.
Along the west-facing wall of windows, Goff designed a built-in
banquette with graceful slender legs that mimic those on the benches
found in the galleries. Near the banquette is a table that the homeown-
ers brought from their previous house. Made from old Quebec floor-
boards, the table was square, but builder Ed Lacross of Foster, Rhode
Island, who did the renovation, refashioned it into a long rectangle that
perfectly fits the space.
Both pantries were refurbished, keeping such historical details as
oak countertops in the larder and upper glass cabinets in the butler’s
pantry. The makeshift kitchen, with its original herring-
bone brick floor and newly installed French doors and
windows, was transformed into a sunroom. The space
takes advantage of the west-facing view toward the
stream. Goff utilized an awkward passageway between
the sunroom and kitchen by creating a built-in desk and message cen-
ter and a series of storage closets. In the dining room, she added French
doors to enhance the east-facing view toward the fields.
Fully occupying the house as work and living space, the home-
owners turned an old servants’ dining room into Pitoniak’s office and
the third-floor space into Barber’s weaving studio. Out in the gardens,
they are restoring stonework elements, and Pitoniak tends to the fields
using an old tractor from his family’s Massachusetts dairy farm. They
have truly come home.
set on rolling hills in rural Rhode Island, the farmhouse is quintessential
New England in its simplicity. The idyllic scene is enhanced by the addition of a
small kitchen garden and grapevine arbor. “The more I experienced this
gracious house,” says Goff, “the greater respect I had for Mr. Peter Jackson,”
referring to the principal of the Providence architectural firm Jackson,
Robertson & Adams, who designed the house in 1916.