Connecticut Cottages & Gardens
Innovations in Designs Awards
Country Kitchen

Niebuhrs Corp
Fine Custom Carpentry
145 Weaver Street
Greenwich, CT  06831
203 761-9192

Circa 1900 Barn

This home, nestled among many others registered with the Wilton Historic Society, began life as a barn for the 1830s era colonial next door. 


Heart of the Home

Each feature in this kitchen renovation was designed to keep true with the original architecture of the barn while incorporating the many conveniences desired in a modern kitchen.

Blending in Conveniences

It was very important to the owner for this space to serve as an entertainment area without sacrificing on the great many amenities found in kitchens today.  The goal was to have all the abundant features of an upper end kitchen without having any item dominate the landscape.  "The garbage can should not be jumping out at you and the dishwasher can't be screaming 'I am over here'" was how the design consultation began.

The center island with granite countertop shows how a sink, dishwasher, trash compactor and recycling center can be melded into custom built cabinetry.  In keeping with New England frugality, the glass on the wall cabinets were recycled from antique windows and hanging over the sink is an outside light salvaged from a previous job.

This cabinetry brings the wine rack, coffeemaker, refrigerator and cook center into a seamless view.  The unbroken line of the granite countertop minimizes the visual impact of a Wolf oven.  The dark color of the granite was chosen to blend with the black glass of the Wolf cook top.  The GE Advantium maximizes use of space as microwave, second oven and exhaust fan. 

The oversized bay window filled the desire to open the back garden up to the kitchen and further serves to fill the room with natural light.


Combining Rooms

The center island was stepped into the dining room with a wall cabinet that is half china closet half pantry.  This transition area successfully ties in the dining room and also provides much more space to the kitchen.  A wood burning soapstone stove was inserted into the cobble stoned fireplace and is often found warming winter evenings while offsetting rising oil bills.  When the conversation of what to put on the floor arose, the owner said "I have two dogs that spend their days coming and going from the fenced in yard.  So what do you have in the color of dirt?"

Maximizing Space

One of the design goals was to find a place for everything in the kitchen.  As most owners of antiques homes have come to realize, space comes at a premium.  The basements and attics are frequently unusable so every square inch of living space gets evaluated for storage.


This thought carries through to the space under stairs leading to the master bedroom.  The staircase, banister and rails were all custom built to match the cabinets.


The area under the bay window is a row of deep drawers.  This one, most favored by the Labs, is lined in copper for storage of dog food.


All cabinet shelves are on rails and extend 100% to bring the back of the shelf fully in reach.  The recycling center slides out to expose three wide bins for glass, plastic and cans.  The fully extending upper shelf stores magazine and newspapers. 

Unique Features

Custom designed cabinetry hides appliances while keeping them in convenient locations.


This wall cabinet contains a router that supplies wireless connection to the Internet plus two LAN ports wired into the bay window.  The Audiovox 9" LCD TV flips up and out of view when not in use.  This appliance is also the console for a DVD and AM/FM radio with the speakers wired into the ceiling.

A hidden panel keeps chef knives and hot plate tucked away.

The broken edge on samples picked out of dumpster at the granite showrooms led to the idea of this rough chiseled edge found on the granite countertops.

Before shots

1830 colonial with this barn just visible behind and to the left in this turn of the century photograph


Kitchen designed and built by Paul Niebuhr in 2003

Appliances by Albano Appliances of Scotts Corners, NY

Soapstone Woodstove by Yankee Doodle Stove of Georgetown, CT

Granite Countertop by Casatelli Marble & Tile Imports of Norwalk, CT

Ceramic floor tile by Rye Ridge Tile of Port Chester, NY

Cabinet wood by Aged Woods of Chambersburg, PA

Cobblestone Fireplace by Mannie Perez of Danbury, CT

More pictures can be found at

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