A Repurposed Kitchen

December 16, 2020

A thoughtful kitchen renovation cleverly connects past and present.

Text by Lisa H. Speidel     Photography by Jane Beiles

When your youngest son is relegated to sleeping in a closet and both boys crave a backyard to run around in, it might just be time to trade the city for the suburbs. The 1920s Tudor the family found in West Hartford had the space they sought and the character they loved. A little tweaking would bring the three-story home to perfection.

Like downsizing, upsizing brings its own set of challenges, as the owner can attest: “We had only lived in one- and two-bedroom apartments until we lived in this house,” she says. “That’s why we needed Georgia. We had no furniture.”

Georgia, the namesake of West Hartford-based Georgia Zikas Design, is who the owners tapped to execute a whole-house reno that was family friendly at its core. As with any modern-day update, the kitchen area was key. “Because the kitchen was quite new, it pained us to tear it out,” says the owner. “So we were insistent on repurposing.”

To minimize what was destined for the landfill, Zikas reused the Carrera marble from the original kitchen island, transforming it into the living room hearth and surround. “It wasn’t cheaper because we still had to fabricate it,” she says. “It was really about upcycling, in an effort not to be wasteful.” Likewise, they saved the handmade tiles and the fumed oak floor. “They didn’t want to replace life’s scars; that was a theme throughout,” says Zikas—“not erasing the past.”

The showstopping new island is “Frankensteined,” as Zikas calls it, completely from old cabinets. It meshes seamlessly with the family’s midcentury-modern aesthetic and the overarching premise of merging old and new.

And speaking of new, both boys now have their own spacious rooms. One even has a desktop made from
a reclaimed walnut countertop. Behold, his first lesson in upcycling.

Project Team 
Interior design: Georgia Zikas, Georgia Zikas Design, georgiazikasdesign.com
Builder: Jason E. Levesque Construction, jelbuild.com