Vibrant retro theme kitchen showcases a red gingham ceiling and the owner’s collections.
When the dynamic hand of New York’s Diamond Baratta (now Anthony Baratta as William Diamond has retired) goes to work in a house expect knockout color, exceptional pattern and amazing attention to detail. All those elements are present in this nostalgic Connecticut kitchen with a red gingham ceiling. This kitchen plays off 1940s and early 50s red and the typical fruit motifs such as watermelons, cherries and strawberries. Bunnies and roosters are mixed in. It’s sweet and so much fun it makes formal white kitchens feel pretentious.
I love the idea of a high-end kitchen that makes you chuckle without being the least bit of a joke. Conceptually, though, this one’s a sandwich with red-gingham tablecloth pattern on the ceiling and on the floor a quilt-look diamond-pattern stenciled with fruit motifs on Diamond Baratta’s signature pale blue ground — the same hue used for the background of the tole pendant light. Yes, it’s red, white and blue but without becoming flag-y.
The filling in between is something to chew on. Strawberry-red lavastone counters are so intense they make red knobs on the big Wolf range look dull. There’s more fruit in the basket of the blue-and-white Delft-tile range guard medallion, too. A pair of islands [top] each house sinks with gooseneck bridge faucets (my best guess is Barber Wilson’s) with space for seating, too.
Other details include lighted soffit cabinets with stained glass doors, over-door display shelves, tole pendants and the owner’s assorted collections that include majolica, stock spatter rabbitware places (early 20th century English ceramics depicting frolicking rabbits), antique copper pots, and vintage signs.
If you appreciate this kitchen as much as I do, you may enjoy seeing the rest of the house. A full tour can be found on the Quintessence blog, hosted by an unnamed blogger (so unfortunately it’s impossible to know who to thank — sister, come out!) as part of a post entitled “Living with Color in Connecticut.” Indeed.
For more by Diamond Baratta see Turquoise Harlequin Kitchen and Designer Log Cabin.
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Thank you so much for including my photographs and feature on this fabulous Diamond Baratta house in Connecticut. – Q.
Yes, it certainly makes a statement! I had seen it on Quintessence and commented on the house there. It’s fun…but I just think it would tire after a short time. Those red counters are really something: just hope they don’t scratch! And actually, my favorite part is the antique drop-leaf table…
Jane F says
Thank you again Ms. Q! And thanks for stopping by.
Thing about lavastone counters, Libby, is that they are bulletproof. Mick DeGiulio used them in the Wolf showroom in NYC. For what they cost they need to be.
Do think the house must be seen — it’s a hoot.
Tricia Rose says
It is certainly vital … yes! I like it! I’d be samba-ing into the kitchen every day, and imagine how different Martha would be if she cooked here!
This is certainly a ‘go big or go home,’ ‘all or nothing’ type of decor!
I immediately fell in love with the floor, but wasn’t sure about the ceiling. As I went through the pics, though, and saw all the details, I warmed to the ceiling as a big piece of the puzzle.
Even though I’d prefer one-level, I love the twin islands.
Haven’t checked out the rest of the house yet, but I sure plan to.
What a fun and happy space! I couldn’t live there, but I could definitely visit often and snack on the fresh from the oven treats that would be sure to be always present. I can see armies of grandchildren rimming those twin islands. Love it! Thanks for sharing.
I love it! So “not boring”!
Simply Grand says
I’ve never thought much of that old cliche about the heart of the house being the kitchen or, worse, that all good parties end up there, but this beauty could make a believer out of me. Hell, it doesn’t even need people–it’s got its own party going on.
Renee at Canyon Creek says
Wow, there’s nothing shy about this design! Great details in the cabinetry, with the stacked crown moldings and the varied depths–and that shelf above the door is a great little display nook…