For some, home is defined by a place; for others, a person. For homeowners Antigone and Sam Petroff, their home is defined by both.
Antigone grew up in a 1922 Colonial Revival with her parents and two siblings. After she and Sam were married, the couple had the opportunity to purchase her childhood home once her parents decided to downsize. Over the course of the 30-plus years they’ve lived in their home, the two have celebrated a number of milestones. Now, the Petroffs are tackling their next adventure: a total revamp of their classic kitchen to introduce modern conveniences.
A full kitchen remodel wasn’t the original plan. Thirty years ago, the couple pulled up old, linoleum flooring and found soft pine underneath which they had refinished. Now, three decades later, the pine could not be refinished again and they needed to replace the floors.
“The more we talked about what to change, the bigger our ideas grew,” shares Antigone. “By the time we were done brainstorming, new floors meant a whole new kitchen.”
Luckily for the Petroffs, Vicki Waker, of Cabinet Creations, was ready to bring all their ideas to life. The Dayton-based specialist sat down with the couple to nail down exactly what they wanted, which was a way to keep the integrity of their kitchen but still update it to offer the convenience they needed in their day-to-day lives.
“One of our challenges early on was figuring out how to make the best use of the space,” Waker explains. “We wanted to make sure every inch of the kitchen worked for Antigone and Sam and served a purpose.”
So, they set forth in outlining ways for the Petroff family to best use their kitchen space. Between the couple’s three grown children and grandchildren, the need for organized chaos was a top priority. “We are lucky enough to have a tight family group,” Antigone says. “On Christmas and Easter we gather 40 without blinking an eye.”
“When people come over, they gather in the kitchen,” Antigone says with a laugh. “And with that many bodies to think about, it was important that we have a layout that we can use no matter how many people are inside.” With plenty of counter space, seating, and walkways, it’s clear that Antigone and Sam can continue the open atmosphere and family-focused traditions they have come to love over the years.
The custom cabinetry installed throughout the kitchen allowed Antigone to give each drawer a purpose. “I love every single drawer in this kitchen because it was planned with so much thought. I’ve lived in this kitchen for over thirty years, so I know my routine and I know what I need,” Antigone gushes. “Some of the best parts of our kitchen are the things you don’t see.”
The things you don’t see: a custom gift-wrapping drawer. The 48-inch drawer was specially made by fusing two drawers together in the buffet. It serves as a storage container for her endless collection of gift wrap and ribbons. The storage next to the kitchen island makes for the perfect in-house gift-wrapping station.
Sam has a hidden drawer of his own, this one dubbed the media drawer. “[Sam’s drawer] is his catch-all drawer,” Antigone shares. “It has multiple outlets and USB ports included so all of his things—phone, laptop, keys, and other electronics—have a place to live. It’s so convenient for both of us.”
One of the best ways to keep the kitchen feeling familiar was to utilize what was already there.
“My parents put in the beams, so they’ve always been there,” says Antigone. “One of them is structural and the other decorative, but they add a lot to the kitchen.” The worn flooring gave way to new wood flooring, which matched the Iroko Wood island countertop and wooden beams on the ceiling almost perfectly.
With the wooden touches already in place, the next question was determining how to compliment them. The answer: play up the natural, earthy colors. With a spacious sage green island and floral wallpaper, adding to the view out the large kitchen window, the team has created a relaxing, inviting space.
But don’t let the idea of dark wood fool you; the bright white cabinets offer a unique juxtaposition to the kitchen and provides a modern twist. “We wanted to create an atmosphere that felt new and welcomed people into the kitchen, but also made sure the kitchen didn’t feel separate from the rest of the home,” Waker says. “The color combinations were very intentional.”
Carefully crafted collections
The rest of the kitchen is filled with pottery and special collections that speak to Antigone and Sam’s unique tastes. From beautiful 20th century McCoy pottery to mid-century modern barware, there is no shortage of eye-catching pieces to look at.
But one of their favorite collections is one their families have helped them curate over the years: Briki, or Greek coffee pots. “This collection is special to us because it grew straight out of the kitchens of our parents and grandparents,” Antigone explains. “It’s a great way for us to celebrate our European heritage and celebrate our families.”
A home to grow in
A total kitchen overhaul is no simple task and can become even more daunting given the years and memories Antigone and Sam have established in their home. But, between their vision and Waker’s keen eye, the result is one the Petroffs can continue to enjoy for years to come.
“I love being in my kitchen,” says Antigone. “It’s full of memories—I can see the family I grew up with and the family Sam and I have together. It’s all exactly ours.”
Designer Vicki Waker, Cabinet Creations; Contractor Countryside Builders; Cabinetry Hampshire; Flooring Custom milled white oak to match rest of house; Countertops Perimeter in Crystalize quartzite; Island in Iroko Wood from Café Countertops; Countertop fabricator Konkus Marble & Granite; Backsplash Otter from Sonoma Tilemakers; Sink Blanco; Faucets Delta; Appliances Thermador dishwasher and range; Sub-Zero refrigerator; Custom Distributors, Inc.; Wallcovering Thibaut, Luken Interiors; Lighting Darlana Lantern over island; Pimlico Double Swing Arm sconces; from Circa Lighting
Article by Sydne Santo | Photos by Dawn M. Smith
Article originally appeared in March 2022