A Spacious and Gracious Kitchen in North Andover

Kitchen with dining table and island with antique french stools
In addition to the dining table, there is seating on antique French stools at the island.

It is the details that make this kitchen welcoming, handsome, and functional.

Sandra Sigman’s house did not come with its current kitchen, not by a long shot. The founder and prime persona behind Les Fleurs in Andover, Massachusetts, Sigman knows design, and the first thing she realized when she and husband Scott, an orthopedic surgeon, were scoping out the North Andover lakefront property they would eventually purchase was the potential to bring a whole lot of luminosity into the less-than-bright interior. In one of those “trust me” moments, she shared her vision of an open, sun-filled kitchen/dining space.

The existing kitchen had a stenciled wall around small arched windows, dark wood cabinetry, and shiny black granite countertops. By blowing out a wall and expanding the windows, Sigman gave the room full access to incoming sunbeams. Custom cabinets from Crown Point in Claremont, New Hampshire and an off-white palette keep things cozy, yet clean looking. A dark floor, finished with a mix of black porch paint and low-luster ebony stain, keeps things grounded. The room never feels cramped, even when it’s Lounge Central for the couple’s five boys and Obie, the family’s Cavachon (a designer breed born when a Cavalier King Charles spaniel eloped with a bichon frise).

Sandra Sigman and her Cavachon, Obie
Sigman and Obie, the family’s Cavachon, stand on the ebony-stained wood floor. Skylights overhead offer ample natural light.
Food prep island holds floral arrangements and mini potted ferns
Close to the stove, a food prep island, one of two, holds one of Sandra Sigman’s floral arrangements.

Hands down, the workhorse award goes to the granite-topped island. Its dimensions, a luxurious 10 feet long by 3 feet wide, were dictated by the largest slab of granite Sigman could procure. “The island acts as a landing place when the hockey team stages a pizza party, and then it operates as the buffet table for family gatherings,” says Sigman. Additionally, the island serves as the go-to workstation where she composes flower arrangements for the house from snippets brought home from her shop.

“The island acts as a landing place when the hockey team stages a pizza party, and then it operates as the buffet table for family gatherings,” says Sigman.

Still, it is the details that make the kitchen so successful for this family. The sink is extra deep to accommodate vases and watering cans, with a wand that extends the reach of the faucet. A second sink keeps the space from suffering too-many-chefs syndrome when Scott is whipping up his famous beef stew while Sandra is in the throes of making homemade spaghetti. More critically, the walk-in pantry stores ingredients behind oversize glass doors accented by pencil-line black trim that give the storage area a sense of openness with a French accent.

Rolling pins between Myrtle topiary and ferns
Generous windows allow Sigman to grow myrtle topiary and ferns beside the sink.
Wicker Chargers, dried olive branches, and mini-potted ferns.
The table is set with wicker chargers, dried olive branches, and mini-potted ferns.

Indeed, the French motif is found throughout. Once a professional figure skater, Sigman spent 18 months performing with a troupe in Paris, and the experience flavored the rest of her life. Although she learned the basics of design from her florist mother, frequenting Parisian flower shops enhanced her style. Her flower shop still benefits from her frequent tours and buying trips to France, where she snags antique breadboards, bottle dryers, stoneware, faux bois, antique baskets, and French condiments that also make their way into her kitchen.

Mugs hang on a French antique bottle dryer behind scones and honey.
Mugs hang on a French antique bottle dryer.

Sunday dinners have the family congregating around the gracious dining table. When guests are added, there is plenty of space in the house for them to sprawl around, but they all gravitate toward the warm, radiant kitchen. “It’s so peaceful here,” Sigman says. Renovating the room truly was a bright idea.

© 2020 Coastal Design.