Bedford condo shows high style in a smaller space

Union Leader Correspondent |
May 20. 2013 4:59PM

The newly remodeled kitchen in Leanne and Peter Gould's Bedford condominium will be one of the eight stops on the ninth Annual Palace Theatre Kitchen Tour on Sunday, June 2. (NANCY BEAN FOSTER PHOTO)

BEDFORD -- While sacrificing space when downsizing from a large home last year, Leanne and Peter Gould didn't want to sacrifice style, so they sought the help of interior designer Leslie Rifkin and home stager Emily Shakra.

The Goulds have lived in Bedford for more than a decade. With their children nearly grown, they decided to downsize. While looking for a smaller place, they found a condominium that fit their needs but didn't quite reflect their style. So the couple called upon Rifkin and Shakra, the wife of their real estate agent Nick Shakra, to come in and work their magic.

A wall that had turned the kitchen into a small space was removed with the help of contractor Keith Adamyk of Hollis Construction, said Leanne Gould, creating a wide open area that accommodates the kitchen, dining room and living room.

The kitchen was designed with family in mind, said Gould. A large center island and a few unique features allow everyone to be part of what's happening in the kitchen without getting in the way. There are two stainless steel sinks — one between the stove and refrigerator, and the other in front of a bay window near the dishwasher — which allow the family to be multitasking without bumping into each other.

"There's also just something about a sink in front of a bay window that I love," said Leanne Gould.

And while there's a full-sized stainless refrigerator on one side of the room, there's a small beverage cooler beneath the counter on the other side of the room so the kids can grab drinks and go.

Two different surfaces were used for countertops to provide contrast. Around the perimeter of the kitchen is granite finished to look like antique leather, while the island counters are Marinace granite that brings to mind the rocky New England coastline.

"It's quite a conversation piece," Gould said of the granite. "You see something different every time you look at it."

There are two standout appliances in the Gould's kitchen that reflect the trends Rifkin and Shakra are seeing in kitchen design: an induction stovetop, and a drawer microwave built into the island.

"Induction stovetops are super fast," said Rifkin. "You can boil a pot of water in no time at all and it cools down instantly. Induction stoves are definitely starting to replace gas stoves."

And Shakra said the microwave, which slides out like a drawer, allows homeowners to make use of otherwise neglected spaces in a kitchen.
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