A Great Day at the Wellesley Kitchen Tour

Thanks to the Wellesley Hills Junior Women’s Club for including one of our projects on this year’s Wellesley Kitchen Tour!

This popular annual event showcases six beautiful local homes and their kitchens every year. This time the WHJWC raised $45,000 in a span of four hours – and every penny will go back to the community.

The event takes a nearly year to plan and is professionally run by dedicated volunteers. The Haddad Hakansson team enjoyed getting to know them through this process.

We also had fun meeting and greeting the Tour goers, and a couple of us even got to check out the other beautiful homes.

IMG_3701 3

We appreciate our wonderful clients for opening their home to this event. And thanks to Brody for letting us show off his custom dog dishes to a bunch of strangers. We know he was happy to get them back!


Project Reveal: A Ranch Kitchen Transformation

Some of the most challenging – and rewarding! – projects are those that require us to incorporate an unusual feature into an entirely new design.

That was the case with this ranch house, whose dominant ceiling treatment demanded an equally bold kitchen design.

“Thirty years ago the house was renovated, with exposed beams, a wood ceiling and skylights to enhance the space,” Mark Haddad said. “The current owners loved the space and hated the kitchen.”

It was drab, dark and had seen better days:



The homeowners wanted modern, crisp and bright – but those beams, the ceiling and skylights needed to stay.

The result is one of the more eclectic kitchens we’ve created, with dramatic granite, a hefty center island, an eye-catching tile backsplash and a towering faucet/spray system that looks almost sculptural.

There is lots to look at in this space, yet it is clean and filled with light.

IMG_3823Before we could figure out how best to balance the elements in the room, the space needed to be reorganized. The old kitchen had an awkward peninsula and poor traffic flow.

Adding the island and creating an additional entrance closer to the breakfast area diverted foot traffic away from the work triangle.

The island was designed to echo the ceiling treatment, with substantial legs and a finish that closely matches the existing wood and beams. The finish is nutmeg stain on oak from Cookshire Cabinetry.

From there, the homeowner chose a custom buttery yellow finish for the perimeter cabinets, and a bold granite called Mascarello. The 36-inch professional style range is by Bertazzoni, the refrigerator with bottom freezer is by Miele and the space-saving microwave drawer in the island is by Sharp. On the walls, Benjamin Moore’s Fairview Taupe HC-85 ties all the elements together.

Looking for the dishwasher? It’s by Miele and is hidden behind a panel to the left of the sink.

IMG_3819At the sink area, which was designed around an existing porthole window, the Waterstone Gantry faucet is a beautiful (and super functional) focal point when paired with the Franke farmhouse sink.

Across the room in previously underused spaces are a tall pantry for food and storage, and a small but elegant hutch featuring a built-in beverage/wine cooler and glass fronted cabinetry.


It’s a far cry from the rolltop desk that used to live in this corner!


Haddad Hakansson Project Featured in New Issue of MACO Caribbean Living

STT_1_Through Shot

This beautiful remake of a 1960s villa on St. Thomas is highlighted in the June issue of island lifestyle magazine MACO Caribbean Living.

The article by freelance travel writer Andrea Milam, called “The Virgin House,” tells the story of the home’s history, why it fell into disrepair and how it was revived two years ago in what Milam called a “brilliant” full restoration.

Read the full article – featuring photographs by Don Hebert – by clicking on the magazine cover below:

Screen Shot 2013-07-06 at 2.24.50 PM

Haddad Hakansson and the homeowner collaborated with a team of contractors to rescue the villa, built more than 50 years ago by the homeowner’s parents on nearly 5 acres overlooking the iconic Magens Bay.

Magens Bay

Magens Bay

Once drab and weathered, the villa now sports an unforgettable color scheme, cool and clean marble floors and a bright, open feel.

The home’s vibrant palette was inspired by artist Don Dahlke, a favorite of the homeowner who is known for his masterful use of color in painting Caribbean window views. Dahlke himself visited the home and mocked up several color schemes; Kurt Hakansson and the owner settled on a blue and purple exterior with splashes of yellow.

The design evolved from there. MACO magazine calls the result “a true oasis among the surprisingly busy pace of life on St. Thomas today.”

“We struck a balance between finding things that work here while still meeting the homeowner’s aesthetic appreciation for things that are not traditionally Caribbean,” Hakansson said in the article. “I wouldn’t think to take a heavy red chenille fabric and put it in a location like this, but it works,” he adds, nodding toward the living room’s bold, dominating couch. “You can very quickly become a caricature of what your style is, and we didn’t want to do that here. There’s a simplicity or gentleness to the home… I feel it could just envelop me.”


For more on this transformation, including a full look at the dramatic before-and-after photos, visit our previous blog posts on the home:

Window view – through shot

The living room

The dining room

The master bedroom

Guest rooms

The exterior, the veranda, the courtyard and the pool

Master Bedroom - After

Veranda View - After

“Best of Houzz 2013” Awards: Thank You Clients!

badge_7_2We are honored to announce that for the second straight year, Haddad Hakansson has been selected for a “Best of Houzz” award.

The “Best of Houzz 2013” awards were granted in two categories: “Design” and “Customer Satisfaction.” This year’s award was given in the “Customer Satisfaction” category and was based on a variety of factors, including ratings and reviews by Houzz’s 11 million monthly users.

Here is a sample of what our clients had to say about us on Houzz in 2012:

My experience working with a handful of other designers on kitchen and bath renovations helped me realize just how outstanding Haddad Hakansson designers are. They earned 5 stars with professionalism, exciting and fresh ideas, color expertise, and attention to schedule and budget constraints. I won’t work with anyone else.”

  • Houzz user Joanna K., Client

“I found them to really listen to my “wish list” and was very impressed in how they creatively included them all into a very small space.  They were a delight to work with and made a very stressful project an enjoyable one with their attention to detail and quick response to all my changes. 

I would highly recommend Mark & Kurt to anyone with design needs.”

  • Houzz user gmsassoc, Client

Interior PhotosHaddad Hakansson’s 2012 award was given in the “Design” category, and was based on the number of images added to Houzz users’ “ideabooks.” Fewer than 1 percent of the 32,597 interior design professionals profiled on Houzz have won “Best of Houzz” awards in both 2012 and 2013.

More new project photos coming soon! Follow us on Houzz by clicking here.

Ready to reinvent your own space? Contact us for a free consultation. We would be delighted to meet with you!

“Walnut” Mudroom Project:  Added to over 3600 Houzz ideabooks

Stunning Bath Vanity

Our friends at Counter Edge are featuring this photo for the River White Granite.  We designed the cabinetry and tile for the bath.  The cabinets are stained poplar from Cookshire Cabinetry.  

Project Reveal: French Country Kitchen

What a thrill it was to transform the original 1990’s builder’s kitchen into this elegant space!  Although the original layout worked, the island was small and awkwardly placed.  The style of the original oak cabinetry and Corian countertops didn’t fit with the style of the adjacent rooms in this open floor plan home.




The homeowners, who had a specific vision in mind and impeccable taste, were a pleasure to work with throughout the design and execution process.  They began by selecting their appliances and plumbing fixtures.

Choosing Miele for the appliances, their selections included the 36″ fully integrated refrigerator/freezer, the 36″ induction cooktop, integrated ventilation and the Dimension dishwasher. By enlarging the island and reorienting its direction, the Master Chef Oven and Chef series speed oven were installed in the cooking corridor of the kitchen and hidden from view.  Through our custom design, you’ll note how the appliances are fully flush-mounted into the framework of the cabinetry!

Girls Inc

The custom cabinetry from Pennville Custom Cabinets features a low-sheen finish, flush inset frames in a 5/4 construction.  Fully integrated closures on the doors, concealed hinges and Grass 3D drawer hardware are some of the detailed features included in the construction.  

The Franke 33″ Fireclay sink was placed on a traditional recessed sink base and the cooktop cabinet was designed to carry the same elements as the sink.  Polished nickel fixtures were used throughout the space including the various cabinetry hardware, lighting, and the Rohl Triflow faucet.

Girls Inc

Not only does the island have seating for four, but the decorative detail of the toe kick moldings, posts, and apron enhance the furniture-like nature of the piece. Included are six drawers and hidden storage behind the stools.

Girls Inc

The bar was added to a wall that originally housed an antique desk. At only 18″ deep, it includes a locking liquor cabinet, drawers, an 18″ deep Perlick beverage refrigerator, a custom wine storage rack, and glass front cabinets.  Designed to look like a piece of furniture, it is constructed of pecan, stained in a semi-transparent black stain and topped with Carrara marble.  It was the perfect complement to the white cabinetry with honed absolute black countertops.

Girls Inc

We also had the opportunity to reconfigure the laundry/mudroom combination.  The washer and dryer, original placed side by side and in full view from the kitchen, are now stacked in the inside corner allowing additional space in the room for a bench, hanging space, and functional baskets.

The open floor plan of the house made it difficult to define spaces.  We had the opportunity to add a soffit to the hallway and dining room and an arched opening (mimicking the arched window opposite it) in the living room.  Without losing the open feeling, we were now able to define the space with crown molding while enhancing the view to the adjacent rooms.

We just love this project!

Girls Inc