Skip to main content



Janice Randall Rohlf


Greg Premru

With 15 years of professional experience to draw on, interior designer Jocelyn Chiappone would presumably find creating her own new kitchen a breeze. But the wealth of information she’s amassed as founder and principal of Digs Design Company in Newport, R.I., could just as well complicate the decision-making process. So, she took a shrewd approach. “I treated my husband like the client,” she says. “Michael has a wonderful eye and loves to cook, so a lot of his decisions were more practical and intuitive than decorative."

Husband and wife spend a lot of time in the kitchen, a dormered, natural-light flooded room that easily accommodates their entire blended family—seven children and three grandchildren—yet also feels cozy when it’s just the two of them, a dichotomy Chiappone achieved by dividing the 22-foot-by-24-foot space into purpose-driven zones, the two main ones being the wall with the range and cooking area and, opposite, the wall with a fireplace and storage. Arranged around these hubs are a coffee station, a bar/entertaining area, a nook with a custom banquette, and the pièce de résistance, a huge center island whose countertop marries Calacatta bluette marble with end grain walnut butcher block.

Bright and airy kitchen high on both style and function featuring Wolf Range with a teardrop-mosaic backsplash

Bright and airy without being all white, the kitchen is high on both style and function. Playing off Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray surfaces, the palette is fresh and sophisticated: walnut drawer fronts, polished brass hardware, and a teardrop-mosaic backsplash that lends a touch of Art Deco to the room. “This is our year-round home, so I wanted the kitchen to feel a little coastal but at the same time have a bit of a traditional, chic feel,” says Chiappone. As befits a designer, the room is more than just for show, as its 14 appliances, most hidden behind cabinet fronts, attest.

Stainless steel Wolf cooking appliances shown integreated in marble countertop and tile backsplash

“Whenever Digs Design does a kitchen, the appliances are always the starting point,” explains Chiappone, who made a beeline for her local Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove showroom, Clarke. “They were really helpful, and we especially appreciated all the fabulous [appliance] demonstrations.” Her husband fell in love with the Wolf convection steam oven, which, as a quick way to cook vegetables, is a nice complement to the kitchen workhorse, a six-burner stainless steel range customized with stainless knobs and brass bezels. Other Wolf appliances include an undercabinet microwave drawer tucked under the built-in coffee system.

While visiting the showroom, Chiappone was inspired to incorporate Sub-Zero refrigerator columns into her kitchen, a style she appreciates “because you never have to bend over, and everything is easier to find than in a side-by-side.” This gives her a seamless wall of cabinets composed of a 30” refrigerator, 30” freezer, and a 30” pantry column for all food storage.

There’s a lot to love about this kitchen, but for Chiappone the fireplace tops all the other features. “I’m addicted to it,” she says of the counter-height gas hearth inspired by the design of a pizza oven she once saw. “Now we’re redoing our bedroom and I’m wondering if we can fit a fireplace in there too.”

Similar stories

Star Quality

Star Quality

A California-based, award-winning designer adds elegance to every home project, including his own. 

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

With utilitarian elements tucked away, brass and marble combine for a kitchen with elegance.

A Phoenix-area professional organizer shows how to streamline your culinary storage solutions.

Calm, Cool & Collected

A Phoenix-area professional organizer shows how to streamline your culinary storage solutions.

; ; ;