Much like the rest of us, Salt Lake City–based interior designer Susannah Holmberg fantasizes about Europe. But it’s not the rocky beaches of the Amalfi Coast or the canals of Amsterdam that she dreams of—it’s the chic juxtaposition of contemporary kitchens in historic homes. “I’m really drawn to a modern kitchen plopped in an old stone house in Mallorca,” she describes. “I’ve just always been really intrigued by that.”

Susannah sought to mimic that tension between old and new in her early 20th-century Tudor home, which she shares with her husband and two children. It already featured decorative arches and a traditional layout, so all she had to do was overhaul the dated ’90s cookspace. She replaced the bulky yellowed wood cabinets with sleek flat-fronted cupboards and swapped the grandma-style striped wallpaper for a coat of soft white paint.

BEFORE: The abundance of yellowed wood was overwhelming.

Careful not to over-modernize, Susannah brought in details that could have been original, like era-appropriate windows with grilles, a carved wood column, and mug hooks beneath the open shelves. She also paired the more contemporary silhouettes and textures with a warmer, more historic color palette of sage, cream, and oxblood, striking the ideal balance.

Susannah applied the same method to the adjacent breakfast nook, which she opened up to the kitchen by knocking down a wall. Immersive botanical wallpaper and complementary trim honor the age of the abode, while a tulip table and Mexican movie posters offer a modern edge. It’s a well-curated contrast.

Location: “It’s in a really cool neighborhood with tree-lined streets called Yalecrest, which was one of the main appeals,” says Susannah. “The house itself feels really perched on a hillside and the backyard is ivy-covered and just has a magical, tucked away feel to it.”

The before: When Susannah moved in, the kitchen had yellowed oak cabinets, white tile countertops, maroon-and-cream striped wallpaper, and big ceramic square tile floors. “Somebody did a really bad nineties remodel to this beautiful old Tudor,” she says. “It was so ugly.”



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By Peter