NEWS

Five Cohasset homes are the main course in upcoming kitchen tour

Dina Gerdeman

Many of the kitchens featured in an upcoming Cohasset kitchen tour are sleek and clutter-free with appliances hidden behind what looks like cabinets, and countertops mostly kept bare. No toasters or electric can openers lurking; no unconcealed bread baskets or cereal boxes.

``I like very little on my countertops. Even the coffee maker is put away and comes out every morning,'' explained Tricia Cifrino, 42, one of the homeowners who is inviting visitors to check out her countertops and hidden appliances during the South Shore Community Center 2008 Kitchen Tour on Friday  from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets are $30 and may be purchased at the community center or by calling 781-383-0088. All proceeds from the tour, which includes five Cohasset kitchens, will go toward expanding and renovating a kitchen at the community center for   nursery school children. The community center kitchen – which certainly won’t use anything as fancy as granite countertops – is expected to include smaller tables and chairs so the children can tackle hands-on cooking projects.

White farmer’s sink

Tricia Cifrino chose a white porcelain farmer’s sink for a more casual feel. ``I like the way it fits under the granite with no lip,'' she said. ``And I like the way the front shows.''

Plus she decided to go with one large sink instead of two smaller divided ones because she wanted a sink ``big enough to bathe a baby,'' she said. She remembered how tough it was to bathe her children, now 6 and 4, in a smaller sink when they were infants.

Hidden appliances

The three kitchens The Patriot Ledger visited in advance of the kitchen tour included appliances that were hidden behind what looked like cabinets. For instance, Jane Cifrino (whose sister-in-law Tricia Cifrino’s kitchen is also featured in the tour) opted to hide her two dishwashers behind large pull-out drawers that look like cherry cabinets. Tricia Cifrino’s microwave was concealed by a cabinet door that lifts up and slides over the microwave.  And both Jane Cifrino and Helene Lieb – whose home is also included in the tour – have pop-up vents that raise and lower with the push of a button behind their cooktops so they don’t have to use a large fan above their gas burners. ``You don’t want this thing hanging in the middle of your kitchen,'' Lieb said. ``I highly recommend the pop-up vent.''

Second sink in island

Jane Cifrino opted to add a second smaller sink to the island in her kitchen, which has come in handy when two sinks are needed for different purposes. The second smaller sink is used primarily for prep jobs.

``I love it,'' Cifrino said. ``While someone is washing dishes at one sink, you can be using the other sink to clean some vegetables.''

Church pew table

Not afraid to use pieces that have been loved over the years, Tricia Cifrino bought a table made in England of old church pews. Parishioners many years ago left their marks on the pews – the carvings and scratches are there – but that only gave the table more charm to Cifrino. And because she doesn’t have a dining room in her home, she wanted a kitchen table that would be big enough to seat 10 people.

Creamy yellow cabinets

When Tricia Cifrino had her home built two years ago, she envisioned a kitchen that was casual yet elegant – and she knew she didn’t want a dark look, so she chose creamy yellow cabinets with brown antiquing swept through to make them look not quite so  new. ``I wanted it to be warm,'' she said. ``And I love the old touch.''

She also chose glass knobs for the cabinets, which match the glass doorknobs she has added to doors throughout the home.

Hide the dirt

Hard to spot in Jane Cifrino’s kitchen is a small opening under her built-in cherry buffet where she can sweep dirt, crumbs and other kitchen debris. Cifrino can flick a switch with her foot, and an automatic vacusweep by Electrolux sucks the crumbs into a central holding tank  in the garage.

``People who come into my house say it’s their favorite thing,'' Cifrino said. ``It’s something so simple, but it’s wonderful.''

Fireplace

For added warmth, Helene Lieb’s kitchen includes a small working fireplace, a historic piece she maintained after expanding and redoing the kitchen last year.    It is an original Royal Berry Wills fireplace that dates back to about 1818.