September 5, 2012

Soup to Nuts: Getting counter intuitive to help Cape's schools

From glittery granite tops and the latest appliances to innovative decorating ideas, this annual tour offers lots for kitchen lovers to like . . . for a good cause.

By Meredith Goad
Staff Writer

CAPE ELIZABETH — When it came time to build her dream kitchen, Christine Laughlin knew exactly what she wanted.

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Christine Laughlin’s kitchen, top, was included on this year’s tour because it’s a good example of the all-white style that’s popular now. Angela Meyer’s kitchen, below, combines granite counter tops and other custom-made materials with modestly priced IKEA cabinetry.

Photos by John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Additional Photos Below


PRESENTED BY: Legacy Properties Sotheby's International Realty

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15

WHERE: Registration will be at Inn by the Sea, 40 Bowery Beach Road (Route 77) from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

HOW MUCH: $20 in advance at Cape Elizabeth Community Services, 343 Ocean House Road, or; $25 at the door

WHAT ELSE: Carpool parking is available at the Cape Elizabeth Town Hall on Route 77.


After all, she's had plenty of practice.

"This is our third house in this neighborhood," Laughlin said. "This kitchen is kind of a combination of the last two."

Her top priorities? A butler's pantry and two dishwashers, since she and her husband, Phil, like to do a lot of entertaining.

The Laughlins' bright white kitchen will be one of a dozen on the third annual Cape Elizabeth Kitchen Tour, which takes place on Sept. 15 this year. This event is a fundraiser for the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation, an organization that supplies grants to schools, teachers and students in the Cape Elizabeth school system. Laughlin is on the board of CEEF.

Tour goers come to drool over countertops and high-end appliances, and gather ideas for making their own kitchen work spaces look and function better. The sponsors get to show off their work, and ticket sales help the foundation refill its coffers. The kitchen tour has drawn more than 600 people and raised more than $45,000 for CEEF.

The kitchens cover a wide range of styles and colors, but there's always one or two that are a bit unusual or have stunning ocean views (presumably so visitors can fantasize about watching lobster boats while baking an imaginary batch of cookies).


This year, organizers included Laughlin's home because her kitchen is a good example of the all-white style that's popular now. And, since the economy is still somewhat anemic, they also included a California ranch-style kitchen whose owner saved some money by combining granite counter tops and other custom-made materials with budget cabinetry from IKEA.

The kitchen is small, but opens out into a living area where there is a freestanding fireplace just steps away from the kitchen island.

"It's a really open layout, and just a modern, airy feel," said Dr. Angela Meyer, the homeowner.

The kitchen has Jenn-Air appliances, track lighting, and lots of windows that make it easy for Meyer to watch her daughters playing in the courtyard.

At the Laughlins' the cabinetry is all white, along with the backsplash, kitchen table, and other surfaces in the large, open space.

"I like the modern amenities," Christine Laughlin said, "but I don't like that look as much. I really like the traditional coastal look."

That means white cottage-style cabinets, farmhouse sinks in both the kitchen and butler's pantry, schoolhouse lighting over a large kitchen island, and palladian blue walls that are reminiscent of seaglass shining on a sunny beach. The wall color shifts from bluish to greenish as you walk from the dining room to a breakfast nook, depending on the changing angle and light.

Laughlin says she likes the color so much, she's used it in all three of her kitchens.

The open floor plan flows from the kitchen to the dining room to a living area filled with comfortable sofas in front of a fireplace -- again, a design that reflects the Laughlins' love of entertaining. Laughlin said her family lives in the area, and she usually hosts holiday dinners at her house. The 10-foot-long dining room table made from a couple of large planks of wood seats about eight comfortably.

"I've always found that when you have your dining room tucked away, you don't use it," Laughlin said. "We didn't want to do that."

There is a tea cart on one side of the dining room table that came from her husband's family cottage on Great Diamond Island. On the other side is a bright blue sideboard that belonged to her father-in-law.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Christine Laughlin favors “the traditional coastal look,” which in her kitchen includes a couple of farmhouse sinks.

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The floor in Laughlin’s kitchen is oak painted black.

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At the Laughlin home, the open floor plan flows from the kitchen to the dining room and on to a living area filled with comfortable sofas in front of a fireplace.

click image to enlarge

Meyer’s kitchen, which features Jenn-Air appliances, is small but opens out on a living area with a freestanding fireplace.


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