When the holiday season warms up, you’ll find her happily bustling around her big new kitchen, baking cookies and quick breads and making candy. She also hosts a group of friends and family who get together annual to make and bake enough pumpkin rolls to fill everyone’s freezer for the season.

“We entertain a lot, and we have a big family. I needed a big kitchen, and I wanted it to be homey, cozy and comfortable. And it’s just so much more fun to cook in a new kitchen,” the homeowner enthuses.

Distressed maple floors are stained in rich cherry to coordinate with cherry glazed cabinetry. Counter tops and the island are all clad in neutral “Dove” quartz. The island is surrounded by comfortable barstools upholstered in distressed leather. Her white ironstone collection is proudly displayed on open shelves complete with a ceiling-mounted sliding ladder, one of many pieces she salvaged from her father’s hardware store.

There’s also a breakfast table in front of broad window for a view of the surrounding rural countryside, a coffee center for her husband, a butler’s pantry with bar, fridge and sink and a huge walk-in pantry and laundry center.

The homeowners chose a great room concept for the main living area in their new ranch-style house, built two years ago by contractor Randy Mulford. Interior decorator Karen Reece assisted the owners in selecting materials, fixtures, color schemes, furnishings and accessories.

“We’ve been friends for a long time, and we always seem to hit on the same things. I knew she wanted a house with character and uniqueness that reflects the people who live there,” says Reece.

Furnishings and light fixtures throughout the home were sourced from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware. Vintage cabinets are from the old hardware store, and Tony Zinn of Tony Zinn Furniture and Design restored and made a top for an old gift wrap station from the store that now serves as a work surface, also in the pantry. Zinn’s salvaged and restored barn door from an old horse barn hides the pantry.

Cherry-stained pine car siding cloaks the vaulted ceiling above the great room main seating area. The cultured stone fireplace surround of gray, honey and copper reflects the home’s warm neutral color scheme throughout the home.

“The ceiling is a big part of this space, so it needed to have some interest. The car siding adds that, and the fireplace is another focal point,” Reece notes.

In the dining area, an original slate chalkboard salvaged during the demolition of the New Providence school is framed in stone, a surefire conversation starter when family gathers at the long table. A large porch with a fireplace is yet another space for entertaining.

By contrast, the master suite is a retreat complete with a soaking tub and walk-in shower. The double vanity is topped with quartz and cabinetry is glazed the same rich cherry as the remainder of the home.

“The home is very comfortable to live in and easy for entertaining. Karen and Randy paid a lot of attention to detail, and it shows. We’ve incorporated things we love with new things, and I’m very happy with how it all turned out,” the homeowner adds.