The kitchen is the heart of the home for most families. It is not only a place where meals are prepared, but where children do homework or hop on a stool to talk about their day at school while Mom prepares dinner.
Dream kitchens are on nearly everyone’s wish list when it comes to home renovations. Designers Crystal Lashley and Meagan Murphree of L&M Interior Design approach a kitchen renovation not only as updating style and bringing in handsome cabinetry and counters, but to also provide a more functional kitchen and additional storage.
When an Auburn homeowner with three children became Lashley and Murphree’s client for a kitchen renovation, the first step for the designers was visiting the family to see how they live. They were also interested in knowing what the family liked and did not like about their current kitchen.
The homeowner felt her kitchen was poorly designed. A long, L-shaped counter made it difficult to get around and into the kitchen from the living room. The refrigerator was located across from the oven.
While the client wanted a completely new kitchen, she wanted to keep the terra cotta Mexican tile flooring.
The designers measured the kitchen space and went back to their office to input the details into a computer program, showing the appliance locations. With the computer program, they created a new space design and then selected the cabinetry, counters and other elements for creating a functional, gorgeous kitchen.
Lashley and Murphree compiled a presentation board with samplings of the elements for a visual of the cabinetry, granite counters, backsplash and other products. A layout of the newly designed space was also presented, moving the refrigerator to another location. The homeowner was excited about the plans for a new, more work-efficient kitchen.
Renovation took around three months to complete. To blend with the terra cotta tile, splashes of copper were featured throughout the kitchen in a copper farm sink and along the trim of the backsplash. Hues of neutrals with a forest green island pulled the palette together and created a warm atmosphere.
Where the original pantry had been located, the designers created a deep cabinet for housing cooking appliances and a granite counter workspace. Framed with a stone-and-wood beam surround, the area adds architectural detail. A former desk area in the kitchen became the new pantry.
Over the stove, a travertine-like hood highlights the area. A pot filler on the backsplash avoids carrying heavy pots of water across the kitchen. Since the homeowner cooks a great deal, this was a convenient addition. The new workspace flows effortlessly.
New stainless steel ovens included a convection oven. Across from the ovens, a coffee bar was installed where the refrigerator was originally located. The coffee bar is convenient for entertaining, as it is located just inside the kitchen near the dining room.
Instead of a long counter blocking the entrance into the kitchen, the designers created a spacious island with high and low counters and ample seating to anchor the room. Both sides of the island offer storage space. Extra storage was also added on the side of the new location for the refrigerator.
With rich cherry-wood cabinetry instead of the old white cabinets, better lighting was needed to serve functionally as well as decoratively. The hanging light fixtures over the island separate the spaces of the kitchen, breakfast area and morning room.
Darker wood doors on a cabinet in the morning room open to a computer and television space. Children can work on school projects while their mother prepares dinner.
The pine ceiling in the breakfast area was replaced with walnut wood for richer character detailing. Large windows provide sweeping views of rolling hills on the Moores Mill golf course, visually expanding the space.
Height was added to doorways to the kitchen to provide a more open look.
The finished renovation is elegant with a casual, rustic feel reflected in the natural stone and rugged beams. Overall the space is not only attractive, but also comfortable and more functional.
The homeowner gives high praise for her new kitchen, which is the central room of the house for the family being together. Both Lashley and Murphree feel when they have custom designed a kitchen according to the client’s needs the project is a success. Both designers say, “It turned out just as we expected.” EAL