Story by Colleen Hawkes, 03 Mar 2009, 18:00:00
Photography by John Umberger
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Every kitchen tells a story – in this case it's the tale of an 1830s farmhouse evolution
Most kitchens are remodeled several times in the course of a lifetime, but sometimes even the best intentions cannot make a space work.
The kitchen in this two-over-two plantation house, which was built in 1832, was located in a lean-to at the rear. The owners say the lean-to was probably added on to the original house around the turn of the last century, but it had long since passed its expiration date. The solution? A new two-story addition to replace the lean-to, providing bathrooms on the top level and a new kitchen on the ground floor.
Designer Matthew Rao says the kitchen needed to respect the era of the house, but it also had to work for the clients, and be suitable for entertaining.
"We wanted the kitchen to fit with the period of the house, so we developed a story line – an implied evolution. Parts of the kitchen were designed to look like they could be original elements, while other parts are like found elements that could have been cobbled together over the years – the last thing we wanted was a modern, fully fitted kitchen."
To this end, the perimeter cabinets feature pine wood that has been treated with three layers of paint wash and given a distressed finish. The sink cabinets are also stepped back slightly, to convey the sense of symmetrical hutches on either side of the window. The overhead display cabinets have glass sidelights, which help ensure the room is light and airy. The island, however, features natural pine Shaker doors with a well-worn patina.
Where appropriate, appliances are integrated into the cabinets. But several stainless steel appliances, and a large, modern version of a butler's sink are a recognition of 21st-century lifestyles.
To minimize the impact of the cooking center, the island features a downdraft rather than a hood, and a dark soapstone countertop ensures the black induction cooktop is unobtrusive.
|Kitchen designer||Matthew D Rao CKD, Rao Design Studio, Inc (Atlanta, GA)|
|Cabinets||Pine, painted and distressed|
|Countertops||Calacatta Gold marble and soapstone from G&L Marble & Tile|
|Faucets||Dornbracht Tara Classic|
|Oven and microwave||Miele|
|Ceiling fans||Matthews Fan Co|