Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Angela Alexander |
An El Dorado couple redefines their beloved home’s kitchen to serve the next generation
Two years ago, these El Dorado empty-nesters made the decision to move across town into a residence that formerly belonged to one set of their parents. As the home where the couple took their own children for family gatherings, the 1963 ranch-style house held a lot of memories and charm. However, they agreed it needed to be modernized for them, their three now-grown children (including At Home staffer Laura LaRue) and their spouses, as well as their grandchildren, all of who visit frequently.
The couple worked with architect and designer Richard Wharton on the renovation. “They took the project seriously, and since they have a history with the home we wanted to be respectful of the entire house,” Wharton says.
In thinking about their needs, space became a high priority. Rather than remodeling the home’s existing kitchen (which is now an entry/laundry room), the homeowners created a new one that is all their own. “This space was non-existent; it was previously the backyard,” the homeowner says. “Our house is now in a U-shape with the kitchen looking out onto our patio and two wings on either end of the house. I love how open it is now, and because we are on the edge of town, the windows off the kitchen look out into a wooded area.”
With the newly created space came plenty of room to accommodate the couple—who both love to be in the kitchen and cook—as well as their extended family. A 14-foot, L-shaped island is the centerpiece of the design, offering seating for six (the exact number of their grandchildren) as well as plenty of workspace for mixing cookie dough or chopping veggies for a salad. “I saw an island this color on the cover of At Home [in May 2015] and called Laura to see if she could help me track down the paint color,” the homeowner says. The color, Sherwin-Williams’ Cyberspace was the perfect mix of blue, gray, and black for the homeowner’s taste. Outside of this rich hue, “we stayed with a neutral, clean palette so that the people who fill the kitchen could be the focus,” Wharton says.
Since both the husband and wife enjoy preparing meals, top-notch appliances were a must on their wish list. A commercial-style gas range and double ovens are a fixture against the room’s side wall, while a pot filler adds convenience. “We also added a warming drawer—something we did not have in our previous house,” the homeowner notes. “This has become one of my favorite things; you can put prepared dishes or takeout in there and then eat whenever you’re ready,” she says of the popular addition. Low-maintenance quartzite countertops cover the surfaces for added ease of use.
The pair also enjoys entertaining friends. A separate wet bar area includes an icemaker and wine chiller, allowing guests to serve themselves without interfering with food preparation. The top-mounted, glass-front cabinetry keeps barware close at hand.
The newly finished space is a treasure to both the couple and their family. “To see my parents complete this renovation and move in is pretty special for my whole family—especially since the home belonged to my grandparents,” LaRue says of her mom and dad’s new addition. “For all of the grandchildren to be able to grow up and play here (and run around that kitchen island), just adds to the countless memories that we all have made under this roof over the years,” she concludes.
Architect and kitchen design Richard Wharton, Champagnolle Design
Contractor Larry West & Sons
Cabinetry, millwork, painting, and windows Larry West & Sons
Countertops and tile Midway Marble & Granite
Fixtures and hardware Sanders Supply, Inc.
Flooring Storey’s Floor & Carpet
Florals Tipton & Hurst
Lighting Champagnolle Design
Rugs Sydney Murphy Design