Story: Diane Carroll |
Jennifer Lewis can honestly say that she spends most of her time in the kitchen. As a mother of two, avid entertainer of family and friends and a cooking instructor who runs her business, Fresh and Fabulous Entertaining, from her own home, prepping food and preparing meals are continuous daily activities.
She used to attempt all this from a small kitchen in a 1920s bungalow she, her husband John and their children, Emma Kate and Ian, shared near downtown Fayetteville. But as the kids grew and the house began to seem cramped, she and John started thinking about building a bigger place. A larger kitchen, of course, quickly became part of the plan.
They had grown to love their current home’s Craftsman detailing, with abundant woodwork and built-in furnishings, and they solicited the help of architects Tim deNoble and Timothy Maddox, of deMx Architecture, to infuse elements of this style into the design of a new, larger house they planned to build on a nearby empty lot. “Traditional Craftsman style is very dark though,” says Maddox, “which makes rooms seem smaller.” To keep the house airy and inviting for the Lewis’ young family, the architects responded with a plan “that includes those details,” Maddox adds, “but in a lighter, modern way.”
Natural-finish woods, hickory for the floors and maple for the cabinetry, form the basis for the new kitchen, with Craftsman detailing evident in the flat-paneled cabinet doors with integral handles made of walnut. Windows on three sides of the room enhance its open appearance, and enlarged doorways leading to the family room and dining area keep the living quarters easily connected.
A center island with a range on one side and barstool seating on the other was a must for both kids’ snack times as well as Jennifer’s cooking demonstrations. Ample counter space was critical for her classes as well, and she chose heat-resistant soapstone countertops for their durability. A deep, divided sink was another cooking class practicality, as well as high-efficiency appliances, including a 6-burner range, pair of ovens, built-in microwave and a professional grade, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer.
Beyond the work zone, a built-in desk and bench alongside a dining table create a family-friendly space where the kids can do homework or play on the computer while Jennifer preps or cooks nearby. A mudroom positioned between the kitchen and the home’s back door serves as extra storage space and includes a second sink for washing produce harvested from her garden. Likewise, a wet bar connecting the kitchen and dining area serves as storage for extra wares for entertaining and gives guests a place to serve themselves when meal preparation is underway.
The combined effect is a highly functional kitchen in which Jennifer says she can easily spend hours. “It works well for our family everyday, and at cooking class time, it’s accessible and everyone has plenty of space,” she says. “As both a mom and a cook, I love being in this kitchen.”
Architects deMx Architecture, Fayetteville
Design consultation Amy Porter, Statements, Hot Springs
Appliances Metro Builders Supply, Springdale
Cabinets Kitchen and Bath Cabinets, Inc., Siloam Springs
Counters Tune Tile, Lowell
Floors Dramis Hardwood Floors, Fayetteville
Lighting Lighting Emporium, Springdale
Plumbing fixtures Plumb Perfect, Springdale
Storage In Its Place Home Organizing, Melissa Freeman, Fayetteville
Windows Peachtree, Meek’s Lumber, Fayetteville