Date: February 18, 2020 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
In Camden, a mix of old and new combine for a fresh recipe in the kitchen
Grace Murphree has countless memories in the home she shares with her husband, Mike. That’s in part because she grew up in the house, which belonged to her mother originally. After their children left for college, Grace and Mike were ready to update the space to suit their tastes and usher in a new phase of family life. Built in 1974, few changes had been made to the space when the Murphrees consulted Talena Ray of Providence Design.
“The kitchen was very, very dark, and there was a row of cabinetry with a small open space between the upper and lower cabinets separating the breakfast nook and kitchen. So, you could just barely peek through from one room to the other,” Talena recalls. To update the space and make it more functional, the designer recommended removing the dividing wall of cabinetry and creating additional storage with new floor-to-ceiling cabinetry in other areas of the kitchen. Taking out that row also allowed for the expansion of the island, which now has room for seating. A single oven was upgraded to a double version, while a new range and hood were built into the existing brickwork.
However, not everything was new. “Their style is very traditional,” Talena notes. “She has lots of family pieces they’ve held onto through the years, and we wanted to use these in a fresh way.” Case in point, a hutch in the breakfast nook that once belonged to Grace’s mother was updated with a coat of navy paint and brass hardware. Additionally, they kept the original flooring, thick brick split pavers, which extend throughout these two spaces and into other common areas. “It would’ve cost a fortune to take them up; plus, she really liked them, so we wanted to keep them,” Talena says, noting they had to have enough to fill in the area where the cabinetry was removed. “When we moved the fridge to an opposite wall, we got some from there; her husband found some at his office, and she found some in attic, so it worked, and we were able to keep them.”
“Everything is so much more functional now,” Grace says. “But more than anything it’s been a life changer for our attitudes. Every day I turn the corner expecting to see the same dark paneling I had seen since the ’70s, but now it’s light and bright and happy.”
“She has lots of family pieces they’ve held onto through the years, and we wanted to use these in a fresh way.”
—Talena Ray, designer
In with the Old & New
While the two adjoining spaces got a full-service upgrade, they kept character-rich elements to make the space personal.
WHAT THEY KEPT
Brick split-paver flooring
A family hutch
WHAT THEY ADDED
A double oven and an expanded-size range
New breakfast table and chairs
New cabinetry, countertops, and a backsplash
Contractor Berry Dodson and Gene Jones, EBCO Interior design Talena Ray, Providence Design Appliances Metro Appliances & More Cabinets Cabinet Door Shop Countertops Pacific Shore Stones Countertops and tile (installation) Gary Funderburg Fabrics, furniture, and lighting Providence Design Fixtures PC Hardware Paint Sherwin-Williams Painting Bradshaw Painting Contractors Sink The Plumbing Warehouse Tile (backsplash) The Tile Shop Window coverings Mountjoy’s Custom Draperies