Story: Katie Cooper | Photography: Rett Peek |
A fresh take on farmhouse design brings life to this ranch-style home’s kitchen
Tucked away on two acres of property in West Little Rock sits the home of Angie and Bob Alexander. Inspired by the setting, the couple was eager to create a home that complemented the natural environment. “This is a Chenal home right in the middle of town, but it feels like it’s out in the middle of the country,” Katie Henry of Katie Grace Designs says of her clients’ rural-like setting. The Alexanders previously hired Henry to revamp their family room, dining room, and entry way to evoke a light, farmhouse-inspired style—coined as “Chenal Transitional Farmhouse” by Henry. “Angie called me about six months after that ready to do a full-home remodel and asked if I would help her,” Henry explains.
The most significant part of this remodel was the transformation of the dark, cramped kitchen. Henry notes the homeowners had clear priorities for the makeover: increase the size and openness while updating the style to match the farmhouse elements seen throughout the rest of the home. To accomplish these goals, Henry called on Mark Caruthers of WillMark Homes to lead the construction portion of the project. “Originally the kitchen was very chopped up with two small pantries and an angled hallway,” Caruthers says. “We took everything out, including the cabinetry, and in doing so, we doubled the square footage of the kitchen.”
With twice as much space to work with, Henry and her team designed a simplified, open layout with an oversized island. Tone-on-tone white shaker cabinetry, subway tile, and granite countertops complement the neutral walls, which are painted in Benjamin Moore’s White Dove. “She’d gone from dark to light throughout the entire house, so we carried that into the kitchen,” Henry says of the now-cohesive, airy palette. Sleek hardware adds contrast to the all-white backdrop, and floating shelves in a light wood finish bring in personality through a display of colorful accessories and dishware—many of which are handmade by Angie, who is a talented potter.
A preexisting built-in seat on the bay window provides a nook to take in a view of the large backyard. “The only thing that stayed was this window seat and the skylight,“ Henry says—two important elements that bring in natural light. Henry used the window space as an opportunity to incorporate pattern and texture through printed textiles, rattan window shades, and Moroccan-style side tables that double as an ottoman or stool. “Texture can make the design. It can go from looking bland and boring to having richness and depth,” Henry notes. For instance, the designer chose a handcrafted subway tile rather than a style that is completely flat. “We wanted a tile that had some movement in it,” she says.
Other farmhouse-inspired elements, such as the gray-wash stain on the white oak floors, bring home the space’s simple, natural feel. Henry notes that the inspiration for the floors actually came in the middle of the project. “When the floors were first installed, we all fell in love with the light tone of the raw wood.” The designer chose a light gray-wash treatment finished off with a matte clear coat to preserve the natural hues. “When Angie saw them, she wanted them throughout the entire house!” Henry says. By bringing in these down-to-earth touches, Henry and the team brought to life the Alexanders’ vision.
Contractor Mark Caruthers, WillMark Homes
Interior design Katie Henry, Katie Grace Designs
Kitchen design Nikki Hastings, ASID and Katie Henry, Katie Grace Designs
Accessories, lighting, and rugs Katie Grace Designs
Appliances Metro Appliances & More
Art Providence Design
Cabinetry Custom Interior & Designs, Inc.
Carpet ProSource Wholesale
Countertops Casa Blanca Granite
Fabrics Cynthia East Fabrics, Fabric Gallery, Katie Grace Designs, and Sheryl’s Sewing Room
Flooring Aloha Hardwood Flooring and ProSource Wholesale
Furniture Abide Furniture, Antique Brick Outdoor, and Katie Grace Designs
Glass Jones Glass
Hardware PC Hardware
Millwork Garrison and Sons Custom Trim
Paint Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams