Story: Tiffany Burgess | Styling: Mandy Keener |
Jim Pfeifer and Dr. Robynn Zinser love the West Little Rock home they share with their young daughter Jade. But the home, which was built in the 1970s and later sold to the family, hasn’t always met their needs or suited their style – particularly when it came to the kitchen. “To put it plainly, nothing worked, nothing was convenient and it was small, dark and ugly,” laughs Jim.
Luckily, they didn’t have to look far to find the perfect person to help correct this problem. As an architect who has worked on a number of local projects including the Big Dam Bridge and the Capital Hotel’s 1980s renovation, Jim not only had the technical skills required for the design, he was also in tune with style concepts that could make the kitchen appear larger and full of light. “Everyone ends up gathering in the kitchen, so we wanted ours to be open and welcoming for our family and guests,” he says.
To accomplish this, a recreation room next to the home’s existing kitchen was transformed to become the new kitchen. The old kitchen space was then converted to a dining area. To keep with the home’s woodsy setting and rustic exterior, Jim used similar materials in the kitchen. The rocks used on the island’s pillars and in the entry column were matched to the home’s exterior stone. Additionally, the flooring and handcrafted trusses along the ceiling were made from Arkansas cypress, adding to the room’s forest-like feel. In an effort to bring in a touch of color, Jim chose a rich green for the dining area wall and the tile along the kitchen’s backsplash, similar to the green you might encounter on a nature trail.
Since light was a major goal in the renovation, Jim knew the area had to be opened up. A combination of skylights, high ceilings, and a wall of windows helped to achieve this. While both Jim and Robynn wanted to be respectful of the home’s natural footprint they also wanted the latest conveniences. They installed new stainless-steel appliances to make the kitchen workable and added a contemporary touch with furnishings and accessories. Radiant heat flooring, which is both cost and energy effective, was installed to provide additional warmth in cooler months. The design results in a style that Jim laughingly calls “rust-tech.”
It was also important to the couple to use local resources for the renovation. “It’s such a great feeling to use local supplies and local contractors, and end up with an amazing, quality product,” says Jim. As a finishing touch, he also chose to include many of his favorite pieces of Arkansas memorabilia, including a bench from Ray Winder field, a chandelier by regional artist Ed Pennebaker, pieces of local art and pottery, and even a postcard collection, which includes Arkansas as well as other places he has visited, giving the space a one-of-a-kind Natural State appeal.
Architectural design Jim Pfeifer, AIA, (501) 247-1817
Contractor Larry Davis Construction, Little Rock, (501) 663-5984
Appliances Metro Appliances; Jonesboro, North Little Rock and Springdale; (800) 552-1887, metroappliancesandmore.com
Backsplash tile Abbey Carpet & Floor, locations statewide, abbeycarpet.com
Banquette fabric Cynthia East Fabrics, Little Rock, (501) 663-0460, cynthiaeastfabrics.com
Cabinetry Distinctive Kitchens and Baths, Little Rock, (501) 666-7756, kitchensofarkansas.com
Chandelier Ed Pennebaker, redfernglass.com
Countertops Inside Effects, Little Rock, (501) 954-8866, inside-effects.com
Fixtures PC Hardware, Little Rock, (501) 224-1724
Flooring—concrete Flooring Consultants, Sherwood, (501) 835-7892
Flooring—wood Hogan Hardwoods and Moulding, Little Rock, (501) 562-2041
Furnishings MertinsDykeHome, (501) 280-3200, mertinsdykehome.com; Soho Modern Furnishings, Little Rock, (501) 372-4884
Iron grill in rock wall Fabulous Finds Antiques, Little Rock, (501) 614-8181
Lighting Light Innovations, Little Rock, (501) 223-9026, blog.light-innovations.com
Paint Sherwin Williams, locations statewide, sherwin-williams.com
Stone Bennett Brothers Stone, Little Rock and Hot Springs, (501) 455-5040, bennettbrosstone.com