Date: September 4, 2020 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
In Little Rock, designer Kathryn LeMaster helps a homeowner reimagine her cottage kitchen to meet her needs
Just over five years ago, Lynn Baker contacted designer Kathryn LeMaster to help renovate a recently inherited childhood home. However, as life goes, Lynn’s wants and needs changed soon after the project (which was featured in At Home in Arkansas in May 2015) was completed. “The house felt a little too big for me,” Lynn says. “I also got a dog and needed a fenced yard, and I took up pottery as a hobby and really needed a space dedicated to that.” All of these reasons added up to a move less than a mile down the road into a charming 1950s home.
“I walked in and saw the fireplace and original hardwoods, and, most importantly, I saw potential,” Lynn says. Calling once again on Kathryn’s talents, the pair transformed the house from a three-bedroom, one-bath residence to a two-bedroom, two-bath home. Their goal was to create spaces that functioned more aptly for Lynn—namely, the kitchen.
“The kitchen was way too small, but I was willing to sacrifice a bedroom to get what I wanted,” Lynn says. By removing a wall between the living room and existing kitchen and getting rid of the aforementioned bedroom, she gained much-needed square footage in the kitchen. The updated layout also afforded space for a dining table and a small office enclosed behind sliding doors.
The U-shaped kitchen was outfitted with new cabinetry while original hardwoods were refinished to add to the cottage charm. Additionally, the back door was relocated to provide access to a newly created garage, while a stacked washer/dryer unit found a new home in the master suite’s laundry area. Aside from those shifts, Kathryn was able to incorporate a prep area and bar sink, a feature from Lynn’s previous kitchen she used frequently. This area sits opposite the pantry, creating a zone close to the dining space where guests can help themselves to a snack or beverage without getting into the main traffic flow of the kitchen’s workspace.
As for the aesthetics, Kathryn notes the style is “all very organic.” “Lynn has a love of gardening and ceramics, and we tried to select textural, natural items to convey this.” Building off the neutral hues as well as the orange and green used in the nearby living room, a floral peach-hued Roman shade complements a pottery collection displayed on cypress wood open shelving. “When my niece came to see it, she said, This house feels 100 percent like you, and that was the biggest compliment to me,” Lynn says.
A vintage dining set that belonged to Lynn’s parents is paired with a modern light fixture for transitional style.
“Two-tone cabinetry can be tricky,” Kathryn points out. To keep visual balance in the space, the designer opted to paint the upper cabinets the same color as the walls, “Gossamer Veil” by Sherwin-Williams, while the base cabinetry stands out in “Sea Salt,” also by Sherwin-Williams. Although the backsplash is in the same color family as the upper cabinetry, its unique shape and texture provide definition.
“When my niece came to see it, she said This house feels 100 percent like you, and that was the biggest compliment to me.” —Lynn Baker, homeowner
Lynn commissioned a 12-piece dish set, displayed on the open shelves here, from local potter Chris Swasta of Rolling Hills Pottery.
Interior design Kathryn LeMaster, Kathryn J. LeMaster Art & Design Contractor Lewis and Company Construction Accessories, lighting, tile (backsplash), and rugs Kathryn J. LeMaster Art & Design Art Emily Parks, Rita Henry Photography via Gallery 26, and Rolling Hills Pottery Cabinetry The Cabinet Pros Countertops Countertop World Fabrics Designer Effects and Kathryn J. LeMaster Art & Design Fixtures Southern Bath & Kitchen Flooring Kee’s Westend Floors Hardware ProSource of Little Rock Lighting (installation and electrical work) Jacob’s Electric Millwork, painting, and windows Lewis and Company Construction Paint Sherwin-Williams Window coverings (fabrication) Designer Effects Window coverings (installation) Designer Supply