No wasted space was the mantra Fayetteville homeowners passed along to designer Andi Stephens when they began planning the kitchen in their new home. The husband, an Arkansas native, and the wife, who was raised in Belgium, worked with builder John Ward to create a retreat-like residence nestled on a wooded lot, a place where they envisioned gathering with their two children and other family and friends, and eventually slowing down hectic schedules and working from home.
With that in mind, creating a kitchen to serve as the hub of the home was a priority—a space where they could work, entertain and relax in an attractive yet highly efficient setting. The design team devised an open layout featuring a U-shaped space for the main work areas, with cooking, cabinetry, refrigerator and prep areas on the perimeter and an island with bar seating in the center. Off to the side, a desk and wet bar area are out of the main traffic flow yet easily accessible.
Ceiling and floor treatments define work versus entertaining areas, with a lower ceiling over counter spaces offering task lighting and a raised ceiling over the island creating a feeling of spaciousness. Likewise, tile floors in the prep zones blend into wood floors at the island seating, bar and desk areas.
Within this open setting, Stephens used a color palette of cream, tan, sage green and black to create “a fresh traditional look,” she says, “that relates to the woods outside the windows and feels relaxed.” Materials choices followed a nature-inspired concept as well, with two tones of granite for countertops, marble tiles for the backsplash and wood floors featuring hand-scraped eucalyptus.
To maximum efficiency, Stephens and the homeowners assessed storage needs and planned how each cabinet would be used, designating places for everything from baking sheets to spices to dinnerware. “There’s no useless space in this kitchen,” says Stephens, “with all the cabinets featuring roll-out drawers, pull-out corner units or dividers.” It’s a highly organized room, which, she adds, is the key to making multiple uses work together easily.
Cooking and Prep Zone Essentials
A Viking hood tops a Wolf range in the cooking niche, which features a tumbled travertine marble backsplash with an inset basket-weave pattern of polished marble. Baltic black granite in work areas pairs with Floral Fantastico granite on the island, where a Blanco sink with a Delta faucet is inset.
- Knives and potholders are stored alongside the range for easy access from the cooking area and the prep island.
- Pullout storage drawers behind cabinet doors are deep enough for pots and pans and feature gentle-close hardware so contents stay in place.
- Corner cabinets hold slide-out curved shelves that fully extend to maximize storage.
- Cabinetry columns flanking the range keep spices, oils and other needs handy while cooking.
Serving and Clean Up Basics
A Blanco sink and Delta faucet create a cleaning zone with a dishwasher nearby. A sliding Bonneville window above allows the homeowners to pass food outside to the adjacent covered patio. Metal pendants above the island are from Lighting Emporium; contrasting clear glass pendants near the window are from Pottery Barn.
- Countertop drawers maximize storage and are ideal for dishtowels or dinner napkins.
- Custom island storage includes pullout drawers with built-in dividers for kitchen implements and plate holders that keep dinnerware in place.
- Sink-side shelves slide out to store sponges, detergents and other clean up necessities.
- Recycling bins adjacent to the sink area aid separating paper and plastics. A similar cabinet on the island holds a trash bin.
Architect Don Spann, AIA, Rogers
Builder Homes by Ward, Lowell
Design, cabinetry Kitchen Distributors, Fayetteville
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, locations statewide
Backsplash, tile floor M & M Tile & Carpet Co., Inc., Tontitown
Barstools, glass pendant lights Pottery Barn, locations statewide
Countertops Artistic Tile, Marble & Granite Co., Springdale
Lighting-island Lighting Emporium, Springdale
Paint Sherwin-Williams, locations statewide
Plumbing Plumb Perfect, Springdale
Seat cushions, baskets Pier 1 Imports, locations statewide