An updated layout, furniture-style cabinetry and thoughtful details transform a Fayetteville kitchen into a charming family gathering spot
A well-traveled sophisticate and seasoned homeowner, Andi Stephens’ client has seen her fair share of kitchens, yet at the thought of her own renovation, she “didn’t really have specific must-haves, but knew exactly what she didn’t want,” begins Stephens, designer and owner of Kitchen Distributors in Fayetteville. An Arkansas native, the homeowner worked with Stephens to balance the grand presence of her family’s Victorian-revival estate with a “homey” comfort she’s always desired, starting with the kitchen.
The original space was “closed in—a series of small rooms,” according to Stephens. An adjacent breakfast nook, now a charming feature of the room, was practically inaccessible on account of the inconvenient u-shaped layout, and although striking, the cherry wood butler’s pantry was inadvertently positioned so that guests had to walk past it to get to the dining room. “Basically, everything needed to be completely resituated, opened up and made more accessible from the kitchen,” says Stephens.
“Many elements of the renovation reflect my client’s family-first values and passion for education,” continues the designer. This dedicated wife and mother wanted a room open to the kitchen where her daughter could work on assignments and enjoy family time. With the help of Homes by Ward, Stephens and her team knocked out the jutted bar separating the breakfast nook from the kitchen and smoothed out the excessive angles in the room, drafting one all-inclusive, open-concept blueprint and giving them an all-new canvas for the design details.
“From the first day she walked into our showroom, she fell in love with the Cottage Celadon shade of green from Wood-Mode cabinetry and its brown undercoat that are now on the refrigerator and opposite plate rack,” says Stephens of her client’s love for the color palette. From there, the hues quickly grew to include creamy tones and cherry woods—a classic trio for a lifelong devotee to the traditional aesthetic. Stephens consulted Joanna McCusker of New Century Counter Tops, who installed honed granite countertops in Bianco Romano in the kitchen, and Calcutta marble in the baking area. In a similar fashion, a white subway-tile backsplash and airy cabinetry cast a welcome lightness over the space. The cherry woods, including the butler’s pantry and built-in hutch, are finished in Wood-Mode’s Tuscan Sun and are heavily distressed, a smart way to hide scratches and fingerprints in a high-traffic area. The breakfast nook table, which was a gift from the homeowner’s mother and happened to fit perfectly into the space, also coordinates with the cherry wood hues.
Details were important when it came to the appliances and they carefully considered the family’s lifestyle. The space features a Miele coffeemaker, steam oven (a favorite of the homeowner and great for vegetables!), a wine refrigerator and a microwave as well as warming drawers. Stephens introduced warmth and coziness to the space by incorporating furniture elements in the details. No piece brings this notion to life quite like the Sub-Zero refrigerator, which—thanks to cabinetry panels—has been made to look like an armoire. “You can see [other furniture elements] in the bookshelves, moulding details, the turned posts used at the sink and the island, the beadboard cabinetry and the ‘bonnet tops’ on the plate rack,” Stephens notes.
A veritable playground for an organized but busy homemaker, the renovated space not only offers everyday function, but also peace of mind for a mother who looks forward to cooking with her family here for years to come. “My client is, among many other things, a vegetarian and gardener, so cooking with integrity is a big part of her life,” reveals Stephens. “I wanted to give her the ultimate space in which to live out her culinary ideal.”
Kitchen designer Andi Stephens, Kitchen Distributors, Fayetteville, (479) 521-1313, kitchendistributorsinc.com
Contractor John Ward, Homes by Ward, Lowell, (479) 841-6698, homesbyward.com
Painter A&A Painting, LLC, Lowell, (479) 225-6486
Appliances Metro Appliances & More, Jonesboro, (870) 933-7800, North Little Rock, (501) 771-1840, Springdale, (479) 750-2200, metroappliancesandmore.com
Cabinets and millwork Kitchen Distributors, Fayetteville, (479) 521-1313, kitchendistributorsinc.com
Countertops and flooring New Century Counter Tops & Tile, Springdale, (479) 709-0044, newcenturycountertops.com
Fresh floral Tipton Hurst, Conway (501) 329-6663, Little Rock (501) 666-3333, North Little Rock (501) 753-0709, tiptonhurst.com
Lighting Lighting Emporium, Bethel Heights, (479) 751-8184, lightingemporium.com
Paint Benjamin Moore, locations statewide, benjaminmoore.com
Tile—backsplash Whiteline Designs, Fayetteville, (479) 287-4222, whitelinedesigns.com