“My magic number is 25,” says the owner of this new kitchen. “It’s the amount of people I like to cook for and to entertain, and you need an organized space if you want it to seem effortless.”
That was the directive she and her husband, long-time Conway residents, gave interior designer RaeLynn Callaway when they began planning the kitchen for their new cottage-style home. Add to that the homeowners’ request for a room that still felt comfortable and cozy for everyday use, and Callaway faced a challenge in how to accommodate both a couple and a crowd.
Creating a series of adjoining spaces and work zones proved the answer, resulting in an open kitchen with a dining room on one side and a wet bar and pantry on the other. Within the central area, a multi-purpose island helped separate prep, cleaning and cooking zones. Boasting a sink and refrigerator drawers, one section of the island is geared toward cooking and baking, with a range, wall oven, convection microwave oven and warming drawer nearby. The other section holds china and serving pieces, all within easy reach of a wide counter with bar stool seating, an apron-front sink and dishwasher.
With efficiency established, Callaway turned her attention to giving the rooms cottage-style charm. “The kitchen is the heart and soul of their home,” says Callaway. “All of the details needed to be pulled together to match the old cottage feel they wanted throughout the house.” A variety of door and drawer cabinetry fronts —some with raised panels and others with recessed beadboard—added a vintage look, as did classic white tile on the backsplash and hand-scraped oak wood floors. Quartz countertops in white maintained the clean and simple look of the room, while also offering a durable work surface.
For paint colors, the homeowner referenced a beloved set of mixing bowls that had once belonged to the grandmother of a close friend. “The color is now called Mammy blue,” she says, “and we used it as an accent with bright white.” The palette continues into the dining room, where Callaway had the cabinetry painted green “to add a visual separation between the two areas,” she says.
The completed kitchen has now been put to the test as the site of family gatherings, large dinner parties (with 25 guests of course) as well as everyday meals. “It’s a pleasure to work in,” the homeowner says. “Everything I need is handy, so I can easily cook for a big group, but it still feels cozy on a daily basis.”
Interior design: RaeLynn Callaway, Allied ASID, CY Interiors, Conway
Builder: Boone Custom Homes, Inc., Conway
Draftsmen: Quality Designs, Conway
Kitchen planning consultant: Trudy McCollum, CKD, ASID, Little Rock
Painter: J. Reynolds Painting Co., Conway
Appliances, flooring: National Home Center, Conway
Cabinetry: Elms-Clowers, Conway
Countertops: Moix Marbleworks, Conway
Tile: ElderTile, Maumelle
Decorative tile behind range: Kitchen Store, Conway